It has come to that time, when we as fans (and sometime writers) tend to take the jump off the cliff of fact and history, clutching to the life-ring of knowledge, into the sea of guess work, to catch a fish of prediction, hoping that one of the prediction fish has eaten the smaller fish of correctness.
Here's my take on a handful of major championships, scouting out the winners, and some other tidbits that could be coming during the season.
This all comes down to who's come out best with their new cars. Providing all are created equal then it's going to be another Lewis Hamilton year. If the new aero regs truly help overtaking then Hamilton's race craft is going to be a major factor in a number of races this year.
We saw glimmers of it last year - Hockenheim springs to mind - and anyone who watched him during his F3 and GP2 years is more than familiar with it.
It should hopefully be a very open year. Toyota and BMW will be stronger challengers for wins week in, week out, which could include maiden wins for Hiedfeld and Glock (Glock, not Trulli). KERS will only be here for one year.
The educated money is on a three-way race between Kyle, Jimmie and Carl. So I'm going to go out on a limb and predict a Roush title for Greg Biffle. Greg just needs to get his ducks in a row, it so nearly came off for him in the chase in '08 as he peaked at the right time. He just needs to do the same again. Only better.
There will be very few surprises around in NASCAR-land this year, with perhaps only Juan Montoya and Brian Vickers breaking into the big four for The Chase.
Right, here's a big one. Joey Logano won't race the entire season, and I don't just mean that Gibbs with stick a ringer in the No. 20 for the road courses, there will be weeks at a time when Sliced Bread is benched for the good of the team.
I will get sick and tired of writing things along the lines of "I hate Start-and-Park teams"
Indycar needs a close season, but that isn't going to happen. At best it's going to be a three horse race, between Scott Dixon, Dario Franchitti and Ryan Briscoe, with Scott Dixon again coming out on top.
The world will continue to get more and more fed up with the Danica Patrick PR machine, and Andretti-Green will struggle to get anywhere near the win column.
Taking, only Sebring and the Le Mans 24 hours here, as the continental Le Mans Series are currently all over the place in regards to predicting next month, let alone November.
It all depends on how the new Audi R15 comes out of the box. If it comes out fast (and perhaps more importantly, reliable), then Audi could sweep the board. If there are even the slightest problems then this is everyone else's best chance at grabbing the spoils for years.
As it is, I believe the new Audi won't come out fast, handing the overall Sebring win to the Lowe's Fernandex P2 Acura, after both the brand new P1 models suffer the sort of problems that handed Penske the win last year.
Le Mans is Peugeot's for the taking. They have two years head start on their 2009 cars compared to Audi, and knowing your car is crucial in endurance racing.
Some smaller categories....
World Touring Car Championship - no-one can beat the diesel Seats right now, so I'll take the world's fastest Swede, Rickard Rydell, to take the title.
V8 Supercars- Last year I predicted a Holden title, and Ford promptly won the thing, so whatever I say the opposite is going to happen. So it'll be another Holden title, by which of course I mean Ford will win, probably with Whincup again.
World Rally Championship- Loeb (yawn)
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