12 Reasons Racing Is Better When Everyone Has The Same Car
Here in North America, The International Race of Champions, or IROC, is one of the best-known spec racing series due to its longevity and ability to attract some serious talent to pilot its fleet of identical sports cars. But it certainly isn’t the only place to watch drivers in identical cars.
From spec open-wheel formula to touring cars, history is filled with incredible battles. So sit back, relax, and try not to gasp too often when watching these clips.
Call me nostalgic, but the Ferrari Challenge was just perfect when drivers were in identically-prepared F355s. This Formula 1 support race from 1998 was run at the always-exciting Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve in Montreal, Canada.
The Firestone Indy Lights was a feeder series for IRL—which turned back into Indycar—and ran as a support race to many main events, including the Indianapolis 500. I was actually standing outside to watch the finish, and believe me—it was insane. This clip picks up the action from the last lap. Margin of victory? 0.026 seconds, going four cars wide.
Porsche Supercup is another series that’s been quite long-lived, but sadly, many of the earlier races from its earlier years weren’t run with much TV or media support—great clips are difficult to find. Thankfully, this intense dogfight among the leaders at (the old!) Hockenheim circuit from 1993 is online. On the right, what the series looks like these days.
The most intense place to watch a race from is probably if you could get a camera close to a driver’s nose…which is what visor cams are able to do. We could post awesome Spec Miata racing clips every day for a year and still not run out—if you’re thinking about racing, this is a great series to consider.
We’ve posted before about the “Fastmasters” series that featured a field of Jaguar XJ220s, but it’s just too painful to not include again.
This year is the 40th anniversary of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach’s Pro / Celebrity Race, a contest that’s been going since the ’70s. Previous celebrity winners include Keanu Reeves and Adam Carolla, who have been able to fend off pro drivers to take victory. As a bonus, I’ve included a clip from the series round at Watkins Glen in 1980 that’s well worth a watch.
You didn’t think I forgot the IROC series, did you? Here are two clips, each featuring the series’ two most famous cars—the Porsche 911 and Chevrolet Camaro. The first, sadly, is quite short, while the second clip features commentary by Jackie Stewart and a fun race.
Celebrities have also been racing in Australia for years in events similar to the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Races—this contest between Holden (er…Opel) Calibras in 1993 is great fun to watch.
Because Japan is Japan, there’s a single spec circuit race each year for owners of Dodge Ram vans. Insane? Of course! The vans aren’t strictly identical, but who cares…? It started, as these things tend to, when motorcycle transport vans were taken racing during a lunch break.
Thumbnail Source: 9magazine.com