F1 Fanatic guest writer Ben Evans reminds us to take in more than just the 19 race on the F1 calendar in 2010.
Over the past few weeks there has been plenty of discussion on F1 Fanatic about going to see F1 races, ticket prices and so on.
Nothing compares to watching the Grand Prix pack charging headlong around the first lap of any race – but don’t end your 2010 track-side experience with Formula 1 – there are plenty of other great motorsport events that are well worth checking out.
In the UK we are blessed with an unbelievable choice of motorsport to enjoy every weekend, ranging from the showpiece BTCC/TOCA package to the stars of tomorrow breeding ground of Formula Three, and of course a multitude of club motorsport. And that’s not to include the visiting international series – WTCC, World Series by Renault, FIA GT, Le Mans Series, DTM and Superleague Formula.
A day out at a club meeting offers unrivalled value in comparison to any other sporting event. Admission to a fourth division football match will set you back £20, but tickets for the Vee Festival at Brands Hatch, which I organise, features up to 15 races.
While F1 support programmes tend to feature just a couple of categoies, club race weekends typically have 18-20 races spread across two days with a range of formulae competing, including saloons, sportscars and single-seaters.
And the racing is often hugely entertaining; with large grids of evenly-matched cars jostling for track position, incidents and overtaking are guaranteed. Access to the paddock at your average national meeting is completely free with fans able to chat with all the drivers and get a close look at the machinery. Better still all viewing areas are open (with some rare exceptions) so you can move around throughout the day and get your favourite spot.
Don’t assume quality is lacking at lower level events. Keen autograph-hunters in the Formula Palmer Audi paddock in recent seasons would have met Justin Wilson, Robbie Kerr and Jereon Bleekemolen amongst others, while in the perennially oversubscribed Production BMW Championship you can often find ex-Clio Cup Champion Ben Winrow keeping his hand in.
If you’ve only ever seen F1 on the TV, the pace of an F3, Formula Renault or Speed Protoype in the flesh is mind-blowing, and some of the manoeuvres (for better or worse) will leave you speechless.
Good national motorsport is not just confined to the UK, in Europe the travelling World Series by Renault package offers a great day out, free of charge. And in the USA, the Star Mazda category is as hard-fought as any championship in the world.
If you’re planning to make it to a Grand Prix in 2010, do set aside a weekend to take in some quality national racing as well – you won’t be disappointed.
What non-F1 races are you planning to go to in 2010? Have your say in the comments.
This is a guest article by Ben Evans. If you want to write a guest article for F1 Fanatic you can find all the information you need here.