In this article we will cover everything you ever wanted to know about the most popular motorsport championships in the world. Let us begin.
World Endurance Championship
Let’s start at the highest level: the World Championship. The previous year, the ILMC (Intercontinental Le Mans Cup) had laid the foundations with races organized around the world. This year, the “World Championship” makes its appearance with the World Endurance Championship (WEC for short). It is organized in partnership by the ACO (Automobile Club de l’Ouest, organizer of the Le Mans 24 hours) and the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile, which organizes most of the championships throughout the world). It is important to note that Le Mans is part of the championship, like this year in ILMC. Cars in the LMP1, LMP2, FLM, GTE-Pro and GTE-Am categories can compete there. Of course, at the end of each race, each car scores points in its own category.
ALMS and ELMS
At the lower echelons are the American and European Le Mans Series (ALMS and ELMS). The championship has the same format as the WEC but Le Mans is here a race outside the championship. All the races take place on the continent and there is, therefore, no far trip. The accepted categories are identical but for the first time, GTCs (Porsche Cup, etc.) are accepted.
Newly created and whose calendar has just been revealed, the World GT1 is about to take off. But beware of the trap: these are GT3s that will be driving! For the moment, three teams have officially signed up, but now that the calendar has been unveiled, all their little gaming buddies are going to join them. The calendar has been announced and the 1st meeting will be held in France, in Nogaro. This is an opportunity not to be missed for motorsport fans and lovers of beautiful motorcycles (this term does not only refer to cars!).
Super GT and DTM
For the fans of the Empire of the Rising Sun, the main championship is the Super GT. Bringing together two classes of cars (GT 300 and GT 500) perfectly prepared and with a Dantesque look, the races are often animated. The European “equivalent” is the DTM, but aerodynamic research is more advanced. However, the two championships are quite comparable since the manufacturers don’t hesitate to invest there to see their cars at the forefront and very well-known drivers race there.
GT 3 and GT 4 Championships
As far as the GT3s are concerned, there are many championships where these cars are admitted. At the European level, there is the Blancpain Endurance Series, consisting of 3-hour races in addition to the 24h of Spa. GT4s are also admitted. There is also the FIA GT3 European Cup, where the two races each weekend last one hour. But GT3 is also very popular in national championships such as the GT Tour (French), British GT (UK), ADAC GT Masters (German), Belcar (Belgian), Spanish GT (Spanish), Italian GT (Italian), Dutch Supercar Challenge (Dutch). Of course, everyone has meeting formats of their own. They can also race in Open GT, among GT2s. More and more series are hosting GT3s and are booming, whether in the Middle East or in Asia. However, its media coverage is very low in Europe. We also note that GT3s are also exported to the USA (after a few modifications). Indeed, they find their place in Grand-Am alongside the Daytona Prototype, whose chassis and engine manufacturers may be different (just like the LMP1 and LMP2 prototypes). The flagship event of this championship is, of course, the Rolex 24, which is a 24-hour race held in Daytona in January. As for the GT4 European Cup and Dutch GT4, they are, as their names indicate, reserved for GT4 cars and are held in Europe and the Netherlands respectively.
Finally, let’s finish with the single-brand championships. The most challenging of these is undoubtedly the Mobil 1 Porsche SuperCup, which is held at the opening of the F1 Grand Prix. Still, in relation to the Stuttgart brand, there is the Porsche Carrera Cup, which is held in most European countries. As for Ferrari, of course, they too have their own championship: the Ferrari Challenge. Maserati has taken advantage of this by creating the Maserati Super Trofeo. But the French manufacturers (even if they do not have the same “caliber” of sports cars) are not to be outdone: the Peugeot Sports meetings have existed for a long time and an RCZ Cup is currently being created, succeeding the 206 CC Cup. Renault also has two championships: the Clio Cup and the Mégane Trophy (real 300hp prototypes for 900kg!).