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Top 10 Motorsports Moments of 2013

From Michael Essa’s Formula Drift Championship to the Pirelli Controversy

Annette Carrion
Dec 20, 2013 SHARE

When it comes to motorsports, the thrill of taking a corner at speed, breaking a record, or celebrating a win after a particularly difficult race is unparalleled. The champions of the motorsports world know this all too well – whether it’s Michael Essa sliding sideways in his BMW E46, or French rally legend Sebastien Loeb pushing his Peugeot to the limit at Pikes Peak, the passion behind the wheel is all the same.

Before we enter the New Year, we want to take a moment to reflect on 2013 and its motorsports champions, records set, and controversies. Because even though there is much to celebrate, like Bentley’s return to the motorsports scene after being absent for a decade, it’s difficult to ignore the disagreeable side of motorsports such as the Pirelli controversy in F1.

More than anything though, we want to highlight what a great year 2013 was for motorsports, which is why we have compiled a list of the Top 10 Motorsports Moments of 2013. Enjoy this list and prepare to take 2014 by the wheel and conquer the roads that lie ahead.


Porsche 918 Spyder Hybrid Breaks 7-Minute Record at Nurburgring

Porsche 918 Spyder crew Photo 8/47   |   Porsche 918 Spyder Crew

Article excerpt: “The Porsche 918 Spyder has achieved any automaker’s dream at the famous Nurburgring Nordschleife circuit. An incredible time of just six minutes and 57sec was achieved around the 12.8-mile ring.”

Why it’s important: “This shaves 14sec off the previous record. Porsche factory driver Marc Lieb held an average speed of 111.5 mph to accomplish the goal - take that in for a minute.”

Full article: Porsche 918 Spyder Hybrid Breaks 7-Minute Record at Nurburgring


Formula Drift 2013 Season Finale: Essa Takes Championship

2013 formula drift season finale irwindale events center first eliminator top 32 Flipper Photo 12/47   |   2013 Formula Drift Season Finale Irwindale Events Center First Eliminator Top 32 Flipper

Article excerpt: “In its 10th year, Formula Drift, the world’s premiere drift series, concluded its 2013 season in a hail of firsts and controversy amongst a sold out crowd at Irwindale Speedway, CA. Michael Essa in the GSR Autosport / Yokohama BMW E46 M3 became 2013 Formula Drift champion after completing the inaugural season using this chassis.”

Why it’s important: “I think it really opens it up,” said Essa on his BMW winning the 2013 championship. “The series for a long time has just been domestics and Japanese imports so showing a European car can get on the podium and even with a brand new chassis, come out here and win the series - I would be surprised if I didn’t see more European cars running next year.”

Full article: Formula Drift 2013 Season Finale: Essa Takes Championship


Pirelli controversy in Formula 1

Pirelli Photo 16/47   |   Pirelli

Article excerpt: “As you may have read in the article on the Formula 1 British GP results, race teams and fans alike all wanted answers for the numerous tire explosions that took place last weekend. Pirelli has finally announced its reasoning behind the tire failures as three distinct causes: Rear tires were mounted incorrectly, low tire pressures, and extreme cambers and high curbs.”

Why it’s important: “To ensure something like this does not happen at the upcoming German GP, Pirelli will use a Kevlar construction replacing the current steel structure and re-introduce the belt of 2012. This is to ensure the most stability and road holding.”

Full article: Pirelli controversy in Formula 1


Sebastien Loeb sets Pikes Peak Record

Sebastien loeb pikes peak 3 Photo 17/47   |   Sebastien Loeb Pikes Peak 3

Article excerpt: “Sebastien Loeb, the most successful driver in rally history, broke the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb record this past weekend with a time of 8 minutes and 13.878sec in the Unlimited class. Breaking the record is an understatement as Loeb out did the previous record by over one minute at an average speed of 90mph.”

Why it’s important: Second place winner, Rhys Millen, driving the all-new Hyundai RMR PM580-T, said it best, “You have to hand it to Loeb and Peugeot Sport: they were unbeatable. That time they set was simply incredible. When will it be beaten? It might never be..."

Full article: Sebastien Loeb sets Pikes Peak Record


Alfa Romeo 4C Sets Nürburgring Record

2014 Alfa Romeo 4C 004 Photo 21/47   |   2014 Alfa Romeo 4C 004

Article excerpt: “The Alfa Romeo 4C has set a record-breaking lap time of eight minutes and 4sec at the Nordschleife - a historic Nürburgring circuit - with driver and journalist Horst von Saurma behind the wheel. This 4C time has set a new record for all cars under 250hp.”

Why it’s important: “Impressive to say the least and a point of reference for anyone considering the purchase of this compact but extremely capable Alfa Romeo 4C. Lotus Elise owners, eat your heart out.”

Full article: Alfa Romeo 4C Sets Nürburgring Record

Ken Block’s Gymkhana 6 & GRC Vegas Win

Gymkhana Six BTS 21 Photo 25/47   |   Gymkhana Six BTS 21

Article excerpt: “Gymkhana 5 was pure vehicular insanity, wrapped up in a series of epic locations with production value through the roof. For Gymkhana 6 though, Block went back to the original roots of the first videos; showing off car control, precision and just how nimble his batshit crazy 2013 Ford Fiesta ST RX43 on the sick fifteen52 wheels really is.”

Why it’s important: “It’s pretty amazing to see a group as talented as this come together to create something so f**ing awesome.”

Full article: Ken Block’s Gymkhana Six

GRC Vegas Win

Global Rallycross Las Vegas 2013 Ken Block Fiesta 05 Photo 29/47   |   Global Rallycross Las Vegas 2013 Ken Block Fiesta 05

Article excerpt: “The podium was also different from last year's. The ubiquitous 'hoonigan,' Ken Block - in mid-hype mode for his Gymkhana 6 video, picked up the first win of his GRC career. He beat defending series champion Tanner Foust and Travis Pastrana for the victory.”

Why it’s important: “It's been a bit of a tough year-I've had the speed but just haven't had the luck in the first turn," said Block. " It was fun battling with Travis earlier, fun battling with Tanner, but my team works incredibly hard, and it's great to finally give me and my team a win.”

Full article: Global Rallycross Las Vegas 2013


Volkswagen Wins WRC

Volkswagen wins 2013 WRC Photo 33/47   |   Volkswagen Wins 2013 WRC

Article excerpt: “I look back on an incredible year,” Ogier said after receiving the trophy. “If anybody had told us at the beginning of the season that Julien and I would end the season with nine wins and the World Championship title, I probably would have sent them straight to the team doctor.”

Why it’s important: “Dr Heinz-Jakob Neußer, a member of the Volkswagen management board for technical development, accepted the Manufacturers’ World Champion trophy. Never before had a manufacturer won this title in its first season.”

Full article: Volkswagen Wins WRC


Audi WEC Win

Audi wins WEC Photo 34/47   |   Audi wins WEC

Article excerpt: “Audi concluded an endurance racing year full of highlights in Bahrain. Audi Sport Team Joest decided six of the eight WEC rounds in its favor – one more than last year. The company celebrated the second title success in the manufacturer’s World Championship early with its hybrid sports car.”

Why it’s important: “Audi’s racing season is over now, but the squad has long begun to intensively prepare for 2014. That is when a fundamentally new set of regulations, rewarding the best efficiency, will come into effect in the WEC. Audi is developing a completely new race car for it that will make its racing debut in the WEC season opener at Silverstone on April 20, 2014.”

Full article: Audi WEC Win


Bentley’s Return to Motorsports

Bentley Continental GT3 with drivers Photo 35/47   |   Bentley Continental GT3 With Drivers

Article excerpt: “Bentley has been absent from the motorsports scene since its Le Mans win in 2003. Fortunately, the British automaker will be returning today, December 12, 2013, at the Gulf 12 Hours race running at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dabi. The Continental GT3 racecar is making its motorsports debut at the race as part of the development program ahead of the 2014 Blancpain Endurance Series.”

Why it’s important: A competent car means more competition on the grid, and a healthy sign that the Motorsports industry is on the up-and-up.

Full article: Bentley’s Return to Motorsports


2014 Range Rover Sport Sets Record at Pikes Peak


Article excerpt: “The production-vehicle set a record time at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Course. The SUV completed the course in 12 minutes and 35 seconds.”

Why it’s important: “The 2014 Range Rover’s Pikes Peak record is a testament of the SUV’s impressive capabilities, including its ability to conquer the rough terrain and set a record time while doing it.”

Full article: 2014 Range Rover Sport Sets Record at Pikes Peak


Ferrari 458s Win Grand-Am GT-Class Championship

Ferrari GT class championship crew Photo 42/47   |   Scuderia Corsa Ferrari

Article excerpt: “On September 28, 2013 Ferrari ended the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series on a high note by sweeping the GT-class Championship at Lime Rock Park, CT. Alessandro Balzan, driver of no. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia became the 2013 Rolex Series GT driver champion and secured the Rolex Series team championship for Scuderia Corsa.”

Why it’s important: The Scuderia Corsa team scores its first win and wins its first championship in its first complete Rolex Series, and Ferrari wins the manufacturer championship. Somewhere out there, former Ferrari factory driver and supporter Mario Andretti was probably celebrating the result.

Full article: Ferrari 458s Win Grand-Am GT-Class Championship


Bonus Entry:

Vettel and Hunt F1 Helmets Auctioned

Vettel helmet 002 Photo 46/47   |   Sebastian Vettel Arai Helmet
Lot 248 James Hunt Bell helmet Photo 47/47   |   James Hunt Bell Helmet

Article excerpt: “One enthusiast purchased the helmet of current F1 world champion Sebastian Vettel for a whopping $118521. Yes, you read that right. Vettel's helmet sale set a world record at Bonhams auction.”

Article excerpt: “Recently, the same Bell helmet Hunt wore in his 1976 Formula 1 world championship season went up for sale. How much would you pay for this incredible piece of history? One lucky buyer purchased the helmet for $61430 from Bonhams auctions.”

Why it’s important: “Whether you agree or disagree with the helmet's selling price there is no denying Vettel and Hunt’s lasting impression on F1 now shared with the masses thanks to Hollywood’s RUSH film.”

Full article: Sebastian Vettel Helmet Sells for $118521

Full article: James Hunt Helmet Sells for $61430

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By Annette Carrion
125 Articles

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