That's it, here's your 2012 IndyCar Driver of the Year in full, with the final averaged ratings (out of ten) for the top ten:
The top ten
1. Ryan Hunter-Reay
(Andretti Autosport) - rated 8.39
2. Will Power
(Team Penske) - rated 8.03
3. Simon Pagenaud
(Schmidt-Hamilton Motorport) - rated 7.69
4. Scott Dixon
(Target Chip Ganassi Racing) - rated 7.55
5. James Hinchcliffe
(Andretti Autosport) - rated 7.25
6. Helio Castroneves
(Team Penske) - rated 6.61
7. Sebastien Bourdais
(Dragon Racing) - rated 6.48
8. Takuma Sato
(Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing) - rated 6.47
9. Justin Wilson
(Dale Coyne Racing) - rated 6.46
10. Dario Franchitti
(Target Chip Ganassi Racing) - rated 6.45
The rest of the field
Tony Kanaan (KV Racing Technology) - rated 6.29
Ryan Briscoe (Team Penske) - rated 6.21
Rubens Barrichello (KV Racing Technology) - rated 6.20
Oriol Servia (Panther DRR) - rated 5.66
Simona de Silvestro (Nuclear Clean Air Energy HVM Racing) - rated 5.64
Ed Carpenter (Ed Carpenter Racing) - rated 5.53
Josef Newgarden (Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing) - rated 5.44
Alex Tagliani (Bryan Herta Autosport) - rated 5.37
JR Hildebrand (Panther Racing) - rated 5.37
Graham Rahal (Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing) - rated 5.27
Charlie Kimball (Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing) - rated 5.00
Marco Andretti (Andretti Autosport) - rated 4.59
Katherine Legge (Dragon Racing) - rated 4.52
Mike Conway (AJ Foyt Enterprises) - rated 4.35
EJ Viso (KV Racing Technology) - rated 4.07
James Jakes (Dale Coyne Racing) - rated 3.79
Many thanks for the thousands of votes - we were genuinely thrilled by the response and confirmation of the interest and enthusiasm that the Crash.net
community has shown for IndyCar racing in 2012. Here's to an even better season to come in 2013!
You can see from the results listed above that Ryan Hunter-Reay was the winner by a much bigger margin in our Driver of the Year vote than he was in the actual IZOD IndyCar Series championship (where he won by a razor-thin three points at the end.) Will Power was also a long way ahead of rookie of the year Simon Pagenaud - which surprised us a little, as we figured the Frenchman as one of the most impressive débuts we've seen by a driver in any series.
But what about the rest who didn't make it into the top ten?
Surely the big shock is the non-appearance of F1 transferee Rubens Barrichello in the top ten? We were expecting him to feature somewhere, and yet it seems the Crash.net
electorate was ultimately not wildly impressed by the Brazilian's foray into the US open wheel racing scene. In fact Barrichello scored an average vote of 6.20, putting him on the tail-end of a very closely-packed crowd of eight drivers which start with compatriot Helio Castroneves up in sixth place. It could easily have been a totally different story if the votes had gone just slightly differently.
Also caught up in that crowded midfield was Barrichello's best friend and 'brother' Tony Kanaan who also narrowly failed to make it into the top ten despite having finished in third place in the 2011 Crash.net
Driver of the Year poll. Another of last year's strong performers, Oriol Servia, similarly ended up slumping out of the top ten this year - although in the Spaniard's case this was partly a result of having to find a new team in 2012 after the exit of Newman/Haas Racing from the sport at the end of last season.
It's a surprise to see two of this year's race winners (Ryan Briscoe and Ed Carpenter) not get a little more love from the voters, but we're not remotely surprised to see that Ganassi's 'junior team' line-up of Graham Rahal and Charlie Kimball broadly getting the thumbs down after a fairly lacklustre season given the potential of the hardware at their disposal.
On the flip side, it's nice to see Simona de Sivestro get some recognition for a thankless season slogging away as the de facto
Lotus test driver perennially stuck at the back of the grid all season long through no fault of her own. Let's hope that her move to KV Racing Technology alongside Tony Kanaan will see her better served in 2013.
De Silvestro even placed ahead of Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing rookie Josef Newgarden, who had moments of genius in his maiden year but also the usual sort of bad luck and mistakes typical for a young driver's first experience in a top series. We figured on him being slightly better than 17th but agree he was no top ten contender this year - the interesting question will be whether he blossoms next season and duly zooms his way to the top of the 2013 IndyCar Driver of the Year standings.
We'll start getting the answer to that question on the Streets of St. Petersburg in Florida on March 24!