11 Jun Top 5 Racing Events of the Year
For as long as there have been gasoline-powered automobiles, there have been automobile races. The first ever organized fixture was held in 1887 in France. It was won by a man named Georges Bouton; he was the only competitor.
Today, there are at least a dozen different types of automobile race. Globally speaking, the Top 3 racing championships are Formula One (F1), Le Mans and the IndyCar series. Of these, the Top 3 most prestigious individual racing events, those making up the coveted ‘Triple Crown’, are the Monaco Grand Prix (F1), the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Indianapolis 500. These are the best car racing events worldwide.
Drilling down to spots 4 and 5 gets a little bit tricky. Do you pick two more of the Top 3 championships, or move on to touring cars and sports car racing? I’m going to stick my neck out and say these are the V8 Supercars in Australia (touring cars) and the FIA GT1 World Championship (sports cars), respectively.
The Monaco Grand Prix has been running since 1929. The race is held on a street course with many changes in elevation and tight corners. Its proximity to water and the tunnel make for a technically demanding competition and thrilling viewing for the spectators. Monaco 2012 will be held on May 24-27.
Held every year since 1923, the 24 Heures du Mans is the oldest sports car endurance race. It’s a delicate balance of blazing speed versus, well, not falling apart. Each team has three drivers who drive in two-hour shifts. Le Mans 2012 will be held on June 16-17.
The Indianapolis 500 is run on Memorial Day each year. The race is 500 miles long on an oval track. Unlike Formula One, where each of the 17 tracks each year has different configurations and therefore vary in ease of overtaking, the lead is constantly changing right up until the finish line. The Indianapolis 500 will be run on May 27.
The V8 Supercar series takes place in all six states of Australia as well as New Zealand, Abu Dhabi and Bahrain. The races can draw crowds of up to a quarter of a million people, so it is deservedly in the Top 5 racing events of the year. This series is held over 14 weekends on street circuits and purpose-built tracks.
The 2012 FIA GT1 World Championship involves nine competing teams from 10 different countries on several continents. Here, cars compete in one-hour races on different continents. The GT1 championship replaced the FIA GT championship in 2010. The GT1 season takes place in 10 countries. The weekend event consists of two races.
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So, what’s your opinion? What are the best car racing events worldwide as you see it?