Are you a newcomer to the world of automobile racing? Has racing always fascinated you and now you want in? Or maybe you’ve been a racing fan your whole life and just want to read more about them. Whichever the case, you’ve come to the right spot. We discuss many aspects of the professional racing world, and this time we’ll be talking about the major motorsports championships no racing fan should miss.
Understandably, as racing is a very complex beast full of niches and subdivisions, multiple motorsports championships and leagues have propped up the world over. Some of them have found greater fame than others, and some of them are now renowned across the world with millions of racing fans tuning in to watch them every year. These motorsports championships are huge, packed full of excitement, and will always keep you on your toes no matter which racing type you’re watching. So, whether it be rally racing across bumpy dirt roads, motorbikes flying over dunes of dirt, or Formula 1 racing cars zipping past you on a professional track so fast you can barely keep your eyes on them, here are some of the major motorsports championships you should be on the lookout for.
Formula One World Championship
A list of major motorsports championships of the world wouldn’t be complete without a mention of the Formula One World Championship. For diehard Formula 1 fans, this is where racing began, and this is where it will end. To them, no other form of racing is as refined and as “Pro” as Formula 1. And if you see a Formula 1 race in action, you might just end up agreeing with them.
Everything about the Formula One World Championship oozes procedure and order. Started under the name of ‘The World Drivers’ Championship’ in 1950, the modern name came about in 1981. The word ‘Formula’ literally refers to the set of rules each participant has to strictly conform to. Each race’s results are also evaluated on a points system. And track selection has a strict criterion to meet, often needing custom tracks to be built for Formula 1 racing specifically. If refinement and structure is what you demand from your racing, then the Formula One World Championship is the motorsports championship for you.
FIA Formula E World Championship
Formula E is a relative newcomer to the motorsports championships, as is the type of car it uses. First conceived of in Paris in 2011, with its inaugural championship having been commenced only around six years ago in 2014, Formula E is a toddler compared to the other big leagues. Yet, because of the niche it fills, it might just be the type of racing you’re into. Formula E is all about racing electric cars. It is also the only single-seater racing series apart from Formula One to have been given World Championship status, making it rise above even the old and well-established IndyCar Series.
The Indianapolis 500
IndyCar racing is another big form of racing with millions of loyal fans. And there is perhaps no other more iconic racing event for IndyCar racing than the Indianapolis 500. Also known as the Indy 500, this event takes place each year and features everything you could ever ask for as an IndyCar fan. And its cultural value alone is worth seeing this event take place at least once in your lifetime.
For newcomers who might not be familiar with it, IndyCar racing is another form of single-seater racing that is much more open about the type of track or the rules of the race, but also requires much more stringent laws about what types of vehicles can compete. There are multiple different IndyCar racing events that take place, but Indianapolis 500 is a popular one that takes place at the Indianapolis Motorway Speedway, a particularly uniform racing track that resembles a NASCAR racing track to some degree.
World Rally Championship
Similar to Formula 1 fanboys, some people swear by rally racing and refuse to watch anything else. To them, the excitement that rally racing brings is something not captured by any other form of motorsport racing. And the World Rally Championship, the global overseer of all things rallying, is exactly the championship to follow for rally racing fans. The World Rally Championship came about after the unification of multiple different rally racing championships, with its inaugural championship of the 1973 World Rally Championship.
For newcomers, rally racing is a racing discipline that goes off the beaten track, literally. Tracks in rallying championships consist of public asphalt roads and dirt roads, complete with turns that have cars drifting past billowing huge clouds of dust in the air, and huge bumps that literally send cars flying feet above the ground. Naturally, rally racing cars are outfitted to handle these extreme conditions, and make for some really thrilling races to watch.
FIA World Rallycross Championship
For those of you who want the excitement of rally racing as well as the comfort of being able to watch the whole race in its entirety, rallycross might be the racing discipline for you. Rallycross is just like rallying, but takes place within closed circuit tracks that you will often be able to look over all at once.
For rallycross, you can’t go wrong with the FIA World Rallycross Championship. This championship, organized by the FIA in conjunction with IMG Motorsport, consists of 12 two-day events, meaning you won’t be lacking for content anytime soon. And, as expected of rally racing, the tracks are a mixture of both asphalt and dirt roads, making for a fun and varied race with differing struggles for the drivers as they progress along the track.
FIA World Endurance Championship
Organized by the ACO and sanctioned by the FIA, the FIA World Endurance Championship pits various classes of cars against each other in all kinds of endurance test races. These challenges test the skills of the drivers, and the build quality of the car, and each race is at least four hours long, meaning if you’re into long and strategic races, the FIA World Endurance Championship is the motorsports championship for you.
The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, or NASCAR, was founded in 1948, and is one of the most popular motorsport companies today that sanctions over 1,500 races. As the name suggests, NASCAR is all about racing stock cars. What you might not be aware of if you’re new to the racing world however, is that NASCAR races take place on oval tracks only.
This does by no means indicate that NASCAR races are boring. In fact, NASCAR races are perfect for people who want to watch a long race on a familiar track that continually tests each driver’s reflexes and skills. As the race goes on and the lap counter keeps climbing, you’ll find yourself rooting for all the drivers as you slowly begin to piece together their strategies and plans of action.
The World Touring Car Cup
Touring car racing is similar to NASCAR in that it uses stock cars on professional tracks. It differs in the fact that the stock cars aren’t exactly stock anymore, but heavily modified so that they are pushed to their limits. So, if NASCAR was a bit too tame for you, the World Touring Car Cup might be the one championship you’re looking for.
Grand Prix Motorcycle Racing
If car racing just doesn’t cut it for you, then maybe the Grand Prix Motorcycle Racing series is what you want. Classed as the oldest established world championship of the world, Grand Prix Motorcycle Racing handles all the official global motorbike racing events. From motocross bike racing to Moto GP races, the Grand Prix Motorcycle Racing series is your best bet for motorcycle action.
FIM Motocross World Championship
For some, the thrill that comes with Motocross racing just cannot be rivalled. Motocross racing is done with motorbikes on closed dirt circuits. There are plenty of tight corners to drift through, and lots of jumps that send drivers and their bikes flying, all the while pulling off insane stunts that leave you frozen in your seat with fear and awe. The FIM Motocross World Championship is the premier motocross racing championship, and is definitely worth checking out just to experience the unique rush it provides.
European Truck Racing Championship
Let’s finish the list off with something truly amazing. The epitome of human evolution. Truck racing. Is there anything better than watching huge trucks trucking it around a tight track? We didn’t think so. Jokes aside, truck racing is actually a lot of fun. Sure, it may not be as fast-paced as Formula 1 or as thrilling as Rallying, but boy is it super fun to spectate. It might just end up being your favorite motorsports championship simply because of how much fun it is. And we’re not joking.
Those were just some of the many, many motorsports championships out there that are worth checking out. The full list is simply too extensive to list out in a single post, but we managed to cover most of the major racing disciplines out there. For more on the subject, read about the different types of motorsports here. Or just get introduced to off-road racing if that was what really interested you in this article.