TouringCarTimes’ Top 30 drivers of 2023: 30-21
As we enter the first days of 2024, it’s time for TouringCarTimes’ rundown of the Top 30 touring car drivers in the world. This is where our staff makes their choice based on the 2023 season.
We will present what we rank as the best touring car drivers from the major international and national series over the coming days, including the BTCC, Supercars, TCR World Tour and TCR Europe.
TouringCarTimes Driver of the Year – Hall of fame
2007 – Mattias Ekström
2008 – Yvan Muller
2009 – Colin Turkington
2010 – Jason Plato
2011 – Rob Huff
2012 – Gordon Shedden
2013 – Jamie Whincup
2014 – José María López
2015 – José María López/Mark Winterbottom
2016 – Shane van Gisbergen
2017 – Norbert Michelisz
2018 – Scott McLaughlin
2019 – Colin Turkington
2020 – René Rast
2021 – Shane van Gisbergen
2022 – Shane van Gisbergen
Let’s begin with positions 30-21
30 – Martin Cao – TCR China – Hyundai N Team – 4 wins
Martin Cao claimed the 2023 title in a rejuvenated TCR China season which saw a large grid of mainly local drivers, but also some international – including main title rival and former TCR Europe driver Jack Young. Martin Cao claimed a total of four victories to secure the title with a margin of 19 points.
29 – Carl Boardley – TCR UK – CBM with Hart GT – 4 wins
Carl Boardley clinched the 2023 TCR UK title in his debut season, having previously raced in the BTCC since 2018. After a tentative start to the season, the Cupra driver shone at mid-point, scoring a total of four wins from the race weekends at Oulton, Knockhill and Silverstone. Boardley clinched the title with a margin of 52 points over main rival Alex Ley.
28 – John Filippi – TCR Europe – Comtoyou Racing – 3 wins
John Filippi drove a consistent TCR Europe season to finish second overall, sandwiched by Comtoyou Racing team-mates Tom Coronel and Kobe Pauwels. The Frenchman notched up a total of three wins throughout the season, also joining the TCR World Tour season finale in Macau where he claimed two top ten finishes while aiding Audi’s title hope Rob Huff.
27 – Ricky Collard – BTCC – Speedworks Motorsport – 1 podium
Ricky Collard wouldn’t have expected to end the BTCC season as top Toyota but he impressed throughout the 2023 campaign – having come out of retirement after a matter of months. Should have scored a win and was left to rue track limits, but Collard showed what he could do more than once and is certainly one to watch in the future.
26 – Néstor Girolami – TCR World Tour – ALM Motorsport/Wall Racing/MacPro Racing – 1 win
Néstor Girolami fought tooth and nail throughout the inaugural TCR World Tour in the sole full season Honda entry, fighting considerable larger competitor teams. The Argentinian driver drove consistently to five podium finishes, but could not match the pace at the very top of the field. Girolami still finished a respectable sixth overall, despite racing for three different teams throughout the season.
25 – Andre Heimgartner – Supercars – Brad Jones Racing – 6 podium
Andre Heimgartner took his Brad Jones Racing-prepared Chevrolet Camaro to seventh place overall in the 2023 Supercars Championship season. While the Kiwi missed out on the top step, he drove a consistent season to claim a total of six podium finishes which included no less than four second place finishes.
24 – Niels Langeveld – TCR Italy – MM Motorsport – 2 wins
Outgoing champion Niels Langveld was involved in a tough season-long TCR Italy title fight with Franco Girolami. The Dutchman only missed the podium on three occasions, but it wasn’t enough to beat Girolami during the competitive TCR Italy season and Langeveld had to settle for second overall.
23 – Dan Cammish – BTCC – Motorbase Performance – 3 wins
On his day, he had the pace to at least match team-mate Ash Sutton and was the early leader in the BTCC standings – so Dan Cammish would have hoped for more than sixth in the points. A mistake at Snetterton would prove costly whilst the hefty accident at Donington Park that ruled him out of race day was unfortunate – and also impacted on the following event at Silverstone. Will hope for more next year.
22 – Kobe Pauwels – TCR Europe – Comtoyou Racing – 6 wins
Kobe Pauwels headed to the final TCR Europe race of the season in Spain just eight points from team-mate and title rival Tom Coronel after an impressive season with six wins, more than anyone in the series. But an unfortunate technical issue in the final race put the Belgian driver out of contention, dropping behind team-mates Coronel and John Filippi to finish a respectable third overall.
21 – Ignacio Montenegro – TCR South America – Squadra Martino – 5 wins
Ignacio Montenegro got off to a flying start in the 2023 TCR South America season, winning three of the first four races. The Honda driver, who is set for TCR Europe in 2024, suffered a tough final part of the season, but his total of five wins and seven podium finishes was enough for him to claim the title with a margin of 16 points over Toyota rival Bernardo Llaver.
Positions 20 to 11 to follow later this week.