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Top 50 racing drivers of 2017: 30-21
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Top 50 racing drivers of 2017: 30-21

Motorsport.com's sister publication Autosport counts down the top 50 racing drivers of 2017 in a five-part feature series.

5th in World Endurance Championship, Le Mans pole winner

Re-entry

Photo by: Toyota Racing

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.

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Top 50 racing drivers of 2017: 40-31

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