Priaulx reigns supreme in Expert mini league
Triple WTCC champion Andy Priaulx celebrated victory on two fronts in the final round of the Castrol EDGE Grand Prix Predictor, topping the game week and triumphing in our Experts’ season leader board.
Priaulx had led the Experts mini league heading into the decisive Brazilian Grand Prix, but his margin stood at just 11 points over sportscar ace Darren Turner and 25 over three-time grand prix winner Johnny Herbert – meaning a strong weekend for any of the trio would have been enough to seal victory.
As it was however Priaulx’s bold calls paid dividends, and he was the only Expert to make two perfect predictions for the top three – Sebastian Vettel in second and Jenson Button in third giving him an early advantage.
Turner, Priaulx’s nearest challenger, also scored well by selecting Button for third and Vettel for victory, earning 15 points in the process.
For Hebert things were less successful, as his shout of Vettel for victory and Fernando Alonso for third returned only 10 points, leaving him with an early deficit to try and recover.
As the only Expert to correctly back Nico Rosberg for seventh Herbert was able to make up some ground, while five-point hauls for Button in fourth and Felipe Massa in sixth helped him to a total of 32 points for his final week.
Turner scored the exact same total, his extra points coming courtesy of Alonso in fifth, Massa in sixth and Rosberg in eighth.
In truth though the Experts needed a podium bonus if they were to overhaul Priaulx – a hope which faded for every Expert when Lewis Hamilton retired from the grand prix, the Briton having finished inside the top three in every prediction.
That retirement worked to Priaulx’s advantage, and he built upon his early results with five-point totals for Massa in fourth, Rosberg in eighth and Vitaly Petrov in ninth, earning 39 points in total.
That was enough for Priaulx to get the better of Turner, Herbert and AUTOSPORT pair Edd Straw and Jonathan Noble in the final game week, and in doing so round out a victorious campaign in the Expert mini league in style.
Noble and Straw’s ending was of a more inglorious nature. Straw missed out on any perfect predictions, taking the lowest game week total with 27 points.
Noble trumped that by two, taking one absolute maximum by backing Button for third, but he could not climb from the bottom of the Expert league, finishing the season almost 100 points down on Priaulx.