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Biggest wastes of potential in other Motorsports


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#1 WonderWoman61

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Posted 07 October 2022 - 16:09

In other words, biggest wastes of potential outside F1, can't think of any myself right away.

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#2 Risil

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Posted 07 October 2022 - 16:27

In 1990s bike racing, Anthony Gobert 100%. He had so much riding talent and ability, surely enough to go to the very top.



#3 thefinalapex

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Posted 07 October 2022 - 16:28

Maybe lorenzo isn’t the most appropriate as he won 3 titles but Lorenzo and Ducati is one i think of when talking about wasting potential. So close on the brink of succes but the decision was already made, both lost out in the end.

#4 WonderWoman61

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Posted 07 October 2022 - 16:40

Stephane Sarrazin at the McLaren Junior F3000 team in 2000.

Kenny Brack at Chip Ganassi in the 2002 CART Season.

To name a couple.

#5 ensign14

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Posted 07 October 2022 - 17:05

Curious one in NASCAR was Earl Ross.  Half-a-season for Junior Johnson in a Carling-backed car saw him win a race and get top ten in the championship (and ROTY), in an era in which that was close to impossible for a part-time team.  Then Carling withdrew and his career was done.  Bizarre he never got another shot.  NASCAR has a plethora of drivers who never got a deserved chance, as well as the tuggers like Mikey Waltrip and Rick Wilson who got chance after chance after chance and did eff all with them, but Ross is the most outstanding "what if" this side of Dick Hutcherson.

 

In Champcar, Mike Mosley was always competitive in utter filth, I assume there was a reason why someone like Penske never gave him a go (yet handed Bill Alsup a ride) but I've no idea what it is.



#6 Jim Thurman

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Posted 07 October 2022 - 19:16

Curious one in NASCAR was Earl Ross.  Half-a-season for Junior Johnson in a Carling-backed car saw him win a race and get top ten in the championship (and ROTY), in an era in which that was close to impossible for a part-time team.  Then Carling withdrew and his career was done.  Bizarre he never got another shot.  NASCAR has a plethora of drivers who never got a deserved chance, as well as the tuggers like Mikey Waltrip and Rick Wilson who got chance after chance after chance and did eff all with them, but Ross is the most outstanding "what if" this side of Dick Hutcherson.

 

In Champcar, Mike Mosley was always competitive in utter filth, I assume there was a reason why someone like Penske never gave him a go (yet handed Bill Alsup a ride) but I've no idea what it is.

For a long time, it seemed difficult for drivers from outside the Southern U.S. to get second drives once they'd lost their backers. There is case after case after case of that. As you noted, a plethora who never got a deserved second chance. Earl Ross simply returned to Canadian short tracks, where he did quite well. Hutcherson had raced for years, and I always understood he was ready to retire and get on with the chassis construction business he and Eddie Pagan had.

 

As far as Mosley, he was painfully uncomfortable with public speaking. He was reported as a shy, introverted person who hated to do all the off-track and PR stuff that drivers have to go through, even in the less hectic 1970s and early 1980s. That does not fit Penske well, and probably hurt him with some other opportunities. He had made steps and effort to rectify that near the very end of his career. Alsup did some work for Mr. Penske, and they struck up a relationship based on that.


Edited by Jim Thurman, 07 October 2022 - 19:16.


#7 Sterzo

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Posted 07 October 2022 - 20:28

Georges Boillot, perhaps the greatest of many racing drivers who lost their careers (and some their lives) in war. It seems probable both he and Peugeot would have continued at the sharp end of racing had it continued in Europe beyond 1914.



#8 AustinF1

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Posted 07 October 2022 - 20:33

Not certain this qualifies for the topic, but imho F1 missing out on Scott McLaughlin was a massive miss for them.



#9 NickeyF1

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Posted 07 October 2022 - 20:34

Every once in a while I find myself wondering what Greg Moore could have archieved if he hadn't gone racing with that hand injury in Fontana.

 

Does that count as "wasted potential"? I really do not know.


Edited by NickeyF1, 07 October 2022 - 20:35.


#10 Atreiu

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Posted 07 October 2022 - 20:37

Andrea Ianonne and his decision making.

HRC letting Rossi go after 2003.

HRC letting Stoner go after 2006.

#11 WonderWoman61

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Posted 07 October 2022 - 20:40

Every once in a while I find myself wondering what Greg Moore could have archieved if he hadn't gone racing with that hand injury in Fontana.
 
Does that count as "wasted potential"? I really do not know.


In that respect, the same could also be said for Gonzalo Rodriguez if he'd made it through the Corkscrew at Laguna Seca.

#12 messy

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Posted 07 October 2022 - 21:07

As soon as I saw the threat title I thought Anthony Gobert, but that’s been said immediately, so…

Ok, left-field one. Evgeniy Novikov. Young Russian WRC driver who burst onto the scene driving for Citroen and then M-Sport. Was absolutely rapid in his first full season, finished second a couple of times, won loads of stages, won a lot of fans for his spectacular style. Crashed a lot, but really fast. Part of the new generation alongside Neuville and Tanak and arguably looked like the most exciting of the three in that first year. 2013 he was promoted to the ‘factory’ Ford team and did ok but had a bit of an underwhelming season. But then he absolutely vanished off the face of the planet, never started another rally, was never seen anywhere near the sport ever again. I’d love to know what happened to him because it really isn’t easy to see what actually happened after that. He just quit and was never seen again.

#13 Risil

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Posted 07 October 2022 - 21:10

Jacques Villeneuve, Sr (younger brother of Gilles and uncle to the 1997 world champion) was very rapid but only had one good year in CART, in 1985. I've read -- but forget where -- that on speed alone he was on a par with his brother, must've lacked something of the champion's makeup that Gilles possessed.

#14 HeadFirst

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Posted 07 October 2022 - 21:18

The entire Can-Am series. A brilliant concept ... technically advanced and innovative racecars with a monstrous engines, visually appealing, loud and very, very fast. Sadly the minimum of restrictions, which seemed wonderful at the onset, led to the ultimate demise of the series, as costs skyrocketed.  :wave:



#15 WonderWoman61

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Posted 07 October 2022 - 21:55

A1 GP, Superleague Formula, GP Masters, Speedcar Series, all short-lived series that had a lot of potential but never really got to show it before the money ran out. The first two lasted long enough to make an impression at least.

#16 BoDarvelle

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Posted 07 October 2022 - 22:01

The entire Can-Am series. A brilliant concept ... technically advanced and innovative racecars with a monstrous engines, visually appealing, loud and very, very fast. Sadly the minimum of restrictions, which seemed wonderful at the onset, led to the ultimate demise of the series, as costs skyrocketed.  :wave:

Nothing like a McLaren M8F with 509 cubic inches of aluminum thunder.

 

It wasn't terribly expensive, as top shelf racing series go, until Porsche decided they needed a turbo'd V12 to win.



#17 HeadFirst

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Posted 08 October 2022 - 00:36

Nothing like a McLaren M8F with 509 cubic inches of aluminum thunder.

 

It wasn't terribly expensive, as top shelf racing series go, until Porsche decided they needed a turbo'd V12 to win.

 

I remember camping in the woods near corner 10 at Mosport, thinking the noise that woke me was a thunderstorm, only to realize it was the McLarens warming up for practice.



#18 Sterzo

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Posted 08 October 2022 - 10:48

I would split a hair, and say the CanAm series did fulfill its potential. All series come and go. If you have unrestricted development and speed, you'll potentially have something sensationally good which contains the seeds of its own destruction. It was sensationally good for several years.



#19 BobbyRicky

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Posted 08 October 2022 - 11:01

Randy Lanier would probably have had a long and prosperous carreer as a racecardriver if he had ditched his drugrunning-business.



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#20 RPM40

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Posted 08 October 2022 - 11:19

Craig Lowndes in v8 supercars.

Leaving HRT to go to a variety of uncompetitive ford teams resulted in him never winning another title

#21 WonderWoman61

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Posted 08 October 2022 - 12:45

The Honda Civic Type-R FK8 in the BTCC, apart from Dan Cammish narrowly missing out on the 2019 title, it just hasn't been that good and nothing compared to its FK2 predecessor.

#22 Jim Thurman

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Posted 08 October 2022 - 23:38

In Champcar, Mike Mosley was always competitive in utter filth, I assume there was a reason why someone like Penske never gave him a go (yet handed Bill Alsup a ride) but I've no idea what it is.

Mosley is fascinating all around. After my original post, I realized I left out another factor. He walked away from the sport at one point, immediately after a win. Possibly this was due to burnout, as he'd been racing since age 15 (illegally). He'd also been battered in accidents, which likely also played a key role. But, he simply walked away. I believe he was selling jewelry at a jewelers in a shopping mall in Southern California for a bit before returning to racing. Discussing this with Robin Miller, he said Mosley really wasn't interested in racing any longer, but returned only because he was good at it and could make good money doing it. Considering he won a CART race and sat on the front row at Indianapolis when he was "no longer interested", speaks volumes about his abilities. Obviously Gurney thought highly of him, and I know Mario Andretti was very impressed with him too.



#23 Dolph

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Posted 09 October 2022 - 04:48

Colton Herta at Andretti



#24 Jackmancer

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Posted 09 October 2022 - 06:55

The 1999 Mercedes Le Mans project



#25 balage06

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Posted 09 October 2022 - 06:56

Rob Wickens...



#26 AlexPrime

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Posted 09 October 2022 - 08:23

There was a Japanese rider, Daijiro Katoh I think, but spelling is possibly wrong. He left us after a crash at Suzuka. I think he could have developed into a great Moto GP rider, he was champion in the lower classes and very talented. You can never be sure, but I think his death robbed us of an awesome competitor.



#27 WonderWoman61

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Posted 09 October 2022 - 10:19

Robin Frijns, in light of the recent successes of Max Verstappen and Nyck de Vries, especially with the latter finally getting his F1 break.

Edited by WonderWoman61, 09 October 2022 - 10:21.


#28 StraightEdge

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Posted 11 October 2022 - 22:06

Tony Renna. Finally clawed his way to a top ride with Chip Ganassi Racing only to be killed in practice during the offseason. The seven races he drove he finished the race five times all of them in the top 10. Imagine what he can do in top equipment


Edited by StraightEdge, 11 October 2022 - 22:07.


#29 EvilPhil II

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Posted 12 October 2022 - 00:27

Rob Wickens...


Absolutely

#30 Afterburner

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Posted 12 October 2022 - 02:02

"Wasted potential" vs. "missed potential" are two different things I think; wasting it implies a failure to seize an opportunity while missing it implies that the opportunity never existed. For the latter, Scott Dixon never making it to F1 is probably a great example, but for the former, there is no contest: it's the American open-wheel split of the 90's.



#31 StraightEdge

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Posted 12 October 2022 - 04:46

Danica Patrick in NASCAR. Top equipment only not do much with it when she should have spent time driving in the now Xfinity series instead immediately jumping straight to Cup. The media ate her up and brought back the sexist "Women can't drive race cars!" argument from the fans.



#32 ARTGP

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Posted 12 October 2022 - 04:49

Kyle Busch. How did this guy only win 2 NASCAR titles?

This guy used to drive trucks, cup lite, and the cup series and would often sweep the entire weekend winning in all three categories. He is the all time record holder for most wins in the truck series and the cup lite (Nationwide, Xfinity, etc).

In my opinion, Kyle Busch was the most talented and fastest NASCAR driver of 2008-2015. He had this freak ability to drive on cold tires and would jump so many cars on the back of a restart.

Edited by ARTGP, 12 October 2022 - 04:54.


#33 Sterzo

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Posted 12 October 2022 - 08:55

Robin Frijns, in light of the recent successes of Max Verstappen and Nyck de Vries, especially with the latter finally getting his F1 break.

Frijns was one of those drivers I really thought was going to make the top, but perhaps he flattered to deceive. Maybe the "nice guys finish last" thing comes in here. There were suggestions he was laid back, without the obsessive commitment the real greats have. One of the fascinating things about racing is that it's not just about raw talent. People get weeded out on the way up as the limits of their potential become apparent.



#34 Risil

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Posted 12 October 2022 - 09:06

I would split a hair, and say the CanAm series did fulfill its potential. All series come and go. If you have unrestricted development and speed, you'll potentially have something sensationally good which contains the seeds of its own destruction. It was sensationally good for several years.

 

This is exactly how I feel about the Porsche-Toyota-Audi hybrid wars of the mid 2010s WEC. I wish it had gone on for a bit longer but 2014-16 furnished us with many stories and excitement.



#35 skinnyman

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Posted 12 October 2022 - 09:58

Casey Stoner



#36 William Hunt

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Posted 12 October 2022 - 10:21

Casey Stoner

 

How can a 2 time world champion be a waste of potential? 



#37 skinnyman

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Posted 12 October 2022 - 10:56

Retired at 27, and us being robbed of few seasons of him vs. MM on the same bike.



#38 Risil

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Posted 12 October 2022 - 11:06

Fulfilled his potential but got out sooner than we'd have liked, I think. Stoner is more of a Jackie Stewart or Kenny Roberts in that regard.

 

If he'd stayed with Ducati after 2010 and retired with them I would agree however.



#39 Risil

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Posted 12 October 2022 - 11:10

Every once in a while I find myself wondering what Greg Moore could have archieved if he hadn't gone racing with that hand injury in Fontana.

 

Does that count as "wasted potential"? I really do not know.

 

I think so. We never saw him with the kind of equipment his talent deserved, and he'd surely have earned a Formula One test if things went well with Penske in 2000-2001. It's bad enough that he never raced at the Indy 500.

 

My memory is not 100% secure but I think Greg could've won something like 3 of his first 6 CART races if he hadn't been let down by mechanical failures.



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#40 Claymore25

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Posted 12 October 2022 - 14:20

Jose Maria Lopez in Turismo Carretera. Unlucky in the final race in 2009 prevent him to win the championship. Then his failed Formula 1 proyect (2010) prevent him to establish himself in TC in good teams until he decides to go to Europe to race in WTCC with Citroen in 2014.


Edited by Claymore25, 12 October 2022 - 14:21.


#41 eibyyz

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Posted 12 October 2022 - 14:30

In other words, biggest wastes of potential outside F1, can't think of any myself right away.

 

Kevin Cogan.  Robbie Moroso.



#42 milestone 11

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Posted 12 October 2022 - 14:40

Tommy Byrne. A sad story indeed.

#43 Dan333SP

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Posted 12 October 2022 - 15:01

Maybe lorenzo isn’t the most appropriate as he won 3 titles but Lorenzo and Ducati is one i think of when talking about wasting potential. So close on the brink of succes but the decision was already made, both lost out in the end.

 

Rossi going to Ducati could also be seen as a waste of potential, the bike was garbage during his two seasons and he was still a front runner at that time, maybe he wouldn't have beaten Stoner in 2011 if he were still on the Yamaha but he would have won races both years and could have taken the 2012 title. 



#44 ARTGP

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Posted 12 October 2022 - 15:07

Jaime Melo ( ace Ferrari GT driver )

Franck Montagny (ace LMP1 driver)

Lucas Luhr ( ace LMP1 driver)

 

They've more or less vanished from the face of the earth during their primes. It is speculated that each had issues with substance abuse...


Edited by ARTGP, 12 October 2022 - 15:08.


#45 BerniesDad

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Posted 12 October 2022 - 15:12

Marco Simoncelli is missed. He'd be retiring about now after several championships, as a legend of the sport.



#46 WonderWoman61

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Posted 12 October 2022 - 15:46

Who knows what Ricky Collard could have gone on to?

#47 Atreiu

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Posted 12 October 2022 - 16:12

Marco Simoncelli is missed. He'd be retiring about now after several championships, as a legend of the sport.

 

He's already a legend, but I don't think he'd ever have won a MotoGP title going against peak Lorenzo, Pedrosa, Marquez and a still awesome Rossi, then Quartararo. I think he'd be in the same zone as Crutchlow, but more successful in terms of wins and getting in the way ot title contenders.



#48 pacificquay

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Posted 12 October 2022 - 16:25

He's already a legend, but I don't think he'd ever have won a MotoGP title going against peak Lorenzo, Pedrosa, Marquez and a still awesome Rossi, then Quartararo. I think he'd be in the same zone as Crutchlow, but more successful in terms of wins and getting in the way ot title contenders.

It’s Bianchi syndrome - there’s no better driver/rider than a what could have been.



#49 PlatenGlass

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Posted 12 October 2022 - 16:34

Tommy Byrne. A sad story indeed.

He could also be in the F1 thread (and might be anyway).

#50 milestone 11

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Posted 12 October 2022 - 17:13

He could also be in the F1 thread (and might be anyway).

He may even be reading this. :wave: hi Tommy. He has been known to post round these parts.