Race Drive of the Year
Lewis Hamilton at the Cowboy Hat Grand Prix of Texas. One of those contests -- like Michael and Mika at the Nurburgring in 1998 -- that makes you glad you follow Formula One. Shame that by that stage he was an irrelevancy in the championship chase.
(Runner-up: Moto2's Marc Marquez at the Japanese Grand Prix -- last to within sight of the leaders in a few corners, then the real work began.)
Bowling Ball of the Year
No contest eh?
Runner-up: MotoGP star Jonathan Rea's impressive effort on the last lap of race 2 at Donington.
Honourable mention: 2012's eternal bowling pin, the Nissan Deltawing. Exhibit A, courtesy of Kazuki Nakajima, and Exhibit B, from the humble Porsche 997 (check out the description on Highcroft's video... "forced into a roll" ).
2012's Best Racing Journo
Marshall Pruett, over on SpeedTV.com. These two pieces illustrate why, but equally his regular reporting on the Indycar Series this year has been one of the main reasons I kept coming back race after race (and scandal after scandal).
Jeff Krosnoff, Stay Hungry
The Firing of Indycar CEO Randy Bernard
Untrue conspiracy theory of the year
Picture the scene. Courtesy of Pastor Maldonado, Team Williams have just won their first Grand Prix since 2004. But there's a problem -- you see, the car was highly, and I mean heavily, illegal. Frank pulls in all the top mechanics, gets Patrick Head up on Skype from his desert island, even flicks through The Art of War by Adam Parr, and together they formulate a desperate plan. If Charlie finds all that stuff we put in the car -- the 3.5 litre engine, the throttle-blown diffuser, the beryllium seat-warmer -- we are so screwed! A junior engineer of Loki-ish aspect coughs nervously, and speaks up: "How about we, er, just burn the garage down? There'll be no e-evidence left then. We can blame it on a K-K-KERS malfunction." Silence, then the kind of applause that's usually reserved for VC-recipients or royal pregnancies. The plan was completed and Maldonado sneaked his asterisk-of-asterisks into the record books.
Course, technically it was Bruno Senna's car in the garage that caught fire. But y'know, just throwin' it out there. Don't believe what the man tells you.
(Runners-up, because they were actually true: Indycar team owners conspire to remove series CEO Randy Bernard in favour of Tony George, Brian Barnhart and the legions of eternal night; F1 puts on a race in a Middle Eastern military pseudo-dictatorship amid firebombs and hunger strikes, just to collect their $48m fee; MotoGP owners Dorna buy the championship of Edwards, Fogarty and the Ducati 916 as a negotiating ploy against Honda Racing Corporation.)
Jawdropper of a bowel-loosener of a title finale
Indycar Series at Fontana. Aside from the three-hour day-to-night contest on the limits of adhesion/Indycar's low-downforce aero spec, with proven nutjobs Sato and Tagliani inhabiting the leading group, this race featured a team of Penske mechanics changing the whole rear end of Will Power's crashed Dallara, just so he could get back out and run the laps needed to take 2 points away from Ernesto Viso's stricken car.
(Runners-up: F1's dramatic Brazilian Grand Prix; WSBK's Magny-Cours round, culminating Tom Sykes's unsuccessful -- just -- and deeply weird title bid.
Honourable mention: Bianchi vs. Frijns at the last round of the World Series by Renault. If only because the number of people offering an opinion on the collision probably vastly outnumbered Eurosport's own viewing figures. If only we had a way of monetizing these malcontents.)
Jacques Villeneuve's Busy Year, in association with the Where Is Jacques Villeneuve? thread
January: Accuse Alain Prost of rigging the Trophee Andros ice racing series.
June: Receive death threats from protesting Montreal students.
Later in June: Receive death threats from fans of GoDaddy's web hosting service.
August: Nearly win home town Nationwide race for Roger's NASCAR outfit.
July-August: In the opposites-land of the Antipodes, have a totally uneventful stint in V8 Supercars filling in for Greg Murphy.
Part Two of Risil's awards are coming up later. In the meantime I advise you all to contribute to this thread so I don't look really unpopular or anything.
Edited by Risil, 30 December 2012 - 11:34.