Ten must-watch races of 2010 (Video)

Audi aim to hit back at Peugeot at Le Mans this year

Audi aim to hit back at Peugeot at Le Mans this year

We’re all F1 fanatics here but even with a biggest-ever calendar of 19 races this year that still leaves 33 F1-free weekends.

So what’s the other must-see racing action in 2010 this year? Here’s my top ten picks – name yours below.

British Formula Three, Oulton Park

Rounds one, two and three – 3rd & 5th April

The traditional Easter weekend race at Oulton Park is a must-see for me – the first chance to see the new crop of young drivers fighting it out for honours in the British Formula Three championship.

Two years ago Jaime Alguersuari and team mate Brendon Hartley tangled at the hairpin, leaving Oliver Turvey to win.

Last year got off to an amusing start as Max Chilton jumped the start by a good five seconds and passed my position halfway down the start straight while the rest of the field were still waiting for the green light. Have a look at the video from the race below:

The 2010 British F3 season kicks off the day after the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Formula Two, Silverstone

Rounds one and two, April 16th-18th

The Formula Two championship was re-formed last year and for its second season the cars are being given more power and more grip.

Will this be enough to make a series an essential step on the path to F1 – which it really should be, given its name? We’ll get our first look at the 2010 contenders at Silverstone in May.

Indy Racing League, Indianapolis 500

Round four, May 30th

The Indy Racing League continues to get back on its feet in its third year of re-unification. This year Takuma Sato joins the sport’s former F1 contenders such as Robert Doornbos and Justin Wilson.

The centrepiece Indy 500, held the same day as the Turkish Grand Prix, is essential viewing. Also keep an eye out for the classic Long Beach street race, formerly on the F1 calendar, and the series first visit to the streets of Sao Paolo and Barber Motorsports Park.

Last year’s Indy 500 wasn’t a vintage race but it was a result to remember. Helio Castroneves won the race for the third time having returned to the championship having been investigated for tax evasion:

Le Mans 24 Hours, Circuit de la Sarthe

12th-13th June

Like the Indy 500, a historic race which gets on this list by default. This year’s race is an especially tantalising prospect as Audi prepare to hit back at Peugeot, who finally defeated them last year.

Former F1 champion Nigel Mansell will make his long-overdue first appearance in the race (he originally tried to contend it in the early eighties). And Aston Martin will enter a pair of their gorgeous V12 coupes once again.

Here’s a video of last year’s race getting started. Anyone fancy a 24-hour live blog for this year’s Le Mans?

GP2, Algarve

Rounds seven and eight, 19th-20th June

This year’s GP2 line-up is already looking exciting. iSport duo Davide Valsecchi and Oliver Turvey have shown good form in the Asia series, ART boast Ferrari-backed Jules Bianchi and there’s plenty of promising talent like Sergio Perez and Alexander Rossi elsewhere on the grid.

The championship’s sole foray away from the F1 support schedule takes them back to the fantastic Algarve circuit in Portugal where the series concluded last year. It’s a pity the track hasn’t got an F1 deal, but watching the Formula 1 drivers of tomorrow slug it out over its crests and swoops is the next best thing.

Goodwood Festival of Speed

2nd-4th July

Yes, yes, it’s not really a race – but with an entry list the likes of which Goodwood attracts, who’s complaining?

Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button both appeared last year and hopefully they’ll turn up again for McLaren in 2010.

Hamilton’s hopes of driving Ayrton Senna’s 1988 McLaren up the hill last year were dashed – will he get the chance this year?

Expect plenty of other appearances from contemporary F1 drivers and teams plus loads of classic Grand Prix cars and racers. If you’ve never been to this before, you really are missing something special. Take a look at F1 Fanatic’s coverage from last year:

Goodwood Festival of Speed 2009

American Le Mans Series, Petit Le Mans, Road Atlanta

Round nine, 29th September – 2nd October

One of few opportunities to see the best LMP1 racers in action next year. The 1,000 mile/ten-hour race around the challenging Road Atlanta circuit is also one of the rounds which comprise the new Intercontinental Cup for Le Mans prototypes, the precursor to a new world championship for the cars starting next year:

Le Mans Intercontinental Cup

DTM, Shanghai

Round ten, 30th-31st October

Increasingly, the DTM is the only touring car championship I bother to follow very closely. The WTCC put me off long ago with its ridiculously short races, poor choice of circuits and success ballasting. I still have a soft spot for the BTCC but there’s no denying the championship is a shadow of what it what in its mid-nineties heyday.

It may only boast Mercedes and Audi as manufacturer entrants but DTM’s cars are more dramatic and they race on some great tracks.

This year the championship is heading out to China once again, to a street circuit in Shanghai. Could this new venue be the future for F1’s presence in China, which has struggled to draw a crowd to the remote Shanghai International Circuit?

Hopefully the DTM won’t suffer a repeat of the loose manhole covers that plagued their 2004 visit to the country, as well as A1 Grand Prix’s attempt at holding a street race in Beijing in 2006.

Macau Grand Prix, Guia circuit

20th-21st November

The most coveted of the big F3 races, drawing the cream of the crop from the British, European, Japanese and other championships. This is a proper street circuit, mixing fast straights, tight corners and unforgiving walls.

GT1, San Luis

Round 19 and 20, 5th December

The entry list for the new FIA GT1 world championship reads like a Top Gear episode: Aston Martin DB9, Lamborghini Murcielago R-SV, Maserati MC-12, Nissan GT-R, Ford GT…

The supercar fun gets started at Abu Dhabi in two months’ time and the season wraps up at the gorgeous Potrero de los Funes lakeside circuit in San Luis, Argentina in December.

Have a look at the gorgeous circuit in this video:

Any more?

These are the ten races outside of the F1 championship I most want to see in 2010. But what other events do you think I should make time for? What are you going to be watching this year?

Should I be getting up at midnight to watch Australian Touring Cars? Which races on NASCAR’s mammoth schedule are most worthy of our attention? Is it time I broadened out from four-wheel circuit racing to take in Moto GP and rallying?

Or maybe for you F1 is number one and nothing else will do. Make your case in the comments for which are the must-watch races this year.

Read more: Watch more than just F1 races in 2010

Advert | Go Ad-free

118 comments on Ten must-watch races of 2010 (Video)

1 2 3 5
  1. Aleksandar Serbia said on 21st February 2010, 11:48

    I miss Champcar, the days of Zanardi,MOntoya,Tracy,Franchitty, gone, and it was the only series in last two decades that had the lost art of dogfight and overtaking, simply brilliant, just didn’t get with the Burger crowd.

    • Agreed!
      The mid/late 90s’ IndyCar/ChampCar was the best and the most exciting racing championship there was in the last 20 years.
      (PS. I’d add Michael Andretti and Greg More to your list!)

      BTCC during that era was also superb.
      The Moto GP was that as well – especially the Mick Doohan era 500cc’s.

    • Thank God! I thought I was the only one that miss Champcars. Way much better than Indy!!

  2. Mark Hitchcock said on 21st February 2010, 11:57

    The only V8 race I’ll *definitely* be watching is the Bathurst 1000, awesome track and almost guaranteed a bit of overtaking and a few crashes.

    • Agreed, in fact I’m surprised that Bathurst isn’t on the original list…

    • Yep that was the one I was going to mention. I give most of the V8’s a miss but Bathurst is a very special event, always worth watching.

      • Bentschke said on 22nd February 2010, 0:57

        There is something about 30 V8 supercars racing for 1000km with awesome crashes and overtaking – and in the last few years you havent been able to take your eyes of the screen in the last 15 laps. Mount Panaroma should be added to the original list – I still think it is THE BEST track of all time. (if you think you know of a better one let me know)

    • Achilles said on 22nd February 2010, 6:33

      Good to see the Bathurst Fans are letting you know about a first class race Keith. A lot of British, and international Drivers take part, from all disciplines.

    • I agree. I think that this race is one of ten MUST WATCH in 2010. One of greatest tracks in the world and one of real racing series with real cars made of metal (not from plastic).
      I will be watching it and I suggest you do it too.

  3. MPJ1994 said on 21st February 2010, 11:58

    You should definatly get up at midnight to watch the V8 Supercars Keith.

    Several races I would recomend are:
    – Clipsal 500 in Adelaide on the ex-F1 circuit (11-14 March)
    – The Phillip Island 500km endurance race (September)
    – Bathurst 1000 endrance race around one of the worlds graet circuits (October) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MsRMZ42IHI8
    – Super Carnivale around Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast. This event is undergoing a major overhall after the A1GP disaster last year. This year it will feature international co-drivers who will drive with the series regualars. Confirmed drivers include David Brabham, Scott Pruit, Mark Blundell and Christian Fittipaldi. Several ex-F1 drivers have also been mentioned as possible drivers. (October)
    – Sydney Telstra 500 street circuit around the Sydney 2000 Olympics Venues. (December)

  4. Chris P said on 21st February 2010, 12:18

    Every round of the BTCC is a must watch on ITV4 if not in person!

  5. There’s a mistake in the first paragraph about the DTM.
    “what it what in”

  6. Personally, I’m gonna be watching he BTCC alongside F1. last year, they showed the end of Le mans, but when you get 6.5 hourse of race coverage on a sunday, you cant really go wrong. I’m hopefully going up to watch the June 20th races at Croft as well.

  7. Except from just F1 im probaly going to watch motogp more closely this year.

    • Scribe said on 21st February 2010, 13:01

      I was going to watch mor moto untill a cerain hand got injured and I caught Schumacher syndrome.

      • After that last lap at Catalunya I haven’t been able to keep myself away from moto gp.

        There was more overtaking and excitement on that last lap then there was in the whole of the F1 race held there.

    • banned from J.Allen site said on 21st February 2010, 13:19

      me too. ben spies is a rider that can capture people’s imagination. He cought mine for sure, with his come back, on the last few laps at assen 09.

  8. Dyarab said on 21st February 2010, 12:49

    I know it’s already been ran but what about the 24 Hours at Daytona?

  9. I love the Indy 500 and hopefully going to the Le Mans 24hr this year.

    If anyone has any tips about Le Mans, what tickets to go for/what to do please let me know thanks :)

  10. Andrew White said on 21st February 2010, 13:06

    Outside F1, I’ll be going to the Festival of Speed and F2 at Brands.

  11. Fer no.65 said on 21st February 2010, 13:07

    you might want to see this, Keith

    Guillermo Ortelli (my favourite driver in Argentina) driving a borrowed NASCAR (the UPS Ford, i belive):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAbVBjOIn4s

  12. Ledzep4pm said on 21st February 2010, 13:10

    What about the FIA GT1 at Silverstone, Β£26 for the whole weekend, free grandstand seating, free paddock access.

    Brilliant cars and racing for less than Β£30 who can argue with that

  13. One word

    *Bathurst*

  14. christ…. a 24hr blog for Le mans 24hr, Keith you must be mad lol. I would be interested but i havent got a clue about those drivers and I have only ever watched very small parts in the past. What channel will it be on in the UK? Eurosport????

  15. Dan Bigham said on 21st February 2010, 13:43

    Definetely going to follow Moto GP, the overtaking and daredevil-ness makes up for the lack of it in F1.

    Also will watch a lot of the Le Mans Series races, maybe go to a few!

1 2 3 5

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments must abide by the comment policy. Comments may be moderated.
Want to post off-topic? Head to the forum.
See the FAQ for more information.