Journal: 12 Reasons Racing Is Better When Everyone Has The Same Car

12 Reasons Racing Is Better When Everyone Has The Same Car

By Michael Banovsky
April 21, 2016

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.

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Cristiana Oprea
Cristiana Oprea
5 years ago

In Romania we have Dacia Cup as an entry level option for the National rally Championship. It is organized since 2007.

André Teodoro
André Teodoro
8 years ago

In Portugal and Spain we had a special van manufacturer racing series for two years.
It was a Ford Transit racing series.

7 years ago
Reply to  André Teodoro

I didn’t know about this. Thank you.

Stephen Ferguson
Stephen Ferguson
8 years ago

Scott Goodyear working through the field in a 944 Turbo:

Christopher Gay
Christopher Gay
8 years ago

Dude, that was awesome. He was fired UP.

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger
8 years ago

12 reasons why its not even as good … never mind … better !

1) Zero innovation
2) Vastly diminished competition
3) A boring field with only their livery/advertising distinguishing them from one another
4) In one make series the best get penalized [ weight etc ]
5) Which in turn allows the worst to win [ defeating the whole concept of competition ]
6) One make series .. even the Porsche GT3 Cup either are or become nothing more than corporate marketing tools in the end .
7) The racing in one make series inevitably winds up a snooze fest despite itself
8) One make open wheel series taking 1-7 to the extreme
9) Not to mention bringing in substandard Pay to Drive drivers barely worthy of the term .. race car drivers
10)The quality of drivers in all one make series [ the Porsche Cup being the sole exception ] is abysmal
11) If you don’t own the one make being raced why would you care who wins or looses ? Seriously .. its not like the participants are household names even in Japan/EU /UK
12) One make series became the beginning of the end of motorsports due in no small part to the corporate control being exercised over it to the point of all SPORT being eliminated in favor of Scripted and Homogenized ..


In closing . Egalitarianism for all its perceived political correctness has no place what so ever in MotorSports or any other form of competition .

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger
8 years ago
Reply to  Guitar Slinger

Albeit I will admit there was one … and I do mean one One Make Series that right up until the end had a genuine sense of innovation amongst the cars not to mention maintaining the very essence of competition as well as attracting the very best among F1 etc drivers in the world

Naturally I’m speaking of the BMW M1 ProCar Championship back in the day . The sad thing is the Porsche Cup used to be almost as good … but as stated above has evolved into yet another One Make Snooze Fest for the terminally Inane [ apologies Banvosky ]

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