Motorsport Races & Replays You Don’t Want To Miss In 2024
Let’s face facts here, North America, both Canada and the USA, don’t exactly have the rabid love of motorsports that many other countries and continents do. Sure, Formula 1 is gaining traction because of their owners now being American, and Netflix’s quasi-reality show Drive To Survive both play a part.
But what about the British Touring Car Championship, which takes the “rubbing is racing” motto from NASCAR and makes it a full-contact motorsport? Australia’s V8 Supercars series, which features the new Generation 3 supercars based on the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro, with the naturally aspirated V8’s howling out 600+ HP.
Let’s not forget the SRO GT World Challenge, which is the premiere series to watch GT3 cars based on cars you could buy the next week.
One of the best racing series out there, the SRO GT World Challenge quite literally races all over the world. Image Credit: SRO GT World Challenge
There are hundreds of racing series around the world that are well worth your time, and more often than not, they are televised or streamed for local audiences so using a VPN service allows you to stream shows that otherwise would not be available in your area, racing or otherwise.
There are many more races than we can even cover in an article such as this, so we will focus on four, either series or single races, that we think any motorsports enthusiast will want to tune in for in 2024!
The British Touring Car Championship
This is what the BTCC is like: Close, fast, full contact, and no apologies made about it. If you like touring cars, you need to watch this series. Image Credit: BTCC
The BTCC is one of the roughest, toughest, most technologically advanced versions of bumper cars you can imagine. If you thought NASCAR was full contact, brace yourself to watch drivers quite literally sideswipe other cars out of the way. It goes beyond “rubbing is racing” to “tackling other cars is racing!” The only thing is that the channels that carry the full races are within the UK, unfortunately. Even some of the replays are restricted to UK-only audiences.
To give you an idea of the level of competition, check out this replay:
A not uncommon sight at a BTCC race, as these guys go hard and take no prisoners! Image Credit: BTCC
It used to be that the races were live-streamed for free in the earlier days of the internet, but those days are long gone. The only way you can really enjoy the rock-em-sock-em racing that is the BTCC these days is through highlights, and not get the full experience of watching 20+ drivers bashing door to door for the win, unless you live in the UK. If you love close racing, with cars quite literally bumper to bumper for the slipstream, nothing short of the BTCC will satisfy that passion.
The European Rally Championship
We all have heard about the World Rally Championship (WRC), the top tier international rallying series that has drivers going at absolutely mental speeds down narrow country roads that are often not even paved, mere inches away from trees and rocks. They are, in the opinion of many, the best drivers in the world, better even than Formula 1 pilots. In fact, only two F1 drivers have competed in rallying competitively, Kimi Raikkonen and Robert Kubica.
A Skoda Fabia R5 ERC car, the third fastest class in the championship, competing at Rally Hungary. Image Credit: ERC
If you wonder where a lot of those drivers cut their teeth and gained their experience, welcome to the FIA European Rally Championship. They have categories of all types, from kit cars all the way to ERC-2, which are equivalent to the Rally 2 cars from the WRC. They also have a class called ERC Open, which is where you can find a lot of Rally 2000 and N4 series cars such as the bug-eye Subaru Impreza WRC still turning a wheel in anger and getting some jumps in.
The thing about it is, the ERC is for the most part streamed for free in Europe, with the major carrier being EuroSport. You could use the very expensive Rally Plus subscription through the FIA, or you could just set yourself to a country served by EuroSport, log in, and stream it for much, much cheaper.
The Mount Panorama Bathurst 1000
Known in Australia as “The Big Race,” the Bathurst 1000, one of the end-of-season rounds for the V8 Supercars championship, is a massive event. Vacations and time off work are planned around it, as it is a full weekend of watching 650 HP Fords and GM cars go screaming around one of the most difficult tracks to race on in the world. It is so iconic (and downright insane) that NASCAR great Darrell Waltrip called it a “geological oddity.”
Camaros vs Mustangs, each car putting out over 600 HP, and a 3.861 mile long track made up of regular roads draped across the side of a mountain. It is one of the most exciting races you can watch in the world. Image Credit: V8 Supercars
It is also streamed for free to Australia’s Channel 7, which you can watch on livestream… if you’re in Australia. If you’re not, you get a page that pops up saying “This is not available in your region.” The two options you have then are to pay for the V8 Supercars annual live stream service, which comes out to roughly $100 USD, or you tunnel in with a VPN to Australia and Channel 7’s livestream works just dandy. Which option works better? That’s up to you to decide, as both are full HD and both carry the same broadcast.
The big sign on the mountain letting you know where you are, and a bit of the gnarly, twisting, high speed track from The Skyline down to The Dipper, a sudden drop in road elevation that sees cars teetering on two wheels! Image Credit: V8 Supercars
Just for reference, a lot of Supercars drivers come across to the USA. Scott McLaughlin in IndyCar came from the series, Shane Van Giesbergen is coming to NASCAR in 2024, and Marcos Ambrose and Brodie Kosteki, who both have some time in NASCAR, cut their teeth in Supercars. It’s well worth watching the Big Race, because it is very likely to be unlike anything you know.
The Super Formula Japan Series
Gaining particular attention this year with Liam Lawson stepping in at Scuderia AlphaTauri in Formula 1 to cover for Daniel Ricciardo after he broke his hand, Super Formula is one of the very few open wheel series that can match the speed of F1 cars nearly turn for turn. In fact, as of the start of 2023, Super Formula cars are the second fastest open wheel race cars on the planet, going only a few miles per hour slower than an F1 car on equivalent circuits, and leaving Formula 2 cars and even road-course spec IndyCars in their wake.
Substitute superstar Liam Lawson in his very rapid Red Bull Honda Super Formula car at Twin Ring Motegi. Image Credit: FrontStretch Racing
This series has a couple of ways you can watch it, with one of them being totally free, as the races are on a week-delayed broadcast on YouTube on a global feed, but does not have very good commentary, if any. The other way is to watch the Super Formula livestream that is Japan specific, and because of the surprisingly large amount of native English speakers in the country, there is an English version of it.
Super Formula races at a few tracks that F1 cars do as well, such as this one at Suzuka International Circuit in 2023. Image Credit: Super Formula Japan
Keep in mind, there are a lot of future F1 stars in all types of open-wheel categories, and Super Formula is one of the premiere series in which if you win the championship, you qualify for an FIA Super License, which you need to drive F1 cars. Liam Lawson has consistently placed quite high in the series, hence why he holds a Super License and was able to step in for AlphaTauri, and he gained all the points he needed for it in Super Formula. It’s definitely a great series to watch if you’re itching for F1-level speed, but with a hell of a lot more passing and wheel to wheel racing.