Watch These Classic Non-F1 Races To Keep You Amused During The Off Season

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The holiday season is over, most of the motor racing world is in the midst of its off-season and we’re a good month away from seeing any of the 2015 F1 cars. You need a racing fix, but you’ve already watched most of the great classic F1 races (and some of the not so great ones!) and you’ve caught up with all the other major championships from last year. You need to watch some more motorsport action before madness sets in. What are you going to do?!

Hopefully, this’ll help. Whilst FOM seem intent on removing interesting F1 footage from any year, YouTube is chock full of classic races from other championships – some well known, some not so well known. There’s loads here to keep you interested until Melbourne rolls around in March whether you want to see famous names racing before they were famous, expand your motor racing horizons or just sit and enjoy a race. Hopefully there’s something for everyone, if not these specific videos then as a starting point for more.

Put the kettle on, grab a turkey sandwich and enjoy some classic motor racing action.

1998 Bathurst 1000

The Bathurst 1000 – arguably the greatest touring car race in the world. Super Touring – arguably the greatest touring car era of all time. Murray Walker – arguably the greatest motor racing commentator of all time. Combine all three and what have you got? This video of the 1998 running of the race. It’s a two hour highlights video, but if you want to watch a full six hour epic, someone has uploaded the 1997 running too, split across four videos.

1998 F3000 Season

[fve]http://youtu.be/7htMz9yQB1k[/fve]

Want to know who the next big F1 star is going to be? Your best bet is to watch the feeder series. These days GP2 and Formula Renault 3.5 are the places to look, but before that there was F3000, and some kind soul has uploaded highlights of the entire 1998 season. As well as racing on traditional F1 circuits, F3000 also visited some bizarre tracks such as the tight and twisty Pau street circuit and the bonkers Enna-Pergusa.

The grid features well known drivers such as Montoya and Heidfeld as well as plenty of names you might have forgotten. If you grew up watching F1 in the late 90s/early 00s then this season is a real trip down memory lane. It’s also a great excuse to watch Christian Horner failing at being a racing driver.

IMSA GTP/GTO

[fve]http://youtu.be/7Tz4zgrajMY[/fve]

Much like it is today, endurance racing was hugely popular in the late 80s and early 90s. With extremely fast and powerful cars, regulations such as Group C and IMSA’s similar GTP (Grand Touring Prototypes) attracted the very best manufacturers and drivers of the day. Whilst the FIA’s Group C saw action across the globe in lengthy endurance races, in the USA the similar GTP cars tended to take part in shorter sprint races – and YouTube is full of them. We’ve chosen to start you off with a 1987 race around Laguna Seca, but if that doesn’t take your fancy there’s plenty of choice – how about a race around the streets of Columbus?

Can-Am

[fve]http://youtu.be/tRlcOnccfgg[/fve]

With it’s virtually unrestricted technical regulations, the Can-Am series was a short-lived championship featuring some of the most insane racing cars ever built. Big name teams such as McLaren, Lola, Ferrari and Porsche took part which meant that big name drivers like Jackie Stewart, Bruce McLaren and Denny Hulme also took part. Despite being at it’s peak over 40 years ago there are a few videos out there – here’s part 1 of the 1967 race from Road America.

1993 IndyCar Season

[fve]http://youtu.be/bHfqCIw-Ozc[/fve]

Surely everyone knows the narrative – Mansell finally wins the F1 World Championship in 1992, then goes Stateside for 1993 and wins the IndyCar championship, thus becoming the only person in history to hold both titles at the same time. IndyCar unfairly holds a reputation outside of America of being ‘just a load of oval racing’, but you’ll see how far that is from the truth as you watch probably the most brilliant playlist on all of YouTube: the entire 1993 season.

Here’s round one from Surfer’s Paradise in Australia. Be careful – this has the ability to consume an entire weekend. Magnificent.

Link to the full season playlist.

Rallycross

[fve]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSPt6fv-qKI[/fve]

Ok, say you don’t have time to watch two-hour long races on YouTube – then this might be right up your street. Rallycross has enjoyed a huge resurgence lately, with Petter Solberg winning the first ever World Rallycross Championship, but the sport itself has been popular with fans for decades. Back in the 80s and 90s it would have a regular slot on BBC’s Grandstand with none other than Murray Walker providing commentary. There are dozens of races from the era on YouTube, and whether you’re watching BBC coverage from Brands Hatch or Finnish coverage from somewhere you’ve never heard of, the combination of insanely powerful cars, plenty of contact and fiery characters is exciting stuff.