This has been an exciting year for Formula 1. As an avid fan, I have had plenty of races to watch, and of course, the Championship had me on the edge of my seat. Because I love the F1 so much, I got into thinking about what other motorsports are also popular in the world (I could always do with a bit more motorsport obsession). I decided to do a bit of research into the world’s most famous motorsports.
Finding out that there are so many other motorsports for me to look into is actually quite exciting. With so much adrenaline, high-energy racing for me to spectate, I might have to make a bit of extra time in my life to watch it all! If you are looking for some great motorsports to get into or spectate, choose from the world’s most popular options below:
14 of the most popular motorsports in the world:
1. Formula 1
Formula 1 is nothing new. In fact, it is the highest class of single-seater auto racing in the world. The sport is sanctioned by the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile). The very first season of Formula 1 ever started on the 13th of May 1950. F1 races are called Grand Prix.
Formula 1 is particularly interesting because not all the vehicles are the same, although they may look similar. Everything, from the chassis and all things relating to the vehicle’s aerodynamics, is entirely different as each vehicle is built from scratch. I personally choose F1 as my motorsport of choice. I often find myself rearranging my schedule just so I can get my F1 fix during the season.
NASCAR is another popular motorsport that I spend a bit of time watching. I have been quite interested in how far the sport has come and in addition to that; it’s just plain exciting.
NASCAR stands for the “National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing” and is an American form of racing. There are 3 national series that fans look forward to every year, which are:
NASCAR was founded on 21 February 1948. The vehicles in a NASCAR race might look very different aesthetically but are actually quite similar in terms of engine and ability.
MotoGP is the Grand Prix of motorbike racing – or so they say. It is a premier class of racing that is held on-road tracks. The MotoGP is governed by the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM).
There are four main classes; MotoE, Moto3, Moto2, and Moto Grand Prix. Also, there are a number of MotoGP events in a given year; some of my favorites are the Spanish GP, Argentine GP, Italian GP, and Qatar Grand Prix. I have watched several MotoGP races and found myself completely enthralled – perhaps you will too.
4. Indianapolis 500
The Indianapolis 500 is also called the Indy 500. It is one of the oldest auto race in the world and is held annually on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, in the United States. The very first Indy 500 was held in 1911. Currently, each race includes 200 laps raced. The race is held in May each year over Memorial Day Weekend. Vehicles involved in the race are open-wheels, one cockpit category.
5. Kart racing
You might be wondering if Go-Karting is really that popular. It actually is. Go-Karting is not just an indoor activity to you spoil the kids to when it is raining outside. It’s an actual sport and has real value in the motorsport world. Why? Many of the world’s top racing drivers started their careers in go-karting.
For many, Go-karting is the gateway to motorsports, such as F1 and NASCAR. Kids start karting quite young, by around 10 years old. Across the world, there are many Go-Karting clubs and leagues.
6. Bathurst 1000
The Bathurst 1000 is a championship event held annually for Supercars. The race stretches across 1,000 km in Bathurst, Australia, on the Mount Panorama Circuit. The very first Bathurst 1000 was held in 1960 (Armstrong 500).
7. Drag Racing
If you like a bit of excitement and are not too focused on the rules, Drag racing is a form of racing that might be for you. Of course, there is a version of this type of racing that has general rules in place. Drag racing involves two or more cars or motorbikes racing to cross a set finish line first. The National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) is the main governing body of drag racing; it hosts several annual events in North America.
8. Monster Truck Racing
After learning a bit more about Monster Truck Racing, I could not help but feel that this type of racing is for me!
Monster Truck Racing consists of a race, but also includes a freestyle competition where entrants must put on a performance in their vehicle that consists of doing a variety of stunts. These can include obstacle jumps, doughnuts, wheelies, and other interesting tricks.
The first official Monster Truck competition was in 1985. Monster Jam is the world’s most famous Monster Truck series, in which events are held mainly in North America.
9. Figure 8 Racing
Figure 8 racing is another type of motorsport that really has caught my eye. It seems extremely entertaining and exciting. It’s usually held on a dirt track that intersects itself. Therefore, the risk of collision is quite high, yet deaths in this motorsport are rare. This type of racing, which is most popular in the US and Canada, became popular after WW2.
10. Dirt Track Racing
Dirt Track Racing became popular in the 1920s. It involves both cars and motorbikes racing on an oval dirt track. These are often horse racing tracks.
11. Rally Finland
Rally Finland has been nicknamed “Grand Prix on Gravel”. It is considered the fastest event in terms of World Rally competitions, which is surprising considering it is held on a gravel road with blind crests and massive jumps. The track is in the Finnish Lakeland area in Finland.
12. Mud Bogging
Mud bogging is another one of those fun and exciting motorsports. As an off-road motorsport, it grabbed my attention. Mud Bogging is particularly popular in Canada and the United States. It involves entrants driving a vehicle through a massive mud puddle of a certain length. The winner is the vehicle that travels the furthest distance through the mud puddle. Most Mud Bogging competitions see entrants driving ATVs, UTVs, Mega Trucks, buggies, and lifted Jeeps.
13. 24 Hours of Le Mans
24 Hours of Le Mans is an annual sports car race, held since 1923. The competition is considered one of the oldest endurance sports car races in the world. It is an elite motorsport race and is held in Le Mans, which is in France. The race is also referred to as the “Grand Prix of Endurance and Efficiency”. This is definitely one that I will be watching on TV this year!
Motocross is an off-road motorbike sport that is raced on enclosed off-road circuits. The sport originated in the UK. This remained a largely European sport until the 1980s when it became a popular sport in the United States.
There are four major Motocross competitions around the world:
- FIM Motocross World Championship
- AMA Motocross Championship
- British Motocross Championship
- Motocross des Nations
Which Motorsport is for you?
It is quite tough trying to determine which motorsport is worth your time and attention. If you try to watch it all, you might find your time dominated. I would strongly recommend looking up clips on YouTube from past events for each of these sports, so that you can get a better understanding of the events, how they are run, and just how much adrenaline is involved. I know that Monster Truck Racing and 24 Hours of Le Mans are certainly going to be added to my motorsport watching schedule. How about you?