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 20 entries, and let us know in the comments if we’ve made the right choices.

40. Gary Paffett - DTM, 1st

Somewhat fittingly, Paffett helped Mercedes seal its first DTM title since 2010 in its final season in Germany’s premier category of touring cars, as he also clinched his second championship crown in the process, becoming just the second non-German driver to do so.

Paffett took three victories on his way to fending off nearest challengers Rene Rast and Paul di Resta. Rast set up a tense finale thanks to his record of six consecutive wins at the end of the season but Paffett ultimately held his nerve to prevail, sealing the title with a third-place finish at the final race at Hockenheim.

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39. Maverick Vinales - MotoGP, 4th

A challenging second season at Movistar Yamaha for Maverick Vinales which ended on a high despite ongoing frustrations. The Japanese manufacturer’s development headache appeared to hamper Vinales the most with just three podiums across the opening 13 races.

But the Spaniard, through consistently scoring points even if fewer than expected, remained comfortably inside the top five in the riders’ championship throughout 2018. With Yamaha’s late-season surge a podium in Thailand and a long-awaited win in Australia added a little gloss to an underwhelming campaign on his way to fourth place in the standings behind team-mate Valentino Rossi.

38. Marco Bezzecchi - Moto3, 3rd

A rank outsider for a Moto3 title tilt at the start of 2018, Marco Bezzecchi almost single-handedly led the KTM charge against his Honda rivals finishing as the only rider on Austrian machinery inside the top six of the riders’ championship.

Bezzecchi’s consistency, albeit finishing regularly behind eventual title-winner Jorge Martin, saw him become the Spaniard’s final title challenger before coming up short in Malaysia.

A crash out of the final race allowed Fabio Di Giannantonio to scrape into second place in the final standings but with three wins and six additional podiums Bezzecchi surprised all.

37. Ott Tanak - World Rally Championship, 3rd

After an average start to 2018, one podium from the opening three rounds, Ott Tanak and Toyota were always playing catching up but a run of four wins from six events in the middle third of the campaign ignited a surprise title charge – even if the Estonian denied it at every opportunity.

But with three rounds to go and off the back of three consecutive WRC wins, Tanak’s momentum had his rivals worried but he came unstuck at Wales Rally GB meaning he had to settle for third place. It still matched his 2017 breakthrough campaign.

36. Mick Schumacher - European Formula 3, 1st

Schumacher made a slow start to his second season in European F3 with leading outfit Prema but after claiming his maiden race win at Spa, the scene of his father, seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher’s first F1 victory, the 19-year-old’s form took off.

In total, Schumacher claimed eight victories - including five in a row at the Nurburgring and Red Bull Ring - to propel himself from title outsider to eventual champion as he surged clear of the highly-rated Red Bull protege Dan Ticktum in the standings. For much of the second half of 2018 Schumacher was untouchable in a very competitive field, resulting in a deserved move up to F2 for 2019.

35. Ana Carrasco, World Supersport 300, 1st

The history-making 21-year-old became the first female rider to win a solo world motorcycle title as she fought off the intensely competitive World Supersport 300 field.

Back-to-back wins from Imola and Donington Park placed Carrasco firmly at the front of the title race and despite failing to finish inside the top nine at the final four races she held on to take the title by just one point from Mika Perez to make history and headlines around the world.

34. Joey Logano – NASCAR Monster Energy Cup, 1st

NASCAR’s ‘Big 3’ drivers may be Martin Truex Jr., Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch, but it was a fourth who crashed their party to snatch away his maiden Cup title in 2018.

Joey Logano didn’t have the kind of form his rivals enjoyed through the year, taking only three wins to the eight of Busch and Harvick, and nine fewer top-fives than said duo. But he was able to fly under the radar to get himself into the Championship 4 showdown at Homestead.

Logano managed to pull late pass on Truex before pulling clear in the final few laps of the season and crossing the line to capture his maiden Cup title.

33. Dan Ticktum - European Formula 3, 2nd

Ticktum was the favourite for the 2018 European F3 title for much of the campaign and recorded four wins but ultimately lost out to Schumacher in the title race following the German and Prema’s surge in the second half of the season.

Ticktum was arguably the more consistent driver throughout the season and the Briton turned in a number of impressive drives, most notably winning the Norisring finale just hours after emerging unscathed from a huge start-line shunt in the second race.

Ticktum ended 2018 with a dominant performance to claim his second successive Macau GP win, with Schumacher only fifth.

32. Kazuki Nakajima – 24 Hours of Le Mans, 1st; WEC LMP1, 1st(season ongoing)

Two years on from the agonising late defeat at Le Mans for which he wrongly blamed himself, Kazuki Nakajima finally got to lead Toyota over the line first at the Circuit de la Sarthe and clinch its maiden overall victory.

Nakajima pulled his weight in Toyota’s all-star #8 car line-up this year, the outstanding moment being his pole lap at Le Mans. For all of the doubts he could get close to Kamui Kobayashi’s lap record from 2017, Nakajima was just six-tenths shy in qualifying, setting the tone for Toyota’s dominant win.

Nakajima enters 2019 leading the drivers’ championship along with Fernando Alonso and Sebastien Buemi, and will continue to balance his duties across three series. He took podiums in both Super GT and Super Formula in 2018.

31. Cal Crutchlow, MotoGP, 7th

A storming start to 2018 highlighted by victory in a crazy Argentina race saw Cal Crutchlow lead the MotoGP world championship for the first time in his career.

Crutchlow continued to impress as the lead Independent rider throughout the European stretch of the season. Despite being denied a return to the podium until Misano, coming close by finishing fourth on two occasions before the San Marino round, Crutchlow’s charge to second place in Japan in front of Honda’s home crowd showed his worth to the manufacturer.

Unfortunately, a nasty leg break during practice in Australia curtailed Crutchlow’s season early as he missed the final three rounds, meaning he would slip down the MotoGP riders’ championship to seventh despite comfortably leading the Independents’ race.

Follow Page 2 for 30-21 in the Top 100...

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