Will Power takes Castrol Edge Rankings Performer of the Month title for April 2012

Which driver was the star performer in the Castrol EDGE Rankings in April – why did they score so strongly? Indycar’s Will Power (6th) claimed the Castrol EDGE Performer of the Month Award for April, although he won it by a whisker with both Sebastian Vettel (1st) and Nico Rosberg (15th) within five per cent of his overall score.

Power was always likely to be in contention following a fantastic run in April. It kicked off at Barber, Alabama, as Power took his first victory of the year. A fortnight later he won again, this time at Long Beach. Power then sealed the top spot with a third straight win at the end of the month on the streets of Sao Paulo. The victories not only gave him a hat-trick of wins at the Brazilian circuit, but were enough to edge him past Vettel and Rosberg and seal the Performer of the Month award.

Sebastien Loeb made it seven wins in succession on Philips Rally Argentina, extending his lead at the top of the Castrol EDGE Race for 2012. Has anyone ever dominated a race series quite like the outstanding Frenchman? Looking at the statistics, it is hard to argue against Loeb (7th) being one of the most dominant forces in world motorsport today after an unbroken spell of eight titles in the past eight years, including 70 wins, 106 podiums and 831 stage victories. While it is undeniable therefore that Loeb represents a major tour de force, analysing whether his domination transcends that of anyone else is far harder to analyse.

What the statistics show is that Loeb’s dominance is no unique thing: it can be matched in several other series, and indeed other drivers have had more emphatic seasons. His longevity, however, is something not even Michael Schumacher (32nd), with seven titles, can compare to.

Gary Paffett won the first DTM race of the season at Hokenheim. Who are the drivers to watch in this season’s Championship?This year’s DTM field has been shaken up considerably by the return of the Castrol EDGE sponsored BMW team. Last year’s champion Martin Tomczyk (58th) finds himself in the RMG BMW squad whilst three-time WTCC champion Andy Priaulx, and his former WTCC team-mate Augusto Farfus, will pilot the RBM M3 in 2012.

Mattias Ekstrom (45th) is another obvious contender, racing for Audi’s Team Abt. Bruno Spengler (71st) has finished runner-up twice previously, while Timo Scheider (96th) has gone better and is a double champion in the category. Hockenheim race winner Gary Paffett also has a DTM title to his name back in 2005.

Future ‘ones to watch’ come from the Mercedes Junior Team, which will be mentored by F1 legend Michael Schumacher. Three drivers have been signed as junior drivers for this season – last year’s Formula Renault 3.5 champion Robert Wickens (104th), F3 Euro Series champion Roberto Merhi (110th) and German youngster Christian Vietoris (90th).