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5 Best Endurance Races In Motorsport



The 2013 motor racing season has begun. If you missed the kick-off in the end of January, however, have no fear, there are plenty more top-tier, Adrenaline-fueled speed events to choose from in endurance racing.

Here are the best endurance races of the year.

Daytona 24 Hours

January 26-27

After a long winter of hibernation, the best way to start the new motorsport year is to head to the Daytona International Speedway, one of the most prestigious venues in motorsport.

If you missed the Daytona 24 Hours this year, there’s no excuse not to attend next year. Head to the infield, dust off those binoculars, soak up the warm rays of Florida sunshine and enjoy the party atmosphere as the world’s best drivers try to beat the clock on the track’s epic banking. The multitude of sports car classes, including prototypes and GTs, are sure to keep the race interesting. The honor for the drivers is to collect the famous Rolex watch for finishing on the podium. What’s in it for you? Standing in awe as the headlights shine down on you from cars screaming past in the dead of night should suffice.

Sebring 12 Hours

March 16

The former airfield base located near Sebring, Florida is home to a true motorsports classic, the Sebring 12 Hours. Parts of the Sebring circuit are former runways and the rough surface makes for an epic endurance test for drivers. Fans come out in full force, and as the drivers race into the dusk, they often say they can smell the barbecues taking place on the infield of the circuit.
The upcoming 2013 race is the last time the event will open the American Le Mans Series, so don’t miss out. It will be a great chance to see the top Le Mans-style prototype sport cars from the likes of Audi and Toyota fight to the bitter end in one of the most intense endurance races.

Nurburgring 24 Hours

May 19-20

This May 19-20 you should be at Germany’s Nurburgring for the 41st running of the legendary 24-hour endurance race. With strong grids, insane racing and the best beer you’ll ever drink, the Nurburgring 24 Hours is Europe’s most epic motor race after Le Mans (which we’ll discuss next).

The race is held on the 13-mile Nordschleife, a the legendary 170-corner racetrack carved deep into the Eifel mountains. The corner names themselves ring of Adrenaline – Flugplatz, Pflanzgarten and the iconic Karousell. With Armco very close to the edge of the track and the continuous risk of rain, Nordschleife is the ultimate test of a driver’s skill and endurance. Only the very best endurance racers in the world win on this track. Just ask the legend that is Jackie Stewart, who once demolished the opposition in an F1 race here by over four minutes.

Le Mans 24 Hours

June 22-23

Le Mans 24 Hours is the granddaddy of all motor races. The French town of Le Mans is one of the true birthplaces of the sport, with the first ever “grand prix” held in 1906. In the 1920s, sports cars took part in the first endurance race around the clock and the Le Mans 24 Hours was born. Every June, the Circuit de la Sarthe has become a pilgrimage for every motor racing fan in the world. Spectators come from all over the globe to see the very best drivers competing for the greatest prize in the sport.

Nothing beats walking down to the dauntingly fast Porsche curves just as the dawn begins to break and listening to the engines running at peak performance in the cool morning air. Few people are around at that time, so enjoy the sights and sounds of 200 mph sports cars in solitude and wait for the mid-summer sun to rise. Savor the moment; it only comes around once a year.

Bathurst 1,000km

October 13

The Bathurst 1,000 is the holy grail of touring car races. It is held in the Autumn at a track that rises and falls along Mount Panorama in New South Whales, Australia. The fans here are notoriously partisan when it comes to the car manufacturers. You’re either on the red or blue side: Holden or Ford. The grueling 1,000 km race is the showpiece event in the Australian V8 Supercar series, which in recent years has extended its reach to the Middle East and the USA. Bizarre incidents are commonplace on this tight 6.2-km circuit; one year a kangaroo tried to halt proceedings when it leapt onto the track.

Cover Photo Credit: Fabrice Pluchet – Wikimedia Commons

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