Photo credit: Artes Max
Every year F1’s hardcore tell us this years rule changes will make F1 more interesting. Each race people tell me “the next one will be better because (insert reason here)”.
But it never is.
F1 is basically heading towards the death by a thousand cuts, continually trying to appeal to an increasingly unenthused audience it doesn’t understand. In the meantime as the websites and magazines inexplicably give columns and pictures to F1 there are many, many, more interesting race series available on both national and international scales.
These are just a few of my favourites.
FIA European Truck Racing – In America they are Big Rigs, and considering Americas love affair with over the top vehicles it’s weird that Europe (or India) is the place to go for it. I went and watched some at Brands Hatch years ago, and it was excellent fun to see these huge monsters being manhandled around a track wheel to wheel.
These giant vehicles mainly run a huge diesel engine with a massive turbo sitting on top that sits behind the cab. Lap times are not as fast as cars, obviously, but with all that weight and momentum it makes for some hairy racing. And when things go wrong, it’s all rock and hard places.
The series includes a race at Le Mans and one at the Nurburgring.
If you are in India then you also have T1 Prima Truck which is a series put together by Tata.
You can watch the FIA Truck Racing live on their website and it looks like it’s also streamed on their YouTube channel.
Photo Credit: MGMotor Unofficial
British Touring Car Championship – The BTCC has been beloved throughout Europe since it’s inception in 1958 as the British Saloon Car Championship. In it’s current form it is a mixture of works and independent teams and the cars are currently 2.0 sedans and hatchbacks using NGTC regulations.
Over the years it’s inspired some amazing rivalries, and exchanging paint during races has never been an unusual sight. Personally, it’s my favourite of the road racing series as the racing is tight and you will see front wheel drive and rear wheel drive cars competing together.
The regulations have done a great job of keeping the racing reasonably affordable so we still get independent teams competing as well as the playing field being reasonably level.
You can see it on ITV in the UK as well as on Motor Trend On Demand for streaming.
Photo Credit: Royal Broil
Pirelli World Challenge – This series currently consists of six classes of vehicles that cover GT forms (Including Porsche 991 GT3 Cup, Lamborghini Super Trofeo, and Ferrari Challenge) and touring car B-spec and A. The driving and racing standards are high and most importantly, the cars are visually recognisable as production cars.
CBS Sport Network currently has the TV rights, and Motor Trend On Demand has partnered to stream all the races live on their website. You can also watch the races on World-ChallengeTV.com
You can also catch up with last season on their YouTube account.
Chump Car Racing – Like LeMons, Chumpcar is affordable and competitive endurance racing, and also goes under the terms shitbox or crapcan racing. Unlike LeMons it drops all the silly themes and concentrates on racing. Rather than the $500 cash value on the cars, Chump has 5 classes of competition and assigns a points value system. A car entered must be worth less than 1000 points (not included required safety equipment). However, to not be penalised a car must be under 500 points.
It’ll generally costs between $4,000 to $10,000 to prep a car and that’s including required safety equipment. Split that between three to five people and it’s affordable. There are many teams and some will sell a “seat” on the team which makes this racing open to pretty much anyone that wants to take part.
The track list through the year is extensive and includes Daytona, Sebring, Laguna Seca, Circuit of the Americas, and Watkins Glen.
Watching it is through their website.
NASCAR – Everyone knows what NASCAR is, and it’s more entertaining than F1. If you’re one of the “it’s just cars turning left” people, then you are 90% correct but most importantly it’s still more entertaining than F1.
Watch it: On American TV (check your TV listings world wide) and various live streams.
FIA World RallyCross (World RX) – It’s like Global Rallycross (GRC) but actually a global series. Like any good rallycross it’s in short sprint format, run on mixed surfaces and full contact isn’t unusual. With names like Sebastien Loeb, Timmy Hansen, Niclas Gronholm, Petter Solberg and Johan Kristoffersson driving 600 bhp cars with no driver aids and doing 0-60 in just under two seconds (faster than an F1 car!), then there’s no excuse not to watch.
You can catch up on all of last seasons live stream events on the YouTube channel.
They have details of TV listings across the world here:
Have I skipped your favourite? Let me know in the comments!