Banner year already for GM, Chevy, Cadillac racing teams

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We touched on this briefly in the wake of Chevrolet wrapping up the IZOD IndyCar Series’ Manufacturer’s Championship on Saturday night.

But with all of its major North American domestic championships in the books for 2013, save for NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Trucks, Chevrolet and GM have managed to repeat many of their titles achieved a year ago in what was, for them, a dream 2012 season.

Thus far this year, GM has already achieved with its Chevrolet and Cadillac brands:

  • IndyCar Manufacturer’s Championship (via Team Penske, Andretti Autosport, KV Racing Technology, Ed Carpenter Racing, Panther Racing, Dragon Racing)
  • American Le Mans Series Driver (Jan Magnussen, Antonio Garcia, Corvette Racing), Team (Corvette Racing) and Manufacturer’s Championships in GT
  • GRAND-AM Rolex Series Driver (Jordan Taylor, Max Angelelli, Wayne Taylor Racing) and Manufacturer’s Championships in DP
  • Pirelli World Challenge Driver (Johnny O’Connell, Cadillac), Team (Cadillac Racing) and Manufacturer’s Championships in GT; Driver (Lawson Aschenbach, Blackdog Speed Shop) and Manufacturer’s Championships (Camaro) in GTS.

All the above titles save for the Rolex Driver’s titles are repeats of 2012. The only title Chevrolet or GM achieved last year they did not repeat this go-around was the IndyCar Driver’s title.

Stay tuned as to whether any NASCAR accolades can be added to this list over the next four weeks.

F1 2017 driver review: Sergio Perez

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Sergio Perez

Team: Sahara Force India
Car No.: 11
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Best Finish: P4 (Spain)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 1
Points: 100
Championship Position: 7th

While failing to hit the podium as he did in both 2015 and 2016, Sergio Perez once again finished the year as Formula 1’s leading midfield team driver, but faced a greater fight from within Force India in the shape of Esteban Ocon.

Perez has long been knocking on the door of F1’s top teams should an opportunity come up, and 2017 saw him continue his solid if unspectacular form. The dominance of Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari meant any finish higher than seventh was impressive, something he managed to do on five occasions.

But there were some missed opportunities along the way, most significantly in Baku. Force India had been quick all weekend, with Perez charging to sixth on the grid, and when drama struck at the front, he and teammate Ocon were eyeing a podium finish as a minimum.

Contact between the two forced Perez to retire and prompted Ocon to pit for repairs, leaving the team without the top-three finish it targeted heading into the season. With Lance Stroll taking P3 for Williams and Daniel Ricciardo winning the race, a maiden victory for Force India was not out of the realm of imagination.

Perez and Ocon came to blows on a number of occasions, with the final straw coming in Spa when they twice touched on-track, prompting Force India to introduce team orders. Perez finished the year 13 points clear of Ocon in the final standings, meeting his own pre-season target of 100 points, yet the Frenchman had arguably made the bigger impression at Force India through his first full season in F1.

Force India remains the top underdog in F1 with Perez spearheading its charge, but it is difficult to see either taking the final step to becoming true contenders at the front of the field anytime soon, as solid as their displays have been.

Season High: P4 in Spain after retirements for the ‘big three’.

Season Low: Losing a sure-fire podium, if not a win, in Baku after contact with Ocon.