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Setting the fastest lap on any race track is worth its share of bragging rights, but some are worth more than others. Like the Nürburgring Nordschleife, for example. Or the Top Gear test track. Or, on this side of the pond, Laguna Seca.

When a major automaker shuts down its racing program like Peugeot did at Le Mans, it leaves a big gaping hole for everyone involved. The French automaker's departure from endurance racing left the series organizers scrambling for another team to take its place just as it was preparing to inaugurate the new FIA World Endurance Championship. It left Audi – the Diane Sawyer of Le Mans racing, to borrow an analogy from Talladega Nights – without its Katie Couric. And arguably most of all

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