HSO YEAR IN REVIEW
Another exciting HSO season has come to an end, and this one saw unprecedented growth for the league. Significant new content was introduced, and several regulars had the pleasure of scoring their first HSO wins. Live coverage on YouTube added a new dimension to the race day experience, and was instrumental in attracting new talent to our various series.
While the season did experience challenges from time to time, the resiliency of our drivers and the full grids confirmed that we are filling a niche in the simracing community. We want to thank all of you for your loyalty, your sportsmanship, and of course, your enthusiasm for historic sims. It has been said before, but it deserves repeating -- YOU are what keeps HSO going!
With that, let's take a moment to reflect on this year's champions and the paths they took to their achievements 1978 F1 and 1972 F5000 CHAMPION -- GREG GOISSEN
Greg is a staple at HSO, and surely one of our most talented drivers. For the F1 78 series, the admins were careful to put him in a car that would allow him to succeed, but still give the others a fighting chance. To that end, he was paired with his countryman Vincent Beretta at Shadow -- not the fastest team on the grid, but one that had already embraced the ground effects revolution. Observers postulated that Greg's chief competition would be Gérard Ryon in the Lotus 79, and by and large, they were right. But there were a few twists and turns in the beginning. Petr Hlavac's surprise victory in the series opener, plus Gérard's wins at Rio and Kyalami had many wondering how things would play out. Jacob Fredriksson's win at Monaco proved this was a series that favored discipline as much as raw speed. But before long, Greg asserted his dominant form, winning a staggering five races in a row. A late-season challenge by Gérard made it look as if the championship may go down to the wire, but Greg's win at Monza sealed the deal. After a slow start to the series, he had once again proved his mettle in open wheel competition.
And in the F5000 series, that trend continued. Greg decimated the competition, winning five out of eight rounds -- his only major challenge coming from Jan Kowalski in a Surtees. All this suggests that Greg will be a serious championship favorite in F1 1991, and CART 1988, should he choose to take part. 1973 USAC CHAMPION -- DANA SCHURER
It's always interesting when history repeats itself in simracing form. In 1973, Roger McCluskey won the USAC National Championship driving a supposedly inferior McLaren M16A. In our recreation of that series, Dana drove the McLaren M16B chassis -- also a car that was assumed to be inferior to the Eagle 73s and McLaren M16C variant. But Dana's talent for oval racing and overall racecraft overcame any deficiencies she may have had with her car. After being narrowly defeated by Alberto Ibañez in the series opener, she won both heats of the Trentonian Split 300. A second place finish at Indianapolis set her on a dominant path similar to Greg's in F1 1978. After the rule changes that trimmed fuel load and rear wing width, Dana found herself with more competition -- in the forms of Richard Coxon, Jacob Fredriksson and the very determined Jukka Maattanen. But by round 15, she had returned to her consistent form, wrapping up the title at Texas World Speedway.
Dana has proven to be fast in other forms of racing as well (e.g. sports cars, F1 1978); we look forward to seeing how she does in 2017. 1975 IROC CHAMPION -- STEVE PARKER
Steve Parker and Yves Plaçais both have a knack for driving heavy, American cars. This was proven in our 1971 SCCA Trans Am series. So it was no surprise that these two duked it out in the IROC Camaros. In the end, a startline glitch was the unfortunate tipping point that led to Steve's championship, but it could have easily gone the other way. Steve was also our F1 1965 champion in 2014, so his versatility is obvious. We hope he will have the opportunity to showcase that versatility with us in 2017.1983 DRM CHAMPION -- RICHARD COXON
Richard made the very smart choice to drive in this series' Group C Junior class. After three class wins, it was clear he was well on his way to the title. While others struggled to tame the power of the Group C entries, Richard relied on the smooth power delivery of his Alba and the comparatively smaller list of Group C Junior rivals he faced. Raul Jereb provided a late-season challenge, but it wasn't enough to derail Richard's momentum from the first three rounds. With more sports car racing on the horizon, it's clear that he is a force to be reckoned with in 2017.1989 BRDC C2 and 1990 CIS A2 CHAMPION -- YVES PLAÇAIS
Yves had an amazing season, winning more races that anyone else -- even eclipsing Greg Goissen's victory total. He also led the way in podiums, pole positions and fastest laps! These successes were mainly realized on Wednesday nights, where sports car and touring car racing is the traditional HSO fare. Like Goissen, Yves is an HSO staple who is consistently fast and raises the bar for everyone around him. Frankly, his statistics at the end of this year speak for themselves, and we look forward to seeing how he does with new content in 2017.
1990 CIS A1 CHAMPION -- JOSE BERENGUER
Jose only raced a limited 2016 schedule, but this didn't stop him from winning the A1 division in the Italian touring cars. He also proved to be a formidable opponent in other series, like the 1983 DRM and 1975 IROC series. We are not sure about his availability in 2017, but we hope he will have time to make some appearances. His quickness and versatility are the hallmarks of a multiple HSO champion.HSO GOLD STAR CHAMPION -- DAVID JAQUES
David is a quick driver who has had occasional championship aspirations. In the 2016 Gold Star series, his consistent dedication set him on the path that gave him his first, and very well-deserved title. With Peter Lengyel's departure from the series, he had a largely unimpeded path to the points lead. But even a class win in the Castrol 1000 was not a guarantee. Indeed, a stunning performance by Jan Titz in the Ontario 4 Hours almost toppled David's championship run. The margin in the end was only two points, thanks to the small number of entries in the GTU class. Our first Canadian champion will undoubtedly be back in 2017 and hungry for more success.