Journal: 5 Racing Series You Forgot About Come Alive In Film

5 Racing Series You Forgot About Come Alive In Film

Michael Banovsky By Michael Banovsky
March 10, 2016
4 comments

Ever have those evenings where you’re watching related videos on YouTube for hours on end? These five series are pretty firmly in the history books—at least as you see them here—so if you care to see some great duels and atypical race cars, this weekend playlist is for you.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7yxVGQ3WA4A

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ij4eANfFJjA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYFKWY2T1e0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNKpmWfHvIc

The four clips above are all you need to watch in order to love F5000; it’s an old ABC series called Once Upon A Wheel that was filmed in period. Moreover, it hovers around Sam Posey and David Hobbs’ duel for the 1971 F5000 Championship. Why ‘5000’? That’s how many cc’s of displacement were allowed. And yes—there’s even period helmet cam footage!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1rzCXBJdFE

I was going to write a long and detailed explanation about precisely why this 1995 race at Suzuka is a great introduction to the Japanese Grand Touring Championship (JGTC; now Super GT), and why it’s worth more than an hour of your time. After all, it’s grainy and in Japanese without subtitles.

This is better: it’s like watching a real-life version of Gran Turismo, only with none of the good cars left out—there are Porsches, Ferrari F40s, Lamborghini Diablo… The coverage is great, too, and includes in-car footage from said F40s. Not good enough? The 1996 race adds the McLaren F1 and a fleet of Honda NSX race cars.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMcGuAgySDI

You know how the Formula 1 contests held at Montreal are often among the most exciting races held in a season? What if you substituted Formula 1 cars for, oh, say, the lairy World Sportscar Championship’s Group C cars? Yeah…(Don’t worry, nobody was seriously injured.)

Back in the day, before the Second World War, someone had the bright idea to hold the Swedish Winter Grand Prix, where spectators were taken to a track freshly carved…mostly on a frozen lake. What’s surreal is that these are many of the same shapes you’ll see gracing auction catalogue covers—not sliding around through a snow-covered forest.

This German film may start as some of the most boring frames committed to celluloid, but it quickly becomes apparent there’s a lot of footage you probably haven’t seen of Audi’s IMSA GTO, including factory footage.

Thumbnail Photo Courtesy of Audi

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Bryan Dickerson
Bryan Dickerson

Finally got a chance to watch the GTO championship video. Maybe I’m just an ultra-geek but the beginning of the film is far from boring to me. What a cool window into the not too distant past! The guys are using paper, pencils and protractors to draw up the blueprints of one of the greatest race cars of the modern age. It shows the tail end of a by-gone era. If you’ve got a drop of motor oil in your soul you’ve got to see that as at least fairly cool! I’d frame their work and put it on my… Read more »

Bryan Dickerson
Bryan Dickerson

Does anyone remember seeing footage (commercial?) from the late 80s of the Audi Quattros doing wheelies as they crest a rise at Nurbergring? I wish I could find it.

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger

Here’s a potential number six for your list ;

The Formula Three series of the ( mid ) 60’s , 70’s , 80’s and early 90’s . Back when it was THE proving ground for Formula One with everyone from Jackie Stewart Ronnie Peterson , Nikki Lauda , Ayrton Senna et al cutting their teeth in the series . Not to mention F3 raced on some of Europe’ finest yet rapidly falling out of favor and soon to disappear circuits .

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger

Errr .. Formula 5000 – Loved it .. watched it ( live ) .. followed it … miss it dearly IMSA GTO – Ditto ( along with the rest of the original IMSA series ) JGTC – Been there …. seen that .. absolute motor sports madness at its finest WSC – The real WSC .. back when the series actually meant something …my heart is breaking …………… Leaving only that obscure and completely unheard of Svenska series that I never even knew about .. never mind forgot .So just where in the heck did you drag that one out… Read more »