Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Christmas Tree

Merry Christmas from all of us here at OpenPaddock.net!

Christmas TreeThis has been a year with lots of ups and downs, both personally for us and within the racing community. We saw the Tony Kaanan’s triumph at Indianapolis after an absolutely epic 500 miles, and we saw the ending of Dario Franchitti’s legendary racing career at Houston. Dan Andersen’s assumption of the operation of the Indy Lights series brought immediate positives and progress continues toward revitalizing that series and the Pro Mazda Championship. The world of sports cars continues to flow and ebb as ALMS and Grand Am solidify their merger plans and what the new unified series will look like in 2014. Sebastian Vettel continued his record-smashing this season with a fourth consecutive championship winning nine grand prix in a row. With Sebastian Loeb retired, the way was opened for new WRC champion Sebastian Ogier. Apparently, you don’t get to win a championship in the FIA unless your first name is Sebastian.

Personally, we’ve had ups and downs as well. We welcomed back Shaun from his overseas assignment, Doug’s new kid is already showing a love for speed, and Kevin experienced the Greatest Spectacle In Racing for the first time as a working member of the media. Mike Shaw really stepped up our rally coverage in 2013, and Mike Whitesell continued to be the stablizing force keeping us on track and on task. In addition to our fantastic photographers Tom and Brian, we also welcomed Josh to the OP family. We also welcomed aboard Jeremy as our local SCCA reporter. Sadly, we had to say goodbye to Kevin, and it’s been tough to rebound and get ourselves back in the swing of things.

We have lots of plans for 2014, including an increase in our sportcar coverage beginning with the 24 Hours of Daytona and the relaunch of the OpenPaddock.net website. The current look of our site is, well…, let’s be honest. It’s stale and needs a makeover. Here in a few days, the site will be going dark for a couple of days as we implement the changes and we’ll be back in 2014 with a bright and shiny new look and feel.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all of you and those you love.