10 Greatest Motorsports Events In The World
“Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports… all the others are games.”
- Ernest Hemingway
This simple verbiage is perhaps the driving force behind the adrenaline-rushing sport of motor racing. Every guy who has a thing or two for automobiles is sure to have these motorsport events almost always among the top of their bucket list of all car-related things that they want to do or see in their lifetime!
While there are many of these events, here’s a list featuring 10 of the pinnacles of motorsport events – a must-see for any ardent sports-lover!
- The Isle of Man TT (First Held-1907)
Pic Credits: Moto Networks
If you aren’t afraid of staring in the face of death, then grab an airplane ticket to this adrenaline-pumping and deadliest racing adventure ever!! Infamous for claiming more than 200 lives since its inception, the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy is a 37.75-miles biking nirvana held at the Snaefell Mountain Course in a small island west of England.
Started on an island to escape the stringent English racing laws (and a speed limit of 20mph!), this 100-year old biking extravaganza, still attracts hundreds of motorsports fans every summer, who flock here to watch race bikes zoom by hundreds of twists and turns of the narrow, long course at speeds of 200mph, on a suicidal mission to secure a chance at glory and a checkered flag.
- The Indy 500 (First Held-1911)
Pic Credits: FOX Sports
Indianapolis 500 is an illustrious motorsport event held annually over the Memorial Day weekend (May-end), at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indianapolis, Indiana. Part of the Verizon IndyCar Series, the Indy 500 is by far the deadliest and most hotly contested racing events.
Dubbed as the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing”, this event is renowned for its breathtaking races with 33 cars bolting across a 2.5-miles’ circuit at incredibly high speeds (with the qualifying lap approaching 230mph!). Part of the ‘Triple Crown’ along with Monaco F1 Grand Prix and 24 Hours of Le Mans, it is being run since 1911 and continues to hold its incontrovertible and revered position in the world of motorsport.
- Rallye Monte Carlo (First held-1911)
Pic Credits: World Rally Blog
This motorsport event is organized annually in Monaco, along the French Riviera, since 1973. Convened by the Automobile Club de Monaco, it is one of the most thrilling rallying events that attracts some of world’s greatest racers every year.
The Monte Carlo Rally race is famous for its special stages that run between the 31km route, spanning steep mountain roads and hairpin turns, with characteristic unpredictable weather, between La Bollène-Vésubie and Sospel. Known for its WRC, with cars racing down the steep bends over the snow-covered Col de Turini (popularly known as Night of Turini or Night of the Long Knives), even in the night, this event is a rave.
- Pikes Peak Hill Climb (First Held-1916)
Pic Credits: Hot Rod
The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is one of the most challenging motorsport events and the second oldest one in the USA. Though considered the king of all hill climbs, it is perhaps a misnomer to even call this event a hill climb!
With a 12-mi course that runs up a mountain to a finish line at a lofty height of about 14, 100ft, it takes guts to even participate in this “Devil’s Playground”. Despite the risks, 'The Race to the Clouds', as it is aptly called by many, continues to command the interest of race crews from across the globe in a bid to win the title of “King of the Mountain”!
- 24 Hours of Le Mans (First Held-1923)
Pic Credits: GTspirit
When it comes to 24 Hours of Le Mans, it is in all respects the most brutal of all endurance races. Imagine racing nonstop for 24-hours -all day and night irrespective of weather conditions!! Sounds daunting?
This event is clearly the wildest and untamable, for when a driver picks the green flag at Le Mans and goes around the 8.5mi circuit, there is no turning back! Held annually at the Circuit de la Sarthe, in Maine, France, this race has held onto its title of being the most prestigious and the oldest active motorsports event in endurance racing since 1923, conducted with multiple varieties of race cars driven by multiple drivers.
- Monaco Grand Prix (First Held-1929)
Pic Credits: Live Trading News
The Monaco Grand Prix, the crown jewel of F1 racing, is one of the most celebrated of all the F1 Grand Prix. Known for its unbelievingly narrow circuit through the heart of Monte Carlo, with 700+ horsepower vehicles zapping by its plethora of twists, sudden elevation changes (and, a tunnel section, too!!), the race is an ultimate test of any racer’s ability and a single mistake is enough to spell the end of your day!!
The glamor of this race lies in the many yachts designed specially to resemble the circuit, that has a direct view of the Monaco harbor. Although in existence since 1929 -almost 2 decades ahead of the F1, it is still “the” motorsport event that most look forward to each year.
- The Daytona 500 (First Held-1959)
Pic Credits: FOX Sports
If the highpoint of stock racing is what you are after, then the Dayton 500 it is. Next to Indy 500 in popularity, Dayton 500 marks the opening round of the grueling NASCAR and is witness to some of the most spectacular moments of the sport. Located at Daytona Beach, Florida, this “Great American Race” is not only the first race of the NASCAR season, but also one of the most prestigious one on the NASCAR calendar.
- Bathurst 1000 (First Held-1960)
Pic Credits: FOX Sports
The Bathurst 1000, aptly nicknamed “Hell Corner” because of its dauntingly savage circuit, is an annual 1000-km epic race held at Mount Panorama Circuit in Bathurst, Australia, as part of Australia’s homegrown racing series - V8 Supercars.
An extremely captivating and highly competitive event, this motorsport event is every racer’s dream to win and attracts international attention with people flocking to it for a chance to compete. “The Great Race” is not just wild and violent, but also a very close one, with cars almost on top of each other as they vie for the finishing line!
- 24 Hours Nürburgring (First Held-1970)
Pic Credits: AutoGuide.com
24 Hours of Nürburgring is one of the craziest and most lethal epic endurance races in the world. This massive, 15.5-mile tough circuit, cradled in the Nordschleife (north loop) hills of Nürburgring, Germany, famously dubbed as "The Green Hell" by Jackie Stewart, hosts over 200 cars and 700 drivers participating in the 24-hour annual touring car racing.
Proclaimed by many sanctioning bodies as too dangerous to race at, the stunning 24-Hours has claimed dozens of lives since it started and is an ultimate test of both man and machine!
- Dakar Rally (First Held-1979)
Pic Credits: FOX Sports
The Dakar Rally, brainchild of a French motorcycle racer of 1970s- Thierry Sabine, started as Paris-Dakar Rally and is an annual Rally-Raid style, off-road endurance race that is held at different locations each year. When it comes to rally racing, no race can hold a candle to Dakar Rally in its brutality and viciousness!
With the key focus on finishing the race, competitors in multiple types of vehicles with as high as 700 bhp -from motorbikes to quads, 4×4 cars, dune buggies, and even large trucks – race across some of the world’s most inhospitable and difficult terrains over a 2-weeks’ timeframe.
The thrill of this dangerous motorsport event is further fueled by the need to be able to navigate one’s way to the finish line managing catastrophes like mechanical failures on their own. Thus, with technical know-how being as important as racing skills, the race becomes more grueling, with almost every year witnessing someone not making it out alive!!
Got the goose-bumps!! Now, get packing on an adrenaline-pumping trip to witness the real thing!!