What car championships do you know? And what do you know about the autosport world? Naturally, most of you will recall Formula 1 racing first. These are the most popular races in the world. But F1 isn’t the only competition where great car racers and engineers find out who is better. All over the world, there are many other types of car championships that are not inferior to Formula 1 in terms of spectacularity and drama. We have gathered the most important races in the world here for you.
- Formula 1
Held since 1950.
Naturally, we will start with the most popular races in the world: Formula 1 Grand Prix. These races have the largest number of fans around the world. This year’s Formula 1 is already in its anniversary 70th season. The first races were held in 1950.
“In the season of 2017, the rules have changed a bit, as well as new requirements for the technical equipment of cars. As a result, new seasons not only gave us more excitement but also made the race more futuristic due to the new appearance of the cars.” – Jim Malkovich, auto mechanic & the owner of mechanicfaq.com.
The 2019 Formula 1 championship was held on April 14. Lewis Hamilton (UK) is the defending World Drivers’ Champion. After winning his fifth championship title in the previous season in 2018, and Mercedes are the defending World Constructors’ Champion. It also saw the running of the 1000th World Championship race, which was held in China. By the way, the only team that has participated in all racing seasons since 1950 is Scuderia Ferrari.
- FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC)
Held since 2012.
Four classes of cars take part in the competition: two classes of sports prototypes (LMP1 and LMP2) and two Gran Turismo class cars (LMGTE Pro, where only professional riders compete, and LMGTE Am, where the presence of one amateur racer is required in a team).
The most interesting thing is that in these competitions, both teams of manufacturer teams and private teams can be met. And all participants of the competition, in case of having the right cars, can fight against each other in different categories. For example, Porsche 919 Spyder participates in races of LMP class along with Toyota team.
By the way, the 24-hour race in Le Mans is actually a stage of the WEC. Also, in addition to the stage in Le Mans, there are also 8 more races with a duration not least than 6 hours during the season.
In 2016, for the first time after a long break in the WEC races, Ford GT appeared. It proved to the audience that it was not in vain and won its class in the Le Mans 24-hour race.
- FIA World Rallycross Championship
Held since 2014
This type of car competitions is a true spectacle for fans of extreme car racing. Here it’s like in soccer. There are qualifying tournaments, semi-finals, and finals. Routes are laid both on asphalt and dirt roads. Also, the tracks have many extreme turns and bumps which allows sports cars to be effectively “detached” from the road surface on some sections of the road.
By the way, in these types of racing, worldwide popular professional rally driver Ken Block officially takes part. These races are broadcast live on YouTube.
Held since 2000
DTM (Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters) is the German series of racing competitions. The races were organized by Opel and Mercedes-Benz which decided to revive the legendary races, taking into account the negative experience of the DTM-ITC and FIA GT races which took place in the ’90s but did not gain popularity.
As a result, Opel and Mercedes-Benz created the rules of DTM racing in such a way that the cars became faster and the races – more spectacular. Also, the rules of DTM racing, in fact, prevent the “race of budgets” of the teams which makes the outcome of all stages of the competition unpredictable.
The current world champion is Gary Paffett (UK), who drove Mercedes-AMG C63 DTM and won the competition in 2018.
- FIA GT3 European Championship
Held since 2006.
GT3 races are not limited to one championship. There are a lot of car races all over the world in which GT3 series cars take part. The most famous championship of GT3 series is held in Europe.
For these series, there is a set of rules for car manufacturers that allow them to use their cars in competitions around the world.
The most famous companies that produce cars of GT3 series: BMW, Audi, Mercedes, Porsche, Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren, and Lexus.
The GT3 series is especially popular for 24-hour races in Nürburgring and Spa Francorchamps.
There are also the following racing competitions:
- WRC World Rally Championship (since 1973) which includes 13 races around the world. Each race is held in several stages. The total length of one race is about 1000 kilometers. Ford, Toyota, Hyundai, and Citroën take part to compete with each other in these races. Since the 2017 season, new rules have been introduced in the rules of the race which allowed teams to exhibit rally monsters that participated in the ’80s.
- International Touring Car Racing (TCR) series (since 2015). The most famous races in the Touring Car Racing series are held in Germany. For example, in the first race of the 2017 season, 40 cars were launched. The largest number of cars are exhibited by the teams: Audi, VW, Seat, Kia, Honda, Opel, Alfa, and Subaru. The main requirements for cars: 4 doors, 2.0-liter turbo engine, 350 hp, and front drive availability. Minimum total length: 4.20 m. Minimum weight: 1250 kg for cars with gearbox production, 1285 kg for cars with racing gearbox (driver included).
- Formula E (since 2014). Bad news for those who love races for the sound of powerful sports engines. Formula E cars will disappoint you with their silence. The fact is that this championship involves electric cars with open wheels. It’s a fairly young type of racing has already gained a lot of fans around the world.
- Dakar Rally (since 1978). These races are different from other racing classes on our list. The name of the race is directly related to the former endpoint of the Paris-Dakar races which were held in Europe and Africa from 1978 to 2007. Since 2009, the races have been held in South America. Races include cars, motorcycles, trucks, ATVs and double buggies. In 2008, the Paris-Dakar race was canceled because of the terrorist threat. As a result, it was decided to move the annual rally to South America. The most recent races took place through Argentina, Bolivia, and Paraguay.