Crash.net is unveiling its top 100 drivers and riders from across the motorsport world from 2018 with a countdown on each day until New Year’s Eve! Check back tomorrow for the top 40-21 entries, and let us know in the comments if we’ve made the right choices.

60. Michael Christensen – 24 Hours of Le Mans GTE-Pro winner; WEC GTE-Pro, 1st (season ongoing)

Porsche may no longer be racing in the premier class of sports car racing, but it celebrated its 70th birthday in style with a dominant one-two finish in the GTE-Pro class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans back in June.

Porsche’s charge was led by Michael Christensen, Kevin Estre and Laurens Vanthoor in the #92 Porsche 911 RSR, complete with its ‘pink pig’ classic livery.

Top 10 of F1 2018 Moments

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Christensen proved himself to be one of the leader GT drivers in the world this year, adding victory at Fuji and podiums at Spa, Silverstone and Shanghai to his WEC season so far to give himself and Estre a commanding points lead in the GTE-Pro standings heading into the new year.

59. Felipe Nasr – IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, 1st

After exiting Formula 1 at the end of 2016 following two years with Sauber, Felipe Nasr spent a year off the grid before re-emerging at January’s Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Having secured a move into sports cars with Action Express Racing in IMSA’s top class, Nasr quickly made a splash by taking P2 in the 24-hour race, setting the stage for a charge to his first title win since British Formula 3 back in 2011.

Alongside Eric Curran, Nasr hit the podium five times through the IMSA season, giving him not only the title but also the North American Endurance Cup.

58. Sergio Perez - Formula 1, 8th

Perez may have been beaten more often than not on a Saturday by teammate Ocon but the Mexican saved his best performances until Sunday. Perez scored an extra 13 points to help the rebranded Force India squad recover to seventh in the constructors’ championship having forfeited its previous points tally, while he also played a big role in aiding the team’s off-track issues.

He was beaten to the ‘best of the rest’ tag by former teammate Nico Hulkenberg, though a series of strong displays - including his drive to fifth in Belgium - ensured another impressive campaign. Perez was also the only driver outside of F1’s leading three teams (Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull) to manage a podium, claiming a brilliant third place in Baku.

57. Sandro Cortese – World Supersport, 1st

After five underwhelming years fighting in Moto2, Sandro Cortese was a rider renewed moving into World Supersport and rediscovered his title-winning form from 2012 when he secured the Moto3 world championship.

An impressive start to his rookie campaign with third place at Phillip Island was followed by a maiden victory in his third race at Aragon before kick-starting his title charge for Kallio Racing Yamaha with a win at Donington Park. Despite not winning again in 2018, five rostrums in the final six races took full advantage of his rivals’ DNFs to seal the title in Qatar by 23 points.

Top 10 Moments of MotoGP 2018

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56. Kevin Estre - 24 Hours of Le Mans GTE-Pro winner; WEC GTE-Pro, 1st (season ongoing)

Everywhere that Christensen went, Kevin Estre was with him, marginally establishing himself as the car leader with a number of stand-out displays through 2018.

But Estre wasn’t only impressive in the WEC, also completing race duties for Porsche in GT3, where he hit the podium at Bathurst, and scored pole for the Nurburgring 24.

55. Fabio Di Giannantonio – Moto3, 2nd

A regular podium contender over the past two years, the Italian may have had to play second-fiddle to his title-winning team-mate Jorge Martin but Fabio Di Giannantonio consistently notched up the points to eventually take the runner-up spot off Marco Bezzecchi at the final round.

Maiden Moto3 wins, which arrived in the Czech Republic and Thailand, underlined the 20-year-old’s class in tricky situations with four additional podiums providing consistency to his 2018 campaign  to cap the perfect season for Gresini Racing.

54. Miguel Oliveira – Moto2, 2nd

Another runner-up but the only rider in Moto2 who could take the title challenge to Francesco Bagnaia. Red Bull KTM’s qualifying woes throughout the season heavily hampered the Portuguese’s efforts but he was still able to produce three wins plus nine additional rostrums – meaning he only finished off the podium on six occasions all year.

Despite enjoying consistent success climbing the ranks up to MotoGP, where he will make his debut in 2019 with Tech3 KTM, Oliveira’s is still yet to win a title with his 2018 Moto2 runner-up honour going alongside his 2015 Moto3 second place and 2017 Moto2 third place.

53. Martin Truex Jr. – NASCAR Monster Energy Cup, 2nd

Martin Truex Jr. entered 2018 hopeful of defending his maiden NASCAR Cup title from 2017, only to fall narrowly short of back-to-back championships after a late defeat to Joey Logano.

Truex was a perennial front-runner in NASCAR once again this year, taking wins at Fontana, Pocono, Sonoma and Kentucky, and suffered a near-miss in the inaugural NASCAR ‘roval’ race after a clash with Jimmie Johnson.

Consistency allowed Truex to once again reach the Championship 4 showdown at Homestead, only to be passed late on by Logano and find himself unable to respond, leaving him to settle for runner-up honours in 2018.

52. Kamui Kobayashi – WEC LMP1, 2nd (season ongoing); Super Formula and Super GT race winner

Kamui Kobayashi enjoyed another year of racing across a number of series through 2018, completing programmes in the FIA World Endurance Championship, Super Formula and Super GT.

Kobayashi was particularly impressive in the WEC with Toyota as he took his first win in the series for two years on home soil at Fuji. Another win followed in Shanghai, coming from pole position, with qualifying being a particular strong-point for Kobayashi this year.

Defeat to the sister #8 Toyota car at Le Mans will have hurt Kobayashi, who had a thankless task in the final stint after two penalties were incurred by the pit wall. But he will enter next year’s race as one of the favourites, particularly with his qualifying lap record still intact.

Kobayashi also took a win in Super GT at Buriram and hit the podium in Super Formula at Okayama to complete an impressive year for the ex-F1 racer.

51. Sam Bird – Formula E, 3rd; WEC GTE-Pro, 9th (season ongoing)

Sam Bird continued his record of entering the Formula E season finale as a title contender in 2018 after taking the fight to Jean-Eric Vergne, only to fall short at drop to P3 in the final standings.

But he remained one of the stand-out drivers in the all-electric series, seen most strongly with a superb win in Rome as he clinched his best championship finish.

Bird was also able to hit the podium in the WEC with AF Corse, taking P3 at Spa despite the Ferrari team being hamstrung with BoP and its new Ferrari 488 GTE Evo that limited the Briton to P6 in class at Le Mans.

It’s a matter of timing for Sam Bird. Once the stars align, he will be very, very difficult to beat indeed.

50. Chaz Davies – World Superbike, 2nd

Despite an impressive start to 2018, finishing on the podium in six out of the opening seven races including two race wins, the final year of the Ducati V-Twin Panigale R was always going to be tricky against rivals with updated machinery.

Chaz Davies’ World Superbike season became doubly hard suffering two separate collarbone breaks across the summer, meaning he was battling the pain barrier throughout the final rounds, but successfully saw off Yamaha’s Michael van der Mark to secure second place in the riders’ championship.

It means Davies has three runner-up championship finishes across his past four campaigns (with third place in the other one) during Jonathan Rea’s domination to keep him in strong favour with Ducati ahead of the arrival of the new V4 R for 2019. 

 

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