When people think of car racing, the first thing that springs to mind is open-wheel racing. Because Formula One (F1) and IndyCar are included in this category, it is the pinnacle, the top rung of the whole shebang. The cars that race in this series have open-top automobiles with exposed wheels, as the name implies. While the open-wheel vehicles that compete in F1 and IndyCar may appear to be similar, the rules, guidelines, performance, and courses are all different.
F1 and IndyCar have a few fundamental variances, such as where the series races. IndyCar competes on both ovals and road tracks, but Formula One solely competes on road courses. Fuel type, location, top speed, aerodynamics, and budget are among the other distinctions. F1 vehicles run on high-octane gasoline, whilst IndyCars run on ethanol. F1 is a global championship with races held all over the world, whereas IndyCar races are primarily held in the United States. F1 vehicles generate significantly more downforce than IndyCars, allowing them to take corners faster but with lower top speeds. Finally, F1 teams have agreed to a $145 million budget cap in 2021, which will be reduced to $140 million in 2022 and $135 million in 2023-2025. IndyCar has a far smaller budget, ranging around $20 million.
Formula E is a brand-new open-top racing series. Formula E, unlike any other racing series in the world, is limited to all-electric vehicles. Electric cars just do not have the technology to race for hours like Formula One or IndyCar races. Practice, qualifying, and the race are all held on the same day in Formula E races. The races are only one hour long, and drivers must make one pit stop in which they must physically change cars. Formula E has a far lesser budget than previous open-top races, with teams spending roughly $12 million per year.
The open-top racers aren’t limited to F1, IndyCar, and Formula E. People can watch a few amateur open-wheel series, such as Formula 1000. These cars compete in the SCCA FB series and are powered by 1,000cc motorcycle engines. In the United States, the SCCA also organises Formula 3 and Formula 4 races.
Finally, there’s karting, which involves racers driving ultra-light, very powerful, and specialised karts around short circuits.
You might want to seek elsewhere if you want to get into open-wheel racing. Karting is the only cheap form of open-wheel racing, and it is where the bulk of professional drivers begin their careers. F1 and IndyCar drivers are among the greatest on the planet, yet the majority of them began their careers in karting as children. In addition, sponsorships worth hundreds of millions of dollars are required to compete in F1 and IndyCar. Even the best drivers in the world risk losing their positions if they do not bring enough cash to the table.
Automobile de Sport
Although open-wheel racing is the most popular in the world, sports car racing comes in second. Because most manufacturers compete at the GT (Grand Touring) category with vehicles that look a lot like their high-performance supercars, this series is perhaps the one with the most clearly recognisable vehicles. This series features race vehicles such as the Lamborghini Huracan, Ferrari 488, Chevrolet Corvette, Nissan GT-R, and Porsche 911. The prototype class, which features non-production race vehicles with distinctive bodywork, high-performance engines, and outlandish designs, is also part of this series.
Races in this series can take anywhere from 2.5 to 24 hours. The 24 Hours of Daytona, the 24 Hours of Nurburgring, and the 24 Hours of Le Mans are among the most famous 24-hour races in the world. These races do, in fact, last 24 hours and are a rigorous test for both man and machine.
Sports car racing is governed by sanctioned organisations such as the Automobile Club de L’Ouest (ACO) and the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA). In the next piece, we’ll utilise the ACO’s class breakdowns to show how the ultra-fast Prototype cars interact with GT vehicles on the course.
GTE Pro and GTE Am are the two classifications of race cars in the GT class. The GTE Pro series has professional drivers, whereas the GTE Am race vehicles are driven by amateur racers, as their titles suggest. LMP1 and LMP2 are the two categories for the prototype class. LMP1 cars are hybrids and non-electric race cars, whilst LMP2 cars have Gibson 4.2-liter V8 engines and are somewhat heavier.
The SCCA has two prototypes and one GT class for amateur racers, therefore the classes are slightly different. The P1 and P2 prototype classes accept a wide range of vehicle designs, while the GT class accepts modified “silhouette” reproductions of series-produced sports automobiles.
Touring car racing is unfortunately only popular in Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Australia. The race vehicles are substantially modified road-going production automobiles that have been raced in this serious. Unlike the other race cars on this list, there is little that distinguishes the vehicles, resulting in fierce competition amongst drivers.
The Touring Car series includes races ranging from sprints (short distances) to endurances (long distances) (three hours or more). Supercars Championship (SC), World Touring Car Cup (WTCC), British Touring Car Championship (BTCC), and Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters are just a few of the Touring Car series to watch (DTM).