While F1 is considered the king of motorsport, a fleet of other adrenaline-pumping racing series are vying for its crown, offering all manner of high-octane action.
Man and machine as one, unbridled by restrictions, whether of the physical, financial or metaphorical variety; in short, racing in its purest form. A free, open and level arena where humans push the boundaries of conventional physics for glory in a battlefield that demands only the highest levels of skill, engineering prowess and cutting-edge tech. Some would argue that, today, this ideal is only partially delivered by the world’s top-tier motorsport -Formula One – insisting that all the greedy conglomerates and human politics have detracted from the thrill of the race.
The motorsport king’s corruption will be short-lived however if left unchecked, as surrounding it is a host of youthful, experienced and dynamic contenders, delivering purer racing in all its forms.
From the supreme speeds of NASCAR, through to the extreme endurance delivered by Le Mans, awesome aerodynamics of Formula Two and on to the off-road insanity of the World Rally Championship, racers and racing fans alike are flocking to their banners, tempted by affordable racing thrills, innovative engineering and the diverse tracks.
Sprint Cup Series NASCAR
Broadcast in over 150 countries, generating USD 3 billion a year in revenue and holding 17 out of the top 20 attended single-day sporting events in the world, NASCAR is one of the most popular – and intense – motorsports on the planet. While NASCAR sanctions over 1,500 races a year within multiple series, its top-tier event is the Sprint Cup Series, a ferocious melding of high-powered stockcars with America, Mexico and Canada’s tightest and fastest race circuits.
The competition works in two segments. Throughout the first 26 races – races are held at various circuits, including the prestigious Daytona International Speedway in Florida – 49 drivers from 22 construction teams vie for a place within the top ten, being awarded points ranging from 43 for first place downwards. At the close of the first 26 races the top ten drivers (as well as a further two wildcards) enter into the second stage of the competition, which is referred to as the ‘Chase for the Sprint Cup’. From here the 12 drivers have the points equalised to a level playing field once more and then compete over the next ten races for the championship trophy.
Why split the series in two? To make sure maximum racing skill needs to be employed in every race and that the competition is never wrapped up mid-season – something recently demonstrated in the Formula One 2011 season, where Sebastian Vettel won the F1 Championship over a month and a half before the final race took place. As such, NASCAR delivers nail-biting action right down to the final race’s chequered flag.