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

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

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

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

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

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

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