British drivers didn’t do too badly in 2015, with winners at Le Mans and in the WRC - and an F1 champion to boot. We look back at some of the year’s motorsport highlights.
Porsche at Le Mans 24 Hrs
Fast but fragile in 2014, Porsche honed the 919 Hybrid’s technical package to perfection for this year’s race. After a sometimes fraught dice with sister marque Audi – including a few instances of bodywork-bashing between the rival cars – Nico Hülkenberg, Brit Nick Tandy and Earl Bamber pulled clear for Porsche’s 17th outright win, and its first since 1987.
Hamilton versus Rosberg, season two
The bitterness that simmered between the Mercedes team-mates throughout the 2014 season was even less well concealed this year. Moody post-race body language spoke volumes, culminating after the US GP when Rosberg angrily threw back a Pirelli podium cap that winner Hamilton had flippantly tossed to him.
Kris Meeke wins in Argentina
Britain had been bereft of a winning driver in the WRC since the glory days of Colin McRae and Richard Burns until Meeke made amends in Argentina. Having slogged for years to get a proper chance in the top flight, the Citroën driver came good on the promise he had shown during his formative seasons in the sport.
St Mary's Trophy, Goodwood Revival
Thrilling proof that historic racers aren’t just pootling around at eight-tenths. Gordon Shedden, Andrew Jordan and Frank Stippler staged a titanic battle for the lead, only for Tom Kristensen to pip them all at the flag after charging through from the back of the grid.
Dunlop MSA BTCC showdown
The three-race showdown at Brands Hatch started as Gordon Shedden versus Jason Plato, Matt Neal and Colin Turkington. It was whittled down to Shedden versus Plato in the final race, but while the Volkswagen-driving Plato started from second, Shedden was 19th on the grid. Plato won, but Shedden charged through in his Honda Civic Type R to claim the fourth place he needed for the title.
Formula E electrifies London's Battersea Park
The summer brought the surreal sight of whisper-quiet racing cars to the narrow, bumpy access roads around one of London’s tranquil green spaces. It was a valiant effort to take motor racing to the capital’s people - something F1 had tried and failed to do in the past. The racing was better than expected, too.
Juan-Pablo Montoya wins the Indianapolis 500
Former Formula 1 star Montoya’s dream of winning the iconic US oval race for the second time appeared to be in tatters after he dropped down the field with damage. But in the closing stages he fought back into contention, finally coming out on top in a scrap with Scott Dixon and Will Power.
Sébastien Ogier's pain in Spain
The French driver had already trousered the 2015 WRC title and was cruising to his eighth win of the season in Spain when he speared his Volkswagen Polo R WRC into a barrier on the final test. To his credit, he admitted he was pushing hard “for the fun of it”.
Solberg beats Ekström at Lydden
Just four-tenths of a second separated two of motorsport’s greatest all-rounders at the end of the frantic finale to the World Rallycross event at Lydden Hill in Kent. The short, no-holds-barred races proved popular, with the event drawing the circuit’s biggest crowd for years.
Rossi versus Marquez in MotoGP
You thought Rosberg and Hamilton disliked each other? The meltdown that occurred between Marc Marquez and his idol Valentino Rossi was even more Vesuvian, especially when the Italian appeared used his foot to nerf the Spaniard off his bike in Malaysia.