Just watching the build up to the Le Mans 24hr and someone just referenced the race at “The biggest race in the world!”, but what actually is the biggest??
I know the answer probably depends on your definition but I’d guess there are 3 contenders. Monaco, Le Mans and the Indy 500. Being an F1 guys Monaco gets my vote but what other races have I missed or why should one of the others races get my vote?
It’s defo Le Man. It’s 55 cars +the garage 56 car on track. That’s 168 drivers racing for 24hrs on an 8mile circuit. The race has been run over 80 times now. For my money no other race compares. All 3 races of the triple crown, and including others like Daytona 500 or the Dakar Rally all have their arguments, but it’s Le Man for me.
Really, ‘the biggest’ anything is usually a bunch of PR. There are cases to be made for Dakar, Le Mans, Indy 500, Monaco, Daytona 500, Daytona 24 hours, etc. I’d rather enjoy them all than worry about which is the biggest or baddest.
In terms of popularity I would have always said Monaco, Indy500 or the LeMans 24. I now live in the US and its undoubtedly the 500 for folks over here – I don’t think the LM24 is a big deal to most people here. I guess it depends where you live.
It all boils down to how one defines “biggest”. It can be an objective, measurable criterion – for example, number of participants/cars on track, overall spectators and viewership – or something highly subjective and contentious – for example, the prestige factor associated with the race.
@the_sigman – Mate we all love Bathurst but we cant quite compare to the ‘big boys’.
Le Mans (very sad to see we lost another driver- RIP!!) is up there, but as suggested it doesnt get the coverage. Indy 500 another contender of course, a great race for sure.
Biased as an F1 man I would love to say the Monaco Grand Prix- but we all know its more the specticale as opposed to a great race. Desert rally’s for me are great, but for mine the best race in the world is the Italian Grand Prix at Monza- the history that track ozzes is fantastic- I used to get goose bumps when I got up at 2am in the 80’s & 90’s to see Ayrton and Prost slug it out!!
20 years on and I still do now. They have never been my favorite team, but Marenello and the Prancing Horse is what makes F1 so great- and I think the Italian Grand Prix the biggest race in the world!!
Sharing the top spot – Dakar and Le Mans, both in the terms of toughness, engineering challenge, prestige, legacy and popularity. Also some classic F1 races (Belgium, Italy, Monaco, UK), Indy 500, Daytona 24 and Sebring 12, Bathurst 1000, Rally Monte Carlo, and up to 2002, Safari Rally
I think Le Mans probably has it – fame, course length and the skill required. With something like Monaco I just can’t get past the fact that it’s a bit of a karting track once you ignore the super expensive yachts and the hype.