4 Months until the next F1 race… Don’t worry, check out these races!
Last weekend saw the 2018 F1 season come to an end with an emotional Abu Dhabi GP. The end of the race meant that we now have to wait until the end of March to see the fastest cars in the world be pushed to their limits. However, in the meantime, there are a few races that will definitely fix your Motorsport withdrawal syndrome.
The first race event you have to watch is the GT Festival from Bahrain. This event is happening this weekend (30th of November to the 1st of December) and it brings together a few epic races. In a way, this event is the world final for GT racing with the FIA GT Nations Cup and the FIA GT4 International Cup. Firstly, the Nations Cup is somewhat of a remake of the infamous A1GP series where teams represent their respective countries bringing a sense of national pride to Motorsport. The Nations Cup will see a wide variety of GT3 cars from Ferrari 488s to Mercedes AMG GT3s. Secondly, the FIA GT4 International Cup says what it does on the tin. It’s an international encounter of many GT4 drivers. This set of races is more like the Macau GT Cup but for GT4 cars.
The most obvious series that any Motorsport fan should watch over the winter break is the brand-new Formula E championship. With the new season 5 cars and rules, the racing should look more recognisable to traditional Motorsport fans. The first race of the season takes place on the 1st of December and there will be a few more over the course of the lack of F1 racing.
Another series with a couple of races between now and the next F1 race is the IMSA Weathertech Sportscar Championship. In fact, there are two major races in the beginning of the year, one of which involving the myth, the legend, Fernando Alonso. Yes, the Daytona 24 Hour race has attracted the recently retired F1 driver for the second time in a row as he will compete alongside Renger Van Der Zande, Jordan Taylor and his WEC teammate Kamui Kobayashi on the 5th and 6th of January 2019. The difference to last year however, is that he is part of a top team in Wayne Taylor Racing. In fact, last year he competed with United Autosports in a Ligier JSP217. Although this car does compete in the top category, it is not part of the specially modified DPi cars that always triumph at Daytona. Furthermore, there is a second IMSA race before the end of March. The 12 Hours of Sebring event will be shared with the WEC. Unfortunately, the two series won’t race together but it will be nice to compare the speeds of the LMP1 cars to the DPis.
Last but not least, and the race I most look forward to each year is the Bathurst 12 hours. It’s a race bringing together both international teams and local Australian teams. There is always a wide array of car classes from GT3s to Touring cars passing through GT4s and specially designed silhouette cars. This means cars battle each other while passing slower traffic as they fly over the top of Mount Panorama surrounded by concrete walls. Every year, the race finishes in a surprising and emotional way. For example, back in 2015, the Safety Car came off track with 4 minutes to go. The Nissan GT-R of Katsumasa Chiyo was in 3rd place but managed to win the race by pulling off some of the best overtakes I have seen.
Those are the races I like to watch whilst waiting for the next F1 season. Let me know what you do to keep your mind off the lack of racing during the winter. Do you watch other races, or do you prefer to take your mind off racing all together?