Bob McMurray: Forget the rear view eyes front
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It's that time of year when tradition demands we review the past 12 months of happenings in and around the sport.
No matter how a reviewer or commentator does it, he or she will miss a huge amount of what went on. Highlights for one person don't even appear on the radar for others, similarly with the lowlights.
In Formula 1, Rosberg triumphed, Hamilton didn't.
Mercedes ruled and McLaren didn't.
Max Verstappen starred and Sebastian Vettel swore.
Kimi Raikkonen mumbled and Daniel Ricciardo smiled and smiled and then smiled some more.
Bernie Ecclestone still ruled the roost as the journalists predicted his demise.
Rosberg retired but the politics didn't.
There was huge success for Kiwis around the world, especially Shane van Gisbergen, Brendon Hartley, Hayden Paddon and John Kennard, with others excelling in their chosen sport.
As always, in some cases expectations were not achieved but even then those drivers reached the top flight regularly.
The next few weeks will bring floods of reviews and be peppered with news stories about who may go where, who is driving for which team and all of the expectations and bravado about "this is my/our year".
With nothing happening in the Northern Hemisphere in motorsport terms for a while, this time of year is also traditionally about rumours and speculation with Christmas quizzes thrown in for good measure, so I will leave the real reviews to those who like to pore over the stats and discuss the finer points of whichever form of the sport they follow while having a quiet glass or two.
"Who was the best/worst, who should have/could have/didn't?"
Instead of looking at the past, all these conversations usually come around to looking at the future. And in New Zealand we are lucky that the future is happening in the next few weeks with the summer 2017 continuation of the ITM Motorsport Championship.
For years people have been bemoaning the demise of the "Summer of Motorsport" tradition of events. Through apparent mismanagement of the promotional side of the sport, a lack of trust in the way the sport was being governed, internal politics and egos that brought the customary V8 series to its knees, plus a few other reasons that ruined "the show" and then a consequent decline in the crowds, it seemed this country's motorsport was in serious danger of sinking.
A few promoters have bravely taken on the task of "resurrection" but these attempts have been thwarted. Now however there is a new promoter, Speedworks Events, who, by the recent showing at the ITM Motorsport Championship event at the Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park in Taupo, is willing to invest in trying to bring back the crowds.
Well-organised and with a more or less non-stop on-track programme (accident delays aside) there was something for the people watching to watch.
It was billed as a "twilight" meeting; buses brought people from downtown to enjoy the early evening races and there were more food outlets than I have seen before at a New Zealand track event.
The second round of this coming summer season kicks into gear with the event at the Mike Pero Motorsport Park, Ruapuna, Christchurch, in January when the domestic Kiwi classes will be joined by the first major international series to be held each year, the Toyota Racing Series (TRS) which in 2017 once again boasts a full field of young international star drivers.
Last year's champion Lando Norris, who won the prestigious McLaren Autosport BRDC Award, returns as does Pedro Piquet, to join many others who are Formula 1 stars in waiting.
Lance Stroll, the 2015 TRS champion, will be driving for the Williams team in Formula 1 this coming year, joining another TRS "graduate" Daniil Kvyat in the top echelon with other TRS alumni just waiting in the wings.
Speedworks Events should be applauded for trying to drag the sport back into something that looks and acts professionally.
There is a lot to look forward to next year.
Event 2 - January 13-15, Mike Pero Motorsport Park, Christchurch
Event 3 - January 21-22, Teretonga Park, Invercargill
Event 4 - January 28-29, Hampton Downs Motorsport Park, North Waikato
Event 5 - February 4-5, Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park, Taupo
Event 6 - February 11-12, Manfeild, Feilding - New Zealand Grand Prix
Event 7 - March 11-12, Hampton Downs Motorsport Park, North Waikato
Event 8 - April 1-2, Pukekohe Park Raceway, Pukekohe
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