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5th in World Endurance Championship, Le Mans pole winner
That lap will be remembered for a long, long time. When the clocks stopped at 3m14.791s for Kamui Kobayashi in qualifying for the Le Mans 24 Hours, the Toyota driver gained himself a place in the record books and, surely in years to come, sportscar racing folklore.
The stars aligned for the fastest ever lap of the Circuit de la Sarthe in any configuration. There was a tail wind down the long Mulsanne Straight and a head wind into the Porsche Curves. And the Porsche Carrera Cup support event had laid a friendly layer of Michelin rubber.
Motorsport produced one of its greatest years of all-time in 2021 despite a backdrop of ongoing COVID-19 challenges and an ever-changing racing landscape. Through the non-stop action Motorsport.com has collected the finest moments from the past 12 months to highlight the incredible drama and joy motorsport generates.
Making it in motorsport can be tough, and sometimes drivers move elsewhere before their best chance arrives. Here are some of those who made it back
Joey Mawson made waves in the middle of the last decade, beating future Haas Formula 1 driver Mick Schumacher - among other highly-rated talents - to the 2016 German F4 title. A run in F1's feeder GP3 category only caused his career to stall, but now back in Australia Mawson's S5000 title success has set that to rights
Jean Todt has signalled that he will not stand for re-election as FIA president. Mark Gallagher analyses the strong credentials of one potential successor…
OPINION: The greed-driven push for a European Super League that threatened to tear football apart is collapsing at the seams. Motor racing's equivalent, the football-themed Superleague Formula series of 2008-11, was everything that the proposed ESL never could be.
The forthcoming Netflix film linking the world of underworld crime and motorsport plays on a theme that isn't exactly new. Over the years, several shady figures have attempted to make it in racing before their dubious dealings caught up with them.
Keeping trophies and momentos of key triumphs is par for the course for motorsport professionals, but what are the most cherished souvenirs picked up by the drivers and engineers who have seen and done it all?
Top 50 racing drivers of 2017: 40-31
Top 50 racing drivers of 2017: 20-11