REJOICE, for the Motorsport off-season is nearly over.
For the racing mad, a summer diet of sprintcars and the Dakar rally can soon be pushed to the side to make room for a full buffet of door-bashing goodness.
Okay, so less popular is a little unkind, but there is no denying the WEC (namely, LMP1) has had a hard time lately. First Audi, and then Porsche ditched the category, leaving just Toyota. But a major reshuffle of the calendar, which will now stretch for 18 months and open and close with the 24 Hours of Le Mans, means it’ll be a mammoth seasons well worth tuning in for. Prototype race cars are cool, especially when they have 745kW+ hybrid powertrains, and are forced to weave in and out of traffic for six hours or more.
If you like your motorsport with a semblance of road-going relevance, then these are the championships for you. At the extreme end of the touring car spectrum is DTM and SuperGT’s GT500 categories. Both have bodies which look like road cars after spending time in Frankenstien’s laboratory. Think big wings, stretched bodywork, fattened arches and exhausts which exit through the door. Yes, the door.
Too extreme for you? Try the British Touring Car Championship for a more traditional touring car serving. These Britons won’t shy away from bending body panels, and racing is always entertaining.
The land of the free and turning left really, really fast. The American traditions of IndyCar and NASCAR are both great options for your motorsport viewing.
IndyCar has new bodywork this year, and is looking better than ever (and is arguably the best-looking open-wheel category around). If you can’t suffer all the season’s early AM wake ups, tune in for just the Texas and Indianapolis oval races, trust us.
Want your motorsport with a side of carnage? NASCAR is for you. While stereotypes suggest the kings of biff can be a bit of a snooze fest, there are actually fascinating strategy battles playing out in almost every race. Oh, and the crashes are guaranteed to be spectacular, followed by four hours of replays.
Want some Exotica on home turf in your life? Step this way. Starting at Mount Panorama in February with the Bathurst 12 Hours, GT3 racing is boomin’ and is a safe bet for brilliant racing. Evenly matched cars and drivers, with vehicles that have strengths in different areas means on-track battles can be multi-lap dogfights. The fact it is a Ferrari 488 diving down the inside of a McLaren 650S makes it just an extra measure of thrilling.
It’s still polarising as a concept, but the all-electric Formula E championship can make for decent racing. Incredibly tight street circuits, mixed with low-grip tyres, highly skilled drivers, and a mandatory mid-race car swap results in races that can often be decided on the final lap. Give it a go, we promise not to tell your mates.
Don’t forget our motorcycle brethren when it comes to your motorsport viewing this year. MotoGP has been electric (not in the Formula E sense) the last several years, with large personalities, and edge-of-your seat races. It’ll be worth the late nights and lost sleep to watch the world’s best rubbing elbows at over 300km/h.
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