Top 3 rally cars
Peugeot 205 T16
Monte Carlo Rally
Rally Monte Carlo is a two-day race which is organizing every year since 1911. The rally now takes place at the French Riviera. With often varying weather conditions at each starting point, this event places a big emphasis on tire choices.
Neste Rally Finland
Rally Finland (Neste Rally Finland ) is a rally competition held in Jyvaskyla in the Finnish Lakeland. It started in 1951. The rally is driven on wide and smooth roads, featuring blind crests and big jumps. This race is the fastest event in the World Rally Championship
Petter Solberg World RX Team
The Petter Solberg World Rallycross (RX) Team is the latest initiative of 2003 World Rally Champion Petter Solberg. He debuted in 1998 at the Rally and in 1999 he signed the first contract for the Ford factory. The following year began successful cooperation with the Subaru World Rally Team. He then comes to the RX team. The team was hand-picked by Solberg in 2013 and completed the FIA European Rallycross Championship season as a test season before the first ever World RX Championship. Petter Solberg became the first ever FIA World RX Champion in 2014, and he retained the title in 2015.
I’ve been following every form of motorsport since … forever, and while I still love the raw noise and smells of being trackside for real, online racing is getting bigger and better. But this is more than just sitting on your La-Z-Boy with standard controller in hand, the fast drivers are all using dedicated setups – some of the best racing simulator cockpits have been made for this purpose, and this purpose only.
With some famous race drivers seeing the benefit of sim racing (such as Sebastian Vettel and Felipe Massa regularly honing their skills via sim racing), you have to think that this is more than just a few buddies getting together online and racing for bragging rights on the next big night out – this is serious competition.
With that said, these race simulator cockpits that I’ve reviewed are priced well enough for those guys and gals (definitely aren’t talking professional monies), but still offer a genuine level of ‘simulator experience’ that a gaming steering wheel attached to your desktop via little rubber suckers just can’t.
Before going too far down the rabbit hole of online racing and gaming, it’s important to understand that what we’re talking about, isn’t the full professional setup that you’d find in the headquarters of Rousch or Ferrari (or whatever team and series you follow) – this is purely about a setup for your home entertainment, using a gaming system such as the Xbox One or PlayStation or a PC.
With that in mind, you need to think about whether it can be a permanent setup that’s never moved, or has to be something more practical that can be brought out or put away easily, to an extent, this also means the choice between something with a seat, or without.
Even after thinking about that, there’s still further choices – do you want one that folds up? Or just slides out of the way? Is space that limited that you might need something that could easily fit under your bed? Or in a cupboard?
While I’d managed with just a wheel & pedal combo thing for race games where I’m racing the game system AI rather than online competitors, when I finally made that transition to racing other real-live humans, I found that I really needed a simulator setup (or at least that’s how I justified it to myself!).
I’ve spent plenty of hours in a race car, so my priority was to feel comfortable, I didn’t want to be overstretching for anything, and I wasn’t going to ‘make do’ with a slight annoyance, because that would be a major hindrance over time. Finally, the most important factor for me personally, stability – you don’t want to feel like you’re teetering on the edge of falling over.
The Best Racing Simulator Cockpit
I’ve labeled these as the best sim cockpits, but the reality is that your needs may be different from mine – I have the space to have a dedicated setup, no one else uses it – what works for me might not be so good for someone that’s a bit more svelte.
With that said, there should be something in this list that will work for you.
1. OpenWheeler GEN2 Racing Wheel Stand Cockpit
Like all the other cockpits here, this does not include any game wheel, pedals, shifter etc, this is for the stand only.
It’s available in a number of different colors – the base color being black, but you can have that with red, blue, green, orange, yellow and black, and it will fit nearly all of the most popular makes of wheel and/or pedals – like the Logitech G29 or G920, all Thrustmaster setups, same with the Fanatec, and of course it’s completely independent of the system or console – it doesn’t matter if you have a PC, PlayStation or Xbox.
It’s a sturdy metal frame, with an almost limitless amount of adjustment, the platforms the pedals, wheel and shifter mount (which can be mounted on either side) to have multiple positions, which means you’ll easily find a position that suits your driving style and gaming system setup (whether that’s low down, laid out like an F1 car, or something more upright like a WRC car).
Along with the usual wheel & pedals combo, you can also fit a shifter and a handbrake, together – there’s space and mountings for both (particularly hand for rallying games). There’s also a couple of other important factors – this thing is stable – no rocking or teetering, and there’s no weight limit capacity – many setups have a maximum weight limit, which is fine in most cases, but start looking at 250lb + and choices are limited.
The OpenWheeler GEN2 is been completely designed, built and even packaged in the USA, and aside from mounting the gaming peripherals, it’s ready to use out of the box, and it does come with everything needed to make adjustments.
If you’re looking for the all-in-one, that’s a little more permanent, this is it.
2. PlaySeat Challenge Simulator Cockpit
Let’s just get this out of the way before going in to details – this has been wrongly criticized as ‘an over priced lawn chair’. Yep, it does have a similar style in that it collapses in to itself for storage, but that’s where the comparison ends – it’s well made and pretty heavy duty, unlike a cheap lawn chair.
Besides, with drivers such as Sebastien Vettel choosing PlaySeat for his sim racing (although not this particular model), you just know that the quality has to be there.
The patented collapsible design makes storing this sim easy. The seat itself is covered in a suede alcantara fabric, which is what you’ll find in a number of proper sports or race cars – so it gives it an extra dimension of reality. Despite having a strong, powder coated steel frame, the chair will only support weights of up to 200lb, and it will fit people from 4’ 7” thru to 7’.
It fits with most of the regular pedal and wheel sets – Fanatec, Thrustmaster, Logitech and MadCatz for example, and of course works with all consoles and PCs. Most users of the PlaySeat say that it’s super comfortable, and very stable, and given that it’s a foldaway chair and mounts, that’s quite surprising – you’d normally find that temporary setups aren’t that stable (or comfortable).
If you’re looking for a hybrid type arrangement – a chair that’s stable & comfy but still easily stored, the PlaySeat Challenge is the one you want.
3. APIGA AP2 Foldable Racing Simulator Stand
The Apiga setup is purely for the pedals, steering wheel and shifter – there is no seat, and no accommodation for one either – you’ll need something like a computer chair to make this work for you.
Ordinarily, the separate wheel & seat combination doesn’t make for a great racing experience – it feels quite disjointed (which of course it is), but obviously there is a need for that sort of setup for some people – maybe space is tight and they simply don’t have the room. One thing’s for sure though – this isn’t down to pricing – this is the second most expensive system in the list, and not far behind the OpenWheeler GEN2.
This driving simulator is a foldable stand, very stable & sturdy, and they say that it’s the ‘world’s first dual pole design’, although I’d have to question that I think – seems like a pretty simple ‘A’ frame stand to me. They do say that it’s height adjustable, along with the angle, but there’s only two angle changes, and they aren’t that different to be honest – it really needs more adjustment on the pedal mounting plate.
The APIGA AP2 racing simulator will hold all the regular wheels & pedals, with pre-drilled holes for most of the popular makes, and it can also hold a shifter (which can be mounted left or right). There’s no tools needed to set it up or adjust. It uses non-slip runner feet to stop it moving along the ground, but thanks to the design and weight, it can be a little top heavy, which means if you’re getting a little vigorous, you’ll start lifting the front up as you pull on the wheel.
Unlike other racing sims using this sort of design, there is an accommodation for a racing seat (which is sold separately), but for a few extra dollars you can buy the GEN2 that comes with a seat.
If space is tight, or you just need a simple stand to mount your pedals and wheel to, rather than a desktop, then this could be the racing simulator for you.
4. Next Level Racing Steering Wheel Stand
This is a patented design, and they make a big thing of ‘no annoying pole between your legs’, but as far as I can see, a great many of these racing sim cockpits have a similar feature. I like this sim cockpit because it’s multi-adjustable, which means you can pretty much place everything as you would in a real race car – you can mimic a realistic racing driving position.
Same as the others, it’s compatible with most of the gaming wheels and pedals, and you can also mount a shifter on either side. Once everything is mounted correctly, the adjustment is fantastic – find your position and keep it – it all folds up neatly and securely for easier storage.
The Next Level steering wheel stand will accommodate anyone from 4’ right through to 6’9” (it doesn’t specify a weight limit). The real diamond feature of the Next Level setup is customization and accessories – you can buy everything from a racing seat mounting, monitor stands (to hold either 1 x 55” monitor or 3 x 30” monitors) gaming desktop, flight pack, floor mats (much needed) and a motion platform.
Despite the base system being a little … basic, the fact that you can add on the other bits makes this system great. You can effectively build a complete race simulator as you may find in more professional gaming arenas, or perhaps even in a car manufacturers test facility – almost an entirely self-contained simulator experience – if you could wrap it in bodywork, this thing would be awesome.
If you’re looking to the long term, and want an almost standalone platform simulator, then the Next Level pack should be looked at. The unit is fully customizable, fits with all systems and accessories and offers you an incredibly ultimate racing experience.
Knowing what space you have will help to make the decision, as will knowing what you actually want to achieve. Showing your buddies a clean (virtual) tailpipe is one thing, but if it’s semi professional racing you want, then you need it to be as close to a race environment as possible, and for me, that means a fully adjustable setup, with seat.
You should also consider that most drivers using this type of setup can instantly produce quicker lap times. Thanks to better controllability and finer inputs – controlling a bit of oversteer is easier with a proper wheel, and of course, the pedals give you much better refinement for inputs. Despite being a digital speed control, the standard controllers can steel feel a little like an on/off switch, a pedal allows for much more control – you can actually feather the throttle as you would in a real car and let’s not forget, many of the newer race cars use a drive by wire system now – just like you get here.
I loved playing with RC cars when I was younger (OK, who am I kidding, I still love playing with them), but sometimes … sometimes they weren’t that great; too slow, short run times, not enough power … and that’s before we get to the endless search for batteries to power them. But these cars here … these are some of the best RC cars that are available right now.
Thankfully, unless you’re really a gearhead, RC drones have become the new, favorite, must have toy, and that means that prices for the cars are getting lower, all the while the specification is higher – things such as brushless motors mean more power, more speed and crazier stunts, and yet the prices just keep on falling.
That’s not to say that you can’t buy a really high-end model, but first you need to understand what you want from it. I’ve got all the answers you need, … let’s start with the basics.
My first ever RC car was a jet-black Porsche 911, it struggled to ride over any surface that wasn’t almost marble-like, and turned by reversing in a circular motion, it wasn’t great. With that said, it was the 80s, and I was only about eight-years-old. I didn’t need hi-tech.
In the intervening 30-odd years, things have got much better: full 4-wheel drive, disc brakes (yes, really), enough power to tow you along, proper suspension, aluminum chassis’ … almost a very real, miniature car. So ask yourself … what are you going to do with it?
You want to just bash around for a bit, putting it away when you’re done and forget about it? Learn a bit more about setting them up and rebuilding them? Customize it? Race it?
For what it’s worth, putting aside the toys, I’d always look at what accessories come with it, and how easy it is to get spare parts (forget customizing for the minute). Any RC car that has a halfway decent turn of speed is going to get crashed (and trashed), without fail. But breaking components isn’t the end of the world, providing you can buy replacements easy enough.
You don’t want to be stuck without a car thanks to a five-dollar steering knuckle.
Many standard cars are great fun, right out of the box, but the problem with that is that everyone thinks the same … ‘straight outta the crate’. Half the fun with sporty RC cars is making them faster, look better, stop better … just everything better.
But if all you can get is just standard parts, then the fun can soon go … especially if it’s a bit down on power – controlling a drift or 4-wheel slide is just as entertaining with an RC car as it is with the real-life version.
From body shells, through to suspension, motors, faster servos, chassis’ and even wheels, a decent RC car should be capable of switching them all out for an upgrade.
What could be another expense, or something else to think about is the radio gear – the actual ‘remote’ part of the remote control. Some of the high-end cars sell the radio gear separately – most serious RC users have their preferred brand, and usually a fair bit of spare gear that can easily be transferred from a boat or whatever else they use.
You also need to be able to switch out the frequency of the radio, usually done with swapping a crystal in the radio – two cars using the same frequency will run haywire, or at best, run together, which means bashing around with friends just doesn’t work. Of course, if all you’re doing is scrapping about in the yard, that doesn’t matter so much, but for anything else, make sure the frequency can be changed.
The Best RC Cars
Traxxas 37054-1 Rustler
Traxxas say they’re the #1 name in ‘RTR’ – Ready to Run RC cars, and the Traxxas 37054-1 is certainly well-specced up. This is kinda the middle of the road RC car, we’re not talking ‘toy’ cheap, but certainly not high-end (wait until you see the Traxxas XO-1).
Straight from the crate, it will run at around 22mph, and swapping out the pinion gear from the standard 16-tooth to the (included) 28-tooth gear will give you a top speed of around 35mph – it’s no slouch, that’s for sure. It’s also rather unique in that it has a ‘training mode’ which basically cuts the power in half, but keeps all the other functions (like brakes) the same. A useful mode for those that aren’t used to RC cars, or a bit out of touch.
All of the electronics are waterproof, so the car can run pretty much anywhere without fear of damaging anything, or worse still, losing control. A 3,000mAh battery gives a relatively long runtime, and the smart rapid charger (as much as 10x faster than some of the competition) are included.
There are some limited tuning options – the shocks are oil filled, so by changing the oil viscosity you can change the suspension, of course steering and geometry are tunable, but this car is aimed at the people that just want to bash around, rather than getting in to full tuning setups.
My number one choice for the all-rounder.
Redcat Racing EPX Drift Car
This is purely about drifting – this isn’t an all-rounder, although with some work and different tires it could be setup for just about anything, don’t buy this car unless you specifically want to get in to RC drifting.
It has a poly-carbonate body (great for taking the odd knock or two), a completely waterproof ESC (Electronic Speed Control) and all-wheel drive. The tires have been specifically made for drifting – they do offer limited grip, but they help to control the car when you finally manage to perfect the full four-wheel drift round your furniture or yard.
Could do with a slightly bigger battery – it’s just 2,000mAh as standard, however as with most of these cars here, it’s all upgradeable, in fact, the Redcat comes with a complete catalog of fully upgradeable brushed aluminum parts.
#1 for simple drifting.
EpochAir Wall Climber & Stunt Car Toy
This is a novelty, a toy, and I’ve included it here as A) it’s very cheap and B) it climbs walls, hangs on to ceilings and rides on glass … this isn’t your average RC car. The design is simple – a small vacuum and almost sealed underbody means it can suck itself to the wall (providing it isn’t too bumpy), but should you just want to drive it normally, you can switch between wall or floor mode.
It can be charged either through the remote control with the built-in lead, or through a separate USB point (like on your computer). EpochAir also say that it does ‘stunts’, in reality what this means is that it can rotate through 360 degrees at the push of a button. It also has LED lighting at the front and rear, which changes depending on which way you’re driving.
All in, the kids will love driving it on the ceiling. This has to be the best choice for the little‘uns.
Traxxas XO-1 AWD Supercar
This just has to be the daddy of all RC cars, and not just because of the pricetag.
100+ mph performance.
Yes, you read that right, and it isn’t a typo – one hundred miles per hour. I feel like I need to say that again … ONE HUNDRED MILES PER HOUR. Oh, and I haven’t finished … it does that in UNDER 5 seconds (4.92 to be precise). To achieve this, Traxxas have fitted the XO-1 with all manner of cool stuff, including telemetry with real-time data sent to the specially developed ‘LINK’ app on your phone or tablet.
The app can show speed, battery voltage, RPM and temperature. Not only that, but it’s fitted with the Traxxas Stability Management system (believe me, you WILL need), a cush drive (for gentler starts), reinforced steel-gear differentials (which can be tuned through the use of different viscosity oils), steel CV driveshafts which are splined, aluminum C-hubs / steering knuckles / axle carriers and shock towers, and the biggest ‘big block’ brushless motor ever fitted to one of their cars.
Definitely, without doubt, my number one choice for … speed, technical gizmos, coolness … anything.
Traxxas 83044-4 Mustang GT Electric Racecar
Everything will seem a little … meh … after the XO-1, but the Mustang by Traxxas is still a pretty handy RC car, and it’s officially licensed by Ford, which means a lot of the details are correct … it’s more than a toy.
Still capable of 30+ mph (which is fast for an RC car, but … 100mph?), and uses the all-new 4-Tec 2.0 chassis which helps to keep the center of gravity low, and coupled with the aggressive street tires, this makes for a great all-rounder.
If you’re a Mustang or Ford person, then this is the must-have RC car, also add a few bucks on to the price because it doesn’t come with any battery or charger.
EXCEED-RC Electric Brushless Drift Star
Another drifter, and watching the videos about it will make you smile … the slo-mo, full opposite lock action is incredible.
Another RTR (Ready to Run), but that has lots of setup opportunities and customizable parts – the shocks for instance are threaded, which means you can adjust them just as you would a real set of coil-overs, the camber and toe are easily adjustable for the perfect handling, and the suspension arms are all lightweight – this has one purpose only – styling out those corners and bends.
It has purpose made, solid compound drifting tires, full four-wheel drive and high power brushless motor, with an extremely low center of gravity, this would definitely be my choice for a drifter.
EXCEED-RC MadDrift Limited Edition
Similar to the Drift Star, but just more … more power, more tuning, bigger and plenty of opportunity for setup; changing the oil in the differentials (which are easily reached) changes the entire nature of the car, full aluminum chassis, and brushless ESC (Electronic Speed Control) and motor.
The 3,300mAh battery gives plenty of run time, but EXCEED-RC have pared back the price a bit by not including any type of charger.
For me, I prefer the larger size, and like the fact that you can really change the setup, almost to a professional level, however, that could be the problem for the more inexperienced driver.
Prextex RC Police Car
Again, similar to the EpochAir, this really is just a toy, aimed at small children. The fact that the ‘siren’ wails about as loud as a genuine police car makes for great fun for the kids, not so much for their parents. Thankfully, the sound can be switched on or off from the remote control.
Has plenty of flashing lights to go with the siren, and by all accounts, it can take some pretty heavy abuse without breaking … a prerequisite for any children’s RC car.
So … Which One?
For me, of course I’d pick the crazy fast XO-1, but only if I had the room to use it … it’s not going to be something that you could max out in your yard, and even then, with plenty of room, I’d be very wary about driving it hard if there were people around – hit someone at 100 mph, and you’re facing legal action. Should also consider that it will easily go from 1 to a million pieces in the blink of an eye – get plenty of spares!
Car racing (also called auto racing, automobile racing, motor racing, or less accurately motorsport) is unlike most popular sports—soccer (association football), basketball, tennis… Motor racing is a conglomeration of several different disciplines (also called genres, categories, or types), each with its peculiar set of rules, sports skillset, competition hierarchy, vehicle type, and top performers.
The seven main types of car racing include:
- open-wheel racing (flagship competitions are Formula One and IndyCar Series),
- sports car/grand tourers/GT car racing (flagship competitions are FIA World Endurance Championship and 24 Hours of Le Mans),
- stock car racing (flagship competition is the Daytona 500)
- touring car racing (top competitions are FIA WTCC—now FIA WTCR and Speed World Challenge),
- rallying (flagship competition is the World Rally Championship)
- sprint car racing (flagship competitions are World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series)
- drag racing
And there are many more types—kart, production-car, one-make, solar car racing… Some are more high-profiled than others. For instance, many regard Formula One (F1) as the ‘pinnacle of motorsport’. Furthermore, many drivers (including some of the all-time greats) raced in low-profile genres, such as kart and sprint car racing, before making their way to competing in high-profile divisions.
The implication is that it is impossible to compare disciplines accurately. Sure, F1 cars are the most technologically advanced cars in motorsport and deceleration force when braking can be as high as 8G. But in 2010, the record distance covered in the 24 Hours of Le Mans was 3,360 miles (5,410 km)—a whopping 18 times longer than a Formula One Grand Prix; with the maximum limit a driver can race set at 14 hours. Then consider that the skillset required to become an amazing rally driver is impressive.
Bottom line is: pitting categories against each other is often akin to comparing apples to oranges. This makes compiling an objective top 10 greatest car racing drivers list difficult.
Different sides of the Atlantic
The difference in racing types isn’t the only factor that limits the ability to compile a universally agreeable list. Geography is a factor as well. Racing disciplines are not uniformly popular around the world. F1 is popular in Europe. In North America, stock car racing (NASCAR) is overwhelmingly popular (although that has been dipping over the last few years).
As a result, depending on what side of the Atlantic you’re on, it is likely that your greatest of all time list will either comprise [almost] entirely of F1 drivers, or have near equal representation of NASCAR drivers (and drivers in other disciplines).
A universally acceptable top 10 list is improbable
In a nutshell, a ranking of the best car drivers of all time that’d be universally accepted is a pipe dream. Now, if it were for a specific discipline or period (say a decade), there’d be more agreement.
Furthermore, for an all-encompassing car racing greats list, there isn’t much of a gulf in difference between the first 15-20 drivers by any metric. Consequently, quite a few drivers who miss out of a typical best 10 auto racing drivers actually deserve a spot.
In light of these, we’ve tried to make the list more representative of the diverse racing genres. We’ve also arranged the names in an alphabetical order, as such this isn’t a ranking. With that said, let’s get down to discussing the greats and their awe-inspiring careers (and accomplishments).
Nickname: The Professor | Nationality: French | Racing Discipline: Formula One | Active Years: 1980-1991, 1993 | Major Achievements: FOUR (4) F1 World Championships, 51 Grand Prix Wins (a record at the time)
Prost always had deep athletic leanings and at a young age gave roller skating, wrestling, and soccer a go. In fact, he thought of becoming a gym instructor or pursuing a professional career in soccer. However, all it took to ignite a passion for racing was a family holiday.
He started out with kart racing at age 14, won several karting competitions, and eventually progressed to become the only French driver to win a F1 World Championship (a record that still stands). At 19 (1974), Prost left school to become a full-time racer. One year later, he won the 1975 French senior karting championship.
His karting championship win meant he was promoted to Formula Renault: He won the 1976 and 1977 Formula Renault championships. Then he moved up to Formula Three and won both the French and European F3 championships in 1979.
At this point, it was clear he was the next big thing in Formula racing and he did live up to his potential. However, his achievements on the course were mired by his feud with another all-time great Ayrton Senna—the bitterest and highest-profile rivalry in F1 history—as well as serial controversies with his teams.
Even so, the success of his calculating, intellectual, and methodical style of racing, which earned him the nickname (derogatory at the time)—The Professor—is unrivaled in racing history. Evidence that although it appeared to be easy (and consequently put down frequently), it was a testament to his genius and exceptional talent.
Alain won FOUR F1 drivers’ championships (third highest tally in F1 history; two of them back-to-back (1985 and 1986) to equal Jack Brabham’s 26-year-long record. He could easily have had two more world titles.
- Renault’s lamentable reliability cost him in 1982 when Gilles Villeneuve wasn’t in the running anymore.
- In 1983, he lost by 2 points to Nelson Piquet even though he was in a seemingly unbeatable position. Renault had dismissed his serious concerns to improve the engine if they were to remain competitive.
- In 1984, he lost by only half a point—the closest shoot-out in F1 history—to McLaren teammate Niki Lauda.
Alain would later go on to say, “Without going to what I think is my limit. I always say that my ideal is to get pole with the minimum effort, and to win the race at the slowest speed possible.” It may not be the most spectacular approach to many racing fans, but it was darn effective.
Anthony Joseph Foyt
Nickname: Super Tex | Nationality: American | Racing Discipline: Several | Active Years: 1953-1993 | Major Achievements: FOUR (4) Indianapolis 500, Daytona 500, 24 Hours of Le Mans, 24 Hours of Daytona, 12 Hours of Sebring, 159 USAC Career Wins (a record), SEVEN (7) USAC National Championships, THREE (3) USAC Stock Car Championships, TWO (2) IROC Championships
AJ Foyt will race any automobile, from midget cars to pickup trucks. Over a 40-year professional career, Foyt broke records for fun and raced as though his life depended on it. If versatility is the most important metric in your book to measure a driver’s greatness, then Foyt comes on top almost every time.
Born to racer and famed racecar mechanic— Anthony Joseph “Tony” Foyt, Sr.—A.J. Foyt Jr. learned the art of not just racing but also building cars. In fact, he built the Coyotes he drove to win the 1967 and 1977 Indianapolis 500.
Super Tex had the always-exciting style of going flat-out and survived three major causes as a result. He narrowly escaped a fourth but has continued to deal with the long-term health implications of these injuries long after retirement.
Even so, the style made him garner an impressive array of career achievements and records, which we can’t list exhaustively in this article.
- He is the only driver to win the Indianapolis 500, Daytona 500, 24 Hours of Le Mans, 24 Hours of Daytona, and 12 Hours of Sebring.
- He and Dan Gurney teamed up and became the first American drivers to win the 1967 24 Hours of Le Mans. It was Super Tex’s first and only attempt, he only got 10 laps of pre-race practice, and he completed almost 18 hours of the 24-hour race. Astonishingly, they beat the track record by the largest margin in Le Mans history.
- He is the only driver to have had 20+ victories in USAC’s four major categories—Indy cars, midget cars, sprint cars, and stock cars.
Nickname: Beco | Nationality: Brazilian | Racing Discipline: Formula One | Active Years: 1984-1994 | Major Achievements: THREE (3) F1 World Championships, 65 Grand Prix Pole Positions (a record at the time)
Ayrton Senna de Silva was born to drive. He was an awkward child growing up, and a later diagnosis showed he had a motor-coordination problem. It may have been a problem in day-to-day living, but when he got behind the wheel at age four, his genius was unlocked as the awkwardness disappeared.
Beco would later go on to consistently push himself and car beyond the limits of physical capability and human endeavor in a way never before (and probably never will be) seen. His ruthless and fierce driving style scared drivers (and their teams), fans, and even himself; but look no further than his 6 out of 8 Monaco Prix wins to acknowledge his greatness. He went hard, weather and competitors be damned.
But it wasn’t just his dazzling raw talent, outer-worldly commitment, and sometimes petrifying determination that won him adulation across the world; he also had the charisma, eloquence, and self-awareness that was impossible to dismiss. Sprinkle a bit of spirituality with which millions felt they could identify, and Senna reached demi-god status in his native country Brazil.
Considering that he amassed a record 65 pole positions, 41 wins, and won 3 championships at a time when he raced against all-time great Prost as well as exceptional drivers—Piquet and Mansell; and it is obvious why he is the driver most often regarded as the greatest race car driver of all time.
Nickname: The Intimidator | Nationality: American | Racing Discipline: Stock Car Racing (NASCAR) | Active Years: 1975-2001 | Major Achievements: SEVEN (7) NASCAR Winston (Sprint) Cup Championships, Indianapolis 500, FOUR (4) IROC Championships
Earnhardt’s position on this list could arguably be taken by either Richard “The King” Petty (statistically, the most successful racer ever in motorsport) or Jimmie “Superman” Johnson (the genius who can’t help but shatter records for the sake of it).
Petty and Jimmie certainly dominated their eras, but Dale Earnhardt didn’t just dominate his era, he owned it. He synergized with the sport and became synonymous with (a synonym of) NASCAR. As a no-holds-barred driver, his aggressive style scared competing drivers but elicited feverish excitement amongst NASCAR fans. What he did on the racetrack; the fearlessness; the determination: it’s difficult to describe in words.
Unfortunately, like Senna—his racing spirit animal—Earnhardt died on the tracks. However, his ferocious driving paid dividends as he equaled Petty’s 7 NASCAR Sprint Cup Championships record as well as win the Indianapolis 500 in his 20th attempt after several close calls.
Nickname: The Flying Scot | Nationality: British | Racing Discipline: Several | Active Years: 1960-1968 | Major Achievements: TWO (2) F1 World Championships, Indianapolis 500
How do you win only two F1 championships (compared to Schumacher’s 7) and still top Time’s 2009 F1 greatest drivers list? Because Clark wasn’t a F1 specialist like Senna, Fangio, Prost, or Schumacher; he could race any car in any genre in any weather with any setup.
Jim Clark’s talent was undeniable; and he pushed each car he drove to the limit without appearing to be trying too hard. Jim Clark is better known for his Formula One achievements, such as his two F1 championships which could easily have been more if his cars were more reliable, most grand slams by any F1 driver, and amongst the best percentage wins in F1 history.
However, he always made his presence known in any discipline he dabbled in. He made America go “What Just Happened?!” when he won the 1965 Indianapolis 500 after leading for 190 of the 200 laps, to become the only driver to win a F1 title and the Indianapolis 500 in the same year. He participated in the 24 Hours of Le Mans thrice and was in the top 3 twice.
In addition to open-wheel and sports car racing, he also competed in rallying, touring car, and stock car racing.
Juan Manuel Fangio
Nickname: El Maestro | Nationality: Argentine | Racing Discipline: F1 | Active Years: 1950-1951, 1953-1958 | Major Achievements: FIVE (5) F1 World Championships
Fangio is the gold standard, the OG racing all-time great, a towering figure that cast a shadow on every F1 driver that drove after him. The Master needed only 7 years to win his FIVE (5) F1 championships, only eclipsed by Michael Schumacher who needed 14 years to win SEVEN (7).
Fangio was in the top 2 of every F1 World Championship he participated in except his last (where he only took part in two of the first five grands prix). Even more impressive is that he made his F1 exploits in his 40s. He is the only driver to win F1 titles with four different teams. And still holds the record for the most percentage wins and percentage pole positions.
El Maestro cemented his legacy with a grand performance at Nürburgring, widely regarded as the greatest drive in Formula One history. After surpassing Fangio’s championship record in 2003, Schumacher had this to say, “Fangio is on a level much higher than I see myself. What he did stands alone and what we have achieved is also unique.”
Nickname: Piedone | Nationality: American | Racing Discipline: Several | Active Years: 1959-1994 ; 1995-1997, 2000 (24 Hours of Le Mans Only) | Major Achievements: F1 World Championship, Indianapolis 500, Daytona 500, 24 Hours of Daytona, THREE (3) 12 Hours of Sebring, 67 USAC Career Poles (a record), FOUR (4) USAC National Championships, USAC Dirt Track Championships, IROC Championship
The only driver to rival Foyt as the most successfully versatile racer in the history of motorsport, Mario wasn’t born into racing royalty like Foyt (later on he and brother Aldo started the Andretti dynasty). In fact, his father disapproved of his racing proclivities. In addition, Andretti was born in Italy and exposed to a fundamentally different racing culture in Europe before his family moved to America.
He adapted like white on rice to American racing and the diversity appealed to him as he eventually went on to participate in midget, sprint, sports, stock, open-wheel, dirt racing events; and amassed an enviable trophy haul over a four-decades-long career.
Andretti has the unique distinction of being the only driver to win the Formula One World Championship, Indianapolis 500, and Daytona 500. Mario also won the 1969 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (the favorite competition of the Unser clan). That said, while the F1 title eluded AJ Foyt, the 24 Hours of Le Mans eluded Andretti (he came close to bagging it in 1995 with a 2nd pos. finish).
Nicknames: “Schumi/Schuey/Schu,” “the Red Baron,” “Regenkönig (rain king)/Regenmeister (rain master)” | Nationality: German | Racing Discipline: Formula One | Active Years: 1991-2006 ; 2010-2012 | Major Achievements: SEVEN (7) F1 World Championships (record), 91 Grand Prix Wins (record), 13 Races Won In A Season (record)
A young Schumacher-older Senna matchup reminiscent of the young Senna-older Prost rivalry did not play out for as long as any of us would have liked (Imola happened); but when the Red Baron did come into his own in his era, he gave goosebumps.
He didn’t just dominate his era, he rewrote the history of Formula One while he was at it and launched himself adamantly into the pantheons of the greatest to ever drive a F1 car. Whatever you think of him, you just can’t fault his numbers. He broke a record number of F1 records taking full advantage of the improved safety of F1 and longevity.
An interesting take of Schumi’s achievements is that he played a pivotal role in taking Ferrari back to its old lofty heights and beyond to make it the most successful team in Formula One history. Between 2000-2004, the Schumacher-Ferrari tsunami blew the competition out of the water, winning an unprecedented five consecutive F1 championships, becoming the only driver to finish in the top 3 in every race of a season in F1 history, and making over two dozen records in total.
Although Schumacher courted controversy owing to his brashness, the official Formula One site is right on the money when it equivocally refers to him as “statistically the greatest driver the sport (F1) has ever seen.
Nickname: Le Patron | Nationality: French | Racing Discipline: Rally | Active Years: 1999-Present | Major Achievements: NINE (9) World Rally Championships (record), THREE (3) Race of Champions, 912 WRC Stage Wins (record), 116 WRC Podiums (record), 78 WRC Event Wins (record)
Loeb started out as a gymnast. By age 15, he had won five gold medals at the French national gymnastics championship. He made the switch from gymnastics to auto racing soon after and started his rally career in 1995.
He proved to be a natural, winning several titles before he started racing in the elite World Rally Championships in 2002. Only a year later, he marginally lost the title by a single point. He returned with a vengeance in 2003 and for nine consecutive years, he won every WRC he participated in smashing and creating new records in the process.
Although a specialist on tarmac, Loeb dominated every rally platform—gravel, tarmac, sand, snow, mixed—unlike any other driver. Nicknamed ‘The Boss’ for his calm, cool, and focused racing style, he became the gold standard against which every rally racer is measured.
Always welcoming of new challenges, Loeb also raced in rallycross, touring, and sports car events. Impressively, he won the 2003, 3005, and 2008 Race of Champions (Champion of Champions title), he came second in the 2006 24 Hours of Le Mans, and .third in the 2014 and 2015 World Touring Car Championships.
He is unarguably the greatest rally racer of all time (although fellow French driver Sebastien Ogier seems intent on challenging for that title), and deserves a place on any objective top 10 all-time racing greats list.
Nickname: The King | Nationality: American | Racing Discipline: Sprint | Active Years: 1987-2016 | Major Achievements: TWENTY (20) World of Outlaws Sprint Car Championships (record), TWELVE (12) Knoxville Nationals (record), 690 World of Outlaws Career Wins (record)
Steve Kinser started out in sports as a wrestler and later became a professional mixed martial artist. Later on, he made his way into racing and eventually became unarguably the best sprint racer of all time.
The King wrote his name all over World of Outlaws (WoW) during his blistering sprint racing career. Kinser is a specialist sprint driver and won a record 20 WoW series, 12 Knoxville Nationals, 12 Gold Cup Race of Champions, and 7 Kings Royal at Eldora.
Read more: Top 10 Famous Car Races in History
NASCAR auto racing is an exceedingly popular sport with a rich history which has been around for over seventy years. During that time, the motorsport has seen numerous changes.
The following is a list of surprising facts which you didn’t know about NASCAR and will increase your knowledge of the sport, enabling you to enjoy it further.
1 – Average Speed of Race Car
When racing, NASCAR racing cars average well over 150 miles per hour. A number of the racers are around 180 miles per hour, and some even flirt with the 200 miles per hour level. It takes one second to travel an entire football field at 200 mph.
2 – It Gets Hot in There
The temperature in the car regularly tops 100 degrees with the floorboards getting as high as 170 degrees. Race drivers can lose five to ten pounds of perspiration in one race.
3 – Drivers vs. Marathoners
During a three hour race, the heart rate of a NASCAR driver is 120-150 beats per minute. This is the same as the heart rate of a marathon runner. On the turns, NASCAR drivers are subjected between two and three G’s (which is up to three times gravity’s force).
4 – Who Needs A Driver’s License?
NASCAR drivers are not required to have a state-issued driver’s license. They are expected to pass a physical examination and a drug test.
5 – Quick Reactions of Drivers
A NASCAR race car driver has the same skill as a hockey goalie or quarterback in anticipating what will happen.
6 – NASCAR is Big Business
With over 75 million American fanatics, NASCAR is the most prominent auto racing sport with races being broadcast in over 150 countries worldwide.
NASCAR stadiums have a massive capacity of 170,000 spectators, and the sport often holds the large majority of the top 20 attended single-day sporting events on an annual basis.
Purchases of licensed products by its fans amount to revenue of over $3 billion annually. For a sport with such humble beginnings, its popularity has become quite immense.
7 – What’s With All the Flags?
To control a NASCAR race, eight different flags are utilized by the officials. The white flag (which signifies on lap remaining in the race) is the only flag which is shown just once.
8 – Dale Earnhardt’s, Sr. Lasting Legacy
In 2001, NASCAR started a requirement where drivers must wear head and neck restraints. There has not been one driver who has died since this rule was put into effect. The rule requirement was prompted by the tragic death of Dale Earnhardt, Sr. In the 2001 Daytona 500.
9 – Not Like Your Regular Car
A race car will utilize three times more motor oil than a regular passenger automobile. Also, their radiators only use water. A NASCAR race car has a paint job which consists of vinyl stickers being applied with the use of a tool similar to a hair dryer.
10 – Biggest Race of the Season
The biggest NASCAR race of the year is the Daytona 500, which is also the first of the season, as well as being the most recognizable name for even casual fans of the sport.
11 – Origins of NASCAR
In 1947, NASCAR was started by Bill France, Sr. Of Daytona Beach, FL during a meeting at a hotel. The points system which was devised was written on a barroom napkin.
On June 19, 1949, the first-ever NASCAR race was held at Charlotte Speedway (a ¾ mile dirt track) in Charlotte, NC. The race was won by Jim Roper after another driver, Glenn Dunnaway was kicked out of the race due to altering his rear springs.
12 – American Sedans
NASCAR race cars are designed to resemble an American sedan and are equipped with fenders. The vehicles are required to have three stock parts from the manufacturer, with the roof, the hood and the trunk lid considered standard.
13 – Legendary Racer and Inventory Richard Petty
Having won 200 NASCAR races and seven stock car championships in his career, Richard Petty is widely known as the top driver of all time. This legendary race car driver also invented the window net which keeps the arms of drivers within the vehicle, avoiding an injury during a crash.
14 – As Luck Would Have It
Michael Waltrip started a record 463 NASCAR races without earning a victory. He broke his streak of bad luck when he won the 2001 Daytona 500, a race mired in tragedy.
15 – First Woman Racer
Janet Guthrie was the first ever woman to compete in a Winston Cup race in 1976, finishing 15th in the World 600 race.
16 – A Television First
The 1979 Daytona 500 became the first 500-mile auto race to be televised live and in its entirety.
The Formula 1 season has gotten off to a resounding start, and since the shift to vastly different cars in 2017, the sport has never been more revitalized, even though there was initially some doubt.
In this guide, we’ll be looking at some of the most surprising, impressive, or simply intriguing Formula 1 facts, so bear with us as we go through our list.
It is More Than a Competition Between Drivers
Most people assume that Formula 1 consists of a single championship over the course of its 21 Grands Prix, but you may be surprised to learn that it is, in fact, two championships. The first of these, which is better-known is the Driver’s Championship, in which the driver who accumulated the most points wins.
However, the second trophy that is handed out at the end of the F1 season is for the Constructor’s Championship, which considers the points scored by the cars themselves. This is because every F1 car is designed by the team that is racing it, and the best design will be separate from the skill of the driver.
F1 Cars Don’t Refuel in a Race
Fuel is managed differently in F1 than in other racing competitions such as Nascar, where the fuel is refilled during a pit stop. Instead, in F1, only damaged wings and tires are replaced during a car’s pit stop, meaning that the fuel that a racecar starts off with is what it will have for the rest of the race.
A lot of the time, drivers will fill their cars with less fuel than is needed to accomplish the race so that the vehicle will be lighter. Over the course of the race, the driver will have to take measures to manage their fuel and ensure that they don’t run out by the end of it.
Race Strategy Plays a Huge Role
When it comes to winning F1 races, most people assume that it is similar to other motorsports, where the skill of the driver is in direct competition with that of others. In fact, the key to a successful race is largely in the strategy that is put together by the drive in conjunction with their team.
While F1 racing used to be more of a seat-of-your-pants experience where it was mostly up to the intuition of the drivers, the legendary Ayrton Senna changed the way that the sport is looked at. Now, drivers will spend hours poring over telemetry and other data so they can get the perfect lap.
Modern F1 Cars Are Vastly Different to Older Models
With the start of the 2017 season, F1 entered a new generation, and it was perhaps the greatest leap from one year to the next that we have ever seen in the sport. The cars grew massively, meaning that they now have wider tires and more area to produce downforce, improving their grip immensely.
In addition to the changes to the cars’ sizes, modern F1 puts more of a focus on electric drive technologies like KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems). Keep in mind that traction control is still banned from use in F1, though there are still some loopholes that teams try to take advantage of.
F1 Takes a Toll on Drivers’ Bodies
While being an F1 driver sounds like a dream come true for lovers of automobiles, you will find that it is one of the most stressful careers in the world. An average person trying to drive an F1 car would likely stall it because they weren’t going fast enough into the corners.
Over the course of a race, you will find that a typical F1 driver loses around 8 pounds of fluids due to the high temperatures and the extreme stress that they must endure. While this weight is regained afterwards, the sports does indeed take a physical toll on your body, even if you are sitting down.
We hope that our five F1 facts have proved informative and astonishing. Feel free to check out some of the other articles on our site if you want to learn more about cars, whether they compete in F1 or they are the peak of luxury.
Monaco Grand Prix
In 1929, Anthony Noghes and the Automobile Club de Monaco organized the first race through the streets of Monte Carlo. The Circuit de Monaco layout was the same one which is in use today. In 1950, the event was included in the Formula One World Championship.
With respects to time, Monaco is the longest Formula One race and can go the full two-hour time limit if it is slowed down by inclement weather. Overtaking another car is almost impossible due to the limited amount of racing space. The low speeds do not require much fuel to be burned, as Mika Salo finished fifth in 1997 without having to perform one pit stop.
Ayrton Senna of Brazil won the race six times and did it consecutively from 1989 to 1993. In a total of ten starts, he was able to finish on the podium eight times. The record for fastest lap is held by Michael Schumacher.
Known as the famed Brickyard, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has been home to the Indy 500 since 1911. The idea for the race track came from Carl Fisher, a businessman who thought the racetrack would be an ideal location for auto manufacturers to test their vehicles. Of course, they would have to do this against other car manufacturers.
The first race at the speedway was in June 1909 before a capacity crowd of 15,000 spectators. There was also tragedy on that day, as there three deaths and many injuries. In 1909, the track was reopened, as several modifications were made to the racing surface to improve safety.
The first of the famed 500-mile races was held at the track on May 30, 1911, which kicked off the Memorial Day tradition. Two years later in 1913, the race was receiving international attention with cars from Italy, Germany, England, and France entering the race.
24 Hours of Le Mans
Running its inaugural race in 1923 near Arnage, France, the oldest and most famous endurance car race is the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The race has been run for every year since, except for the war years and in 1936 when there was a strike.
On May 26 and May 27, 1923, the very first 24 Hours of Le Mans was held on public roads in Le Mans and several villages in Sarthe, France. With the winner covering the greatest distance, the race was made to test the endurance of both the racer and the automobile over a 24 hour period.
Before World War II, the races were won by French, Italian and British drivers who were driving vehicles manufactured by Alfa Romeo, Bentley, and Bugatti.
Due to the significant damage inflicted by World War II, the 24 Hours of Le Mans race took ten years off to allow for the rebuilding of France.
After the decade-long break, one of the most famous car races resumed running in 1949 and interest in the event was on the rise. After the war, car manufacturers such as Aston Martin, Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz, and Ferrari competed on a regular basis.
First held in 1960, the Bathurst 1000 is a touring car race of 1,000 km in length. The location of the annual race is at Mount Panorama Circuit in Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia. The race track is the most well-known landmark in the tiny city of Bathurst.
As the raced increased in popularity, most major car manufacturers in the Australian market were participating by the mid-1960s. The race gave the manufacturers an outlet to showcase their vehicles and image. Peter Brock, who is nicknamed “King of the Mountain,” has won nine races at Bathurst, which are the most of any driver.
The Daytona 500, a 500 mile long NASCAR Cup Series motor race, had its first race in 1959, which coincided with the opening of the speedway. Since 1982, it has been the first race of the season for the Cup series.
As the most important NASCAR race, the Daytona 500 has by far the largest purse prize. Since 1995, television ratings have been the highest of any auto race, surpassing the Indianapolis 500 in viewership.
The race consists of 200 laps on the 2.5 mile Daytona International Speedway. Once 300 miles have been completed, the race is considered official. Following the Southern 500, the Daytona 500 was the second 500-mile race by NASCAR.
Monte Carlo Rally
The Monte Carlo rally originally was conceived in the early 1900s but began to gain popularity during the early 1950s. At the time, the race had become one of Europe’s largest rallies, with the results counting towards the European Grand Tourism Championship. This would go on to become the World Rally Championship in 1973.
In the 1960s, professional racing companies would take an interest in the event. Up until this time, the event was not known for pure speed. The original idea of the race was for consistency and endurance, both mechanical and human.
See more: Rally cars in 2018
Isle of Man TT
The International Isle of Man TT Race, which was first run in 1907, is an annual motorcycle sporting event. The event uses a time trial format on public roads which are closed for the race. There is a one-week practice session which is followed up by one week of racing.
This race is known as one of the most motorsport events in the world. There was a boycott of the Isle of Man race by racers and manufacturers in the early 1970s due to the safety concerns of the Snaefell Mountain Course. The course is 37.73 miles long and was called ‘38 miles of terror’ by a Sports Illustrated writer.
24 Hours of Nurburgring
An event which has been taking place since 1970, the 24 Hours Nurburgring is a touring car and GT endurance race held annually in central Germany. The Nordschleife (north loop) is over 25 km long and includes the participation of over 200 automobiles and 700 drivers.
Since its inception, the event has been dominated by BMW and Porsche, with Ford, Audi, Chrysler and Mercedes also winning at times. As would be expected, the majority of the drivers who have won the race have been German.
Pikes Peak Hill Climb
Held in the state of Colorado, the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is a famed automotive competition that is sometimes known as the Race to the Clouds. This is a yearly motorcycle and car hill climb to the peak for which the race is named. The length of the track is 12.4 miles, consisting of over 150 turns and climbs which average a grade of over 7%.
The race dates back to 1916 and currently allows many classes of cars, trucks, quads, and motorcycles to enter. From year to year, new classes are recognized and discarded. The race has about 130 racers who participate.
The Dakar Rally is an off-road endurance race which utilizes off-road vehicles. The event first ran in 1978 from Paris, France all the way to Dakar, Senegal.
However, for security reasons, since 2009, the races have been held in the South American continent. Both professionals and amateurs can enter, with the latter usually outnumbering the professionals four to one.
The distances of each stage of the race vary from very short to 800 to 900 kilometers for one day. The off-road terrain consists of mud, crossing dunes, rocks and many other landscapes. The first race of 10,000 kilometers in length was finished by 74 of the 182 vehicles which had started.
We will show you some of the rally cars used this year in the championship
Citroen C3 WRC
This car is one of the most represented in rally races this year. The length of this car is 4m, and the width is 2.5m and weighs 1190kg and 1350kg with the crew. Below the hood is a 380 HP engine with a maximum torque of 6000 rpm and a four-wheeled towing system. The car has six speeds. Brakes are ventilation discs. The success of this automobile is: 17 races, 2 of that are victories and five races he reaches the podium.
Ford Fiesta WRC
Second car worth mentioning is the Ford Fiesta. This car is 4 m long and 2.5 m wide and weighs 1350 kg with the crew. Changing speed is done using the Six-speed sequential gearbox developed by M-Sport and Ricardo with the hydraulic shift. The brakes on these cars differ from Citroen; the front brakes have Brembo ventilated discs with Brembo four-piston monoblock calipers and the latest Brembo ventilated discs with Brembo four-piston monoblock calipers. The power of the engine in this car is 380 HP with a maximum speed of 6000 rpm and also a four-wheel drive. The success of this car is 17 races of it: 8 wins and 22 podiums. He has three titles.
Hyundai I20 coupe WRC
A slightly longer car of 4.1 m and a width of 2.5 m. The same engine power as the previous two, 380 hp but the number of rpm that can reach is 6500 rp m. The gearbox uses the Sequential gearbox, six forward gears and one reverse with paddle shift. Brakes are all four wheels of the same Ventilated Brembo disc brakes (370mm on the tarmac, 300mm on gravel). Air-cooled 4 piston calipers. The success of this car: 17 races of that 5 victories and 16 podiums.
Toyota Yaris WRC
One of the cars that did not shine on the rally scene. This car is slightly narrower than the others with 1.87 m, while its length is about 4 meters long. It differs from the engine that has 380 horsepower but also has a turbo and direct injection. Gearbox is a 6-speed hydraulic shift. Brakes are 300mm gravel / 370mm asphalt. The maximum speed this car can reach is 201 kph. Achievements of this car: 17 races of that two victories and eight podiums.