Crash is unveiling its top 100 from across the motorsport globe from 2017 with a countdown on each day until New Year’s Eve! Check back tomorrow for the top 60-41 entries and let us know if we’ve made the right choices.

Check out Crash's Top 100 for 2017: Part 2 (80-61)

 

60. Jorge Lorenzo – MotoGP, 7th

All eyes were on Lorenzo after being the biggest mover for 2017 in MotoGP having left the factory Yamaha squad after nine years for a fresh challenge at Ducati. The Spanish rider endured an indifferent start to life with the Italian manufacturer but was given some hope in the form of a maiden rostrum at just the fourth race of the year in Jerez.

Despite scoring points at the following eight races Lorenzo couldn’t return to the podium, including some disappointing finishes at Assen, Sachsenring and Brno, but did return to the rostrum at Aragon with another third place.

Second place behind title-fighting team-mate Andrea Dovizioso in Malaysia gave a somewhat mixed response as he threatened to derail his team-mate’s MotoGP title fight, which arose again at the finale in Valencia to produce some uncomfortable questions to his methods.

59. Alessandro Pier Guidi - FIA WEC GTE-Pro, champion

An Italian driver racing for Ferrari is a dream for many, yet few get to live it. Not only did Alessandro Pier Guidi do exactly that in 2016, but he was able to place a cherry on top of the cake by winning the first ever world championship in the WEC’s GTE-Pro class alongside teammate James Calado.

Pier Guidi had big shoes to fill following Gianmaria Bruni’s defection to Porsche, yet he was a consistent performer throughout the year, regularly matching Calado’s pace.

Even with a tough Le Mans, the pair racked up three wins and four further podiums, and even conceded victory to the sister AF Corse car at the finale in Bahrain. As debut seasons in the WEC go, Pier Guidi’s was pretty much perfect - all that is now missing is a Le Mans win.

58. Sergio Perez – F1, 7th

In a repeat of his 2016 campaign, the ultra-consistent Perez finished seventh in the F1 standings for the second year running and helped Force India to a second straight fourth place in a row in the constructors’ world championship.

The Mexican’s year missed the gloss of last season with no rostrums to show for his efforts, fourth place in Spain was his closest effort this year, while an uncomfortable rivalry which spilled into rules of engagements after track clashes with new team-mate Esteban Ocon threatened to destabilise the Force India team.

57. Simon Pagenaud - IndyCar, 2nd

Simon Pagenaud’s IndyCar title defence proved a difficult one as he lost out to newly-arrived Penske teammate Josef Newgarden, but he once again emerged as a consistent performer in a series known for its unpredictability.

Pagenaud didn't finish outside of the top five until the Indianapolis 500, where he once again underperformed, qualifying 23rd and finishing 14th in a race that saw a number of his rivals fall by the wayside.

That and the following race in Detroit were the only races he failed to finish inside the top 10, yet just two further podiums and one win after Indy hurt his title hopes as Newgarden took three victories in four races.

A better Indy could have seen Pagenaud become IndyCar’s first back-to-back champion since Dario Franchitti in 2011. Alas, there is room for improvement from the Frenchman.

56. Ian Hutchinson – Roads Racing

The Bingley Bullet became the third most successful rider in the history of the Isle of Man TT with two wins in 2017 in the Superbike and Superstock races to take his career tally up to 16 wins.

Hutchinson was leading the Senior TT before a crash at the 27th milestone in which he suffered a broken femur and ankle which he’s been battling back for the rest of this year in preparation for a 2018 comeback.

55. Kimi Raikkonen - Formula 1, 4th

2017 proved to be much of the same old story for Kimi Raikkonen at Ferrari: one of underperformance, struggles against his teammate, disappointed and a nonplussed reaction to it all.

Ferrari’s pre-season promise gave Raikkonen hope of rekindling his former glories, and while he was able to take pole in Monaco, victory eluded him as Ferrari played its strategy in favour of title-chasing Sebastian Vettel.

Raikkonen had too many quiet days, and while it was statistically his best season in F1 since his comeback year in 2012, it was perhaps almost his most disappointing. Whereas Valtteri Bottas was able to help Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton’s title hopes by nicking points off Vettel (see Russia and Austria), Raikkonen rarely was able to put up a fight to the Silver Arrows. A renewal at Ferrari arrived as expected so as to not rock the boat, but you have to think that another year like this would surely spell the end for Raikkonen at Maranello.

54. Danilo Petrucci – MotoGP, 8th

Another MotoGP rider to enjoy a breakthrough campaign in 2017 on the hotly fancied Pramac Ducati, Petrucci notched up four rostrum results across the season – the most of any non-factory rider.

Petrucci led and came close to victory at Mugello, Assen and Misano before having to settle for just a podium position but eighth place in the riders’ championship marks his best year in the premier class and he ended the year just 13 points off factory Ducati and former world champion Jorge Lorenzo.

53. Kyle Busch - NASCAR, 2nd

After a slow start to the year, Kyle Busch slowly emerged as a force through the NASCAR season to book himself a place in the championship showdown at Homestead, only to fall agonisingly short of a second Cup crown.

Busch led over 1,000 laps in 2017 before finally leading the final one at Pocono in July, passing Kevin Harvick late on to book himself a place in the play-offs and snap the longest winless streak of his NASCAR career.

Busch hit a fine vein of form as the season wore on, taking further wins at Bristol, New Hampshire and Dover before securing a place in the championship finale with victory at Martinsville. However, it was driver of the year Martin Truex Jr. who captured the championship, edging out Busch in a tight battle to the chequered flag in Miami.

52. Ashley Sutton – British Touring Car Championship, 1st

In just his second season in BTCC Sutton stormed to the drivers’ title ahead of experienced contenders Colin Turkington and Gordon Shedden. Sutton recovered from a disastrous opening round at Brands Hatch Indy to be a consistent rostrum challenger while six wins to his name guided his title charge on his return to the Kent circuit at the season finale.

Sutton is a major rising star in touring car racing having also won the Renault UK Clio Cup in 2015 before graduating to BTCC.

51. Sam Bird - Formula E, 4th; FIA WEC GTE-Pro, 5th

Sam Bird enjoyed another year racing on two fronts in 2017 as he combined programmes in Formula E and the WEC, tasting success in both categories.

Bird led DS Virgin Racing’s charge for the third straight year, bouncing back from an unlucky start to the year to unlock the car’s potential late in the season, winning both races in New York in style. He then went on to dominate the opening race of the new Formula E campaign in Hong Kong earlier this month, sending out an early warning shot as a title hopeful.

Over in WEC, Bird’s title hopes were always going to be incredibly slim due to him missing the Nurburgring race due to Formula E commitments. His win at Spa alongside Davide Rigon was one of the best-taken in the series all year long, while a final victory in Bahrain capped off a solid year for the Briton, which he celebrated by getting engaged in parc ferme.

50. Pierre Gasly - Super Formula, 2nd; Formula 1, 21st

Super Formula is one of the toughest championships on the planet right now, yet Pierre Gasly was able to get to grips with life in the Japanese series quite quickly. After winning the GP2 title last year, Red Bull opted to place its outstanding junior in Super Formula for 2017 with the Honda-linked Team Mugen.

Gasly recorded his first top five finish at Fuji before taking back-to-back wins at Motegi and Autopolis to move into the thick of the title fight, sitting half a point back heading into the Suzuka double-header finale.

With Daniil Kvyat being booted out to make room for Gasly at Toro Rosso in F1, his Malaysia debut was solid if unspectacular, but the Super Formula showdown still beckoned given his title hopes despite the clash with the United States Grand Prix. Ultimately the weekend was cancelled, leaving Gasly half a point short of the crown. Nevertheless, it was a hugely impressive year for Gasly that even included a strong one-off Formula E appearance in New York. For 2018, the big leagues beckon as he races full-time in F1 with Toro Rosso.

47. Kamui Kobayashi - FIA WEC LMP1, 5th

It was a strange year for Kamui Kobayashi. No race wins, only three podiums and fifth place in the championship doesn’t seem like much to shout about, yet the Toyota driver once again established himself as one of the quickest drivers in the WEC.

Kobayashi and teammate Mike Conway carried the #8 Toyota team through the year, taking pole at Silverstone, only for Jose Maria Lopez to crash out on debut. They were dominant through the race at Spa, but finished second behind the sister Toyota car after being screwed by full course yellows not once, but twice!

Kobayashi’s finest 2017 moment came at Le Mans in qualifying when he produced the fastest lap in the history of the race, regardless of how you measure it. But Toyota’s reliability woes meant victory proved elusive.

Kobayashi was excellent throughout this season. Even if he is flirting with a future in Formula E, he has a firm place in the WEC and with Toyota, and can be instrumental to its success in the ‘super season’.

49. Jordan Taylor - IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship DPi, champion

Brothers Jordan and Ricky Taylor were very evenly matched throughout their victorious IMSA campaign, but the latter gets the edge in our final rankings (as you will soon see).

That is not to discredit Jordan greatly, though. On the contrary, his pace was consistent throughout the year as he and Ricky combined for five consecutive victories to start out the season for the family-run Wayne Taylor Racing team.

The Rolex 24 win was somewhat controversial given the late clash between Ricky Taylor and Filipe Albuquerque, but went unpenalised, setting the brother driver duo up for maiden IMSA title success. With Ricky off to Penske’s new Acura team for 2018, it will be left to Jordan to lead WTR.

48. Ricky Taylor - IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship DPi, champion

Yes, Jordan and Ricky Taylor were in fact so evenly matched, we only though it fair to put them together in our final countdown for 2017.

The main reason Ricky gets the edge is for his qualifying form. Five pole positions from 10 races were down to him, two of which were in races that the Taylors went on to win.

As mentioned, his bump on Albuquerque in the Rolex 24 blurred the line over fair contact - if there is such a thing - while racing, but he got the job done and overturned the deficit the team faced heading into the final few laps.

The Penske-Acura deal for 2018 has a huge amount of promise. It will be fascinating to see how Taylor gets outside of his family’s umbrella.

46. Rene Rast – DTM, 1st

In effectively his first full season in DTM, the factory Audi driver surprised all his rivals by sealing the 2017 drivers’ title despite being a relative outsider for Audi Sport Team Rosberg. A strong sportscar background with a trio of Porsche Supercup titles as well as impressive campaigns in FIA GT, Blancpain GT and the World Endurance Championship but the all-new challenge of DTM never phased the German by reaching the rostrum in the third race of the year.

Pole positions and victories followed at the Hungaroring and Moscow Raceway while he triumphed in the frantic finale by overhauling two-time DTM champion Mattias Ekstrom’s points lead with second place.

45. Peter Hickman – BSB (4th), Roads Racing

Arguably the most versatile and successful rider on the planet currently competing having tasted victory on the roads and short circuits over the past few years, Peter Hickman continued his climb up the pecking order at both the Isle of Man TT and the British Superbike championship.

In BSB, a first graduation into the top six Showdown granted Hickman his best-ever season in the series and ended the year in fourth place with just one DNF all year – the most consistent points finisher on the grid. His year was capped by victory in race two at Thruxton along with a pair of rostrums.

At the Isle of Man TT, Hickman claimed the Joey Dunlop trophy thanks to his accumulation of podiums by standing on the rostrum in every race in 2017. The only thing missing now is a maiden Isle of Man TT victory after three 2nd places and two 3rd places.

44. Mike Conway - FIA WEC LMP1, 5th

Kamui Kobayashi may have been the fastest Toyota driver over a single lap, but it was Mike Conway who stole the show when it came to the races, making it a cruel injustice he was left winless at the end of the year.

Conway’s finest hour came at Spa when he gapped the field early on, only for a full course yellow to play against the #8 Toyota and leave it 20 seconds behind the leader in P2. Conway put his foot down and whittled the gap to nothing, but his hard work was undone by a second FCY, leaving them second at the line.

With a little more luck, Le Mans could and probably should have fallen Toyota’s way, but Conway should take great heart from his displays this year. He was consistent, quick and the safest pair of hands in the Toyota #8 team come the races.

43. Scott Dixon - IndyCar, 3rd

An omnipresent force at the front of the IndyCar field, Scott Dixon enjoyed another close run towards the title in 2017, only to wind up third in the final standings behind the Penske duo of Josef Newgarden and Simon Pagenaud.

Dixon’s season was one of his toughest in recent years, featuring just a single race victory that came at Road America in June. What made it so remarkable was the fact that it came just one month after a horrific crash during the Indianapolis 500 that saw Dixon’s car be catapulted into the catch-fencing on the infield, only for him to walk away relatively unharmed. He didn’t miss a single race.

Dixon was again impressive at Le Mans with Ford Chip Ganassi Racing, and his stunning charge to pole position for the Indy 500 cannot be underplayed. With a little more luck - and, frankly, a finish at the ‘500 - he may well have been toasting a fifth title in 2017.

42. James Calado - FIA WEC GTE-Pro, champion

Alongside teammate Alessandro Pier Guidi, James Calado captured the first world championship for the GTE-Pro class in the WEC this year with AF Corse, seeing off a stern test from the Ford, Aston Martin and Porsche factory teams.

Calado stepped up as the leader in the #51 Ferrari 488 GTE this year following Gianmaria Bruni’s departure, but proved his years learning from the GT great had been very well-spent. He was excellent throughout the year, even if bad luck and a mistake at Le Mans ended their hopes of taking victory at the Circuit de la Sarthe.

The wins at the Nurburgring, COTA and Fuji were very well-taken, with a four-race run of podiums at the backend of the season giving them the required lift to capture the GTE-Pro title.

Calado may have been forced to sports cars in 2014 due to a lack of options in single-seaters, but in four seasons, he has conquered the world and established himself as one of the safest pairs of hands in GT racing.

41. Tom Sykes – World Superbikes, 3rd

A tricky campaign for Sykes compared to Kawasaki team-mate Jonathan Rea who effectively didn’t put a wheel wrong all 2017 but the Yorkshire-based rider did maintain his run of top three championship finishes which began back in 2012.

A consistent rostrum finisher, Sykes tasted victory twice in 2017 at the Donington Park and Misano opening races plus four pole positions through the season. His year was somewhat stalled by a nasty hand injury suffered in a fiery crash at Portimao which ruled him out of the races in Portugal.

Crash is unveiling its top 100 from across the motorsport globe from 2017 with a countdown on each day until New Year’s Eve! Check back tomorrow for the top 60-41 entries and let us know if we’ve made the right choices.

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I doubt that you will place Miguel Oliveira in the top 40, but since he wasn't listed in the bottom 60, I hope he won't be left out of that list as his final 3 races of 2017 were of total dominance...