TouringCarTimes’ Top 30 drivers of 2023: 10-1
We have arrived at the final part of the 17th annual TouringCarTimes’ staff rundown of the Top 30 touring car drivers in the world.
Over the past weeks, we have ranked who we judged as the best touring car drivers from the major international and national series, including the BTCC, Supercars, TCR World Tour, TCR Europe and various TCR championships.
Join us as we head into the final top ten drivers after a thrilling 2023 season:
10 – Rob Huff – TCR World Tour – Comtoyou Racing – 2 wins
Rob Huff finished a strong third overall in the 2023 TCR World Tour, racing against considerably better financed rival teams.
The Brit was in fact one of the title contenders heading to the season finale at his Macau “home race” until his chances went up in smoke when his bonnet was damaged in a controversial clash with Santiago Urrutia. Huff can still be pleased with a consistent and successful season with two wins and nine podium finishes, more podiums than any other TCR World Tour driver in 2023.
9 – Chaz Mostert – Supercars – Walkinshaw Andretti United – 6 podiums
Chaz Mostert missed out on the top step of the podium in 2023 but still produced a mature and consistent season to finish fourth overall as the best Ford driver with six podium finishes.
The popular driver will continue racing for Walkinshaw Andretti United in 2024 and will no doubt be in for a title shot as parity between the Ford and Chevrolet models has been improved for the coming season.
8 – Yann Ehrlacher – TCR World Tour – Lynk & Co Cyan Racing – 3 wins
Yann Ehrlacher was the main TCR World Tour title rival to Norbert Michelisz in 2023 and initially showed his signature consistency and raw speed in the first part of the season with his updated Lynk & Co 03 TCR FL.
But a couple of uncharacteristic mistakes, including the bizarre move on Michelisz in Argentina, saw him dropping behind. The French driver enjoyed the Cyan Racing signature support from his three team mates and made a recovery towards the end of the season, but it was not enough as he finished ten points behind his Hyundai rival.
7 – Broc Feeney – Supercars – Triple Eight – 5 wins
Broc Feeney took a major step forward in his second Supercars Championship season to finish third overall with five wins, including a strong mid-season run where he didn’t finish lower than third for six consecutive races.
While he was lacking some qualifying speed and consistency, he proved his worthiness in one of the world’s best touring car championships. The 21-year-old will be joined by Will Brown next year and could make for an exciting scrap for not only the position as best driver of the team, but also the best driver of the championship.
6 – Tom Ingram – BTCC – Excelr8 Motorsport – 2 wins
Two wins isn’t what Tom Ingram would have hoped for from the 2023 BTCC season, but the EXCELR8 man was a model of consistency over the campaign to keep Ash Sutton honest until the final meeting.
Given how Sutton dominated the on-track action, that was an impressive feat in itself, with Ingram consistently the main driver who would match the eventual champion. He’ll be keen to reclaim his crown in 2024.
5 – Shane van Gisbergen – Supercars – Triple Eight – 5 wins
Shane van Gisbergen was selected as the TouringCarTimes Driver of the Years two years in succession, 2021 and 2022. And his 2023 season started strongly (bar a DQ due to a technical issue in the season opener) with three wins and a total of five podiums from the first seven races.
But then it seemed his focus turned to his move to the US and NASCAR for 2024 as he dropped behind Brodie Kostecki. Victory in the legendary Bathurst 1000 race is still a strong end to his remarkable Supercars career which has resulted in three titles and more than 80 victories.
4 – Will Brown – Supercars – Erebus Motorsport – 4 wins
While Will Brown couldn’t match his Erebus Motorsport team-mate and champion Brodie Kostecki, the Australian driver still claimed four wins and a total of nine podium finishes.
Brown also drove selected TCR Australia races, notching up five wins, including outpacing the TCR World Tour drivers in the joint Sydney Motorsport Park round. Brown takes over the seat from Shane van Gisbergen at Triple Eight next year and has never had a better position to fight for his first Supercars title.
3 – Norbert Michelisz – TCR World Tour – BRC Hyundai – 4 wins
Norbert Michelisz claimed his second touring car world title for Hyundai this season, but it wasn’t a straight forward journey for the Hungarian driver. Michelisz started the season well with two wins and a second place finish from the first five races, but suffered from a tough home race in Hungary and a mediocre following race weekend in Uruguay.
But the Hungarian driver drove smartly and fought back with consistency in a strong final part of the season, claiming the title ten points ahead of arch rival Yann Ehrlacher who enjoyed the support of three team-mates compared to Michelisz’s one.
2 – Brodie Kostecki – Supercars – Erebus Motorsport – 6 wins
Brodie Kostecki drove a stellar 2023 season to snatch the Supercars Championship title from Shane van Gisbergen with six wins, ten pole positions and a grand total of 18 podium finishes.
The Erebus Motorsport adapted well to the new Gen3 regulations and drove with excellent consistency, only finishing outside of the podium ten times throughout the 28-race season.
A truly worthy Supercars champion and no doubt in a strong position to defend his title in 2024.
1 – Ash Sutton – BTCC – NAPA Racing UK – 12 wins
It’s hard to know where to start with Ash Sutton’s 2023 BTCC season, with the NAPA Racing UK driver smashing records left, right and centre en-route to his fourth title.
Six pole positions, twelve wins and 20 podiums was an astonishing performance as Sutton became the first driver in the series to win the title in front and rear-wheel drive cars. Yet to hit 30 years old, Sutton has already secured his place as one of the BTCC’s best.
This is Sutton’s first TouringCarTimes Award and he becomes the fifth BTCC driver in the TouringCarTimes Hall Of Fame list, taking over the honours from Supercars giant Shane van Gisbergen who has claimed the award three times.
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
2023 – Ash Sutton
Click the years above to read more.