10 Events Every Motorhead Should Experience

If you're a college football fan, experiencing venues such as the Rose Bowl, Notre Dame Stadium and Death Valley (either one) are undoubtedly on your bucket list. If you're a soccer fan, attending the World Cup and European Championship, and catching matches at Old Trafford and Olympic Stadium are musts. If you're an authentic motorhead, you've probably either attended or would kill to attend the following events. Each one is world renowned and always highly anticipated, attracting racing fans and auto lovers from all over the world.

  1. 24 Hours of Le Mans

    "The Grand Prix of Endurance and Efficiency" is one of the oldest and most followed races in the world. Each June, fans gather in France to see which drivers can survive the grueling 24-hour marathon — more than 5,000 kilometers — amid outrageously difficult conditions and the usual challenges that come with pushing their cars to the absolute limit. From the waving of the French tricolor to the post-race champagne spraying, you won't find a more captivating competition from start to finish.

  2. Monaco Grand Prix

    Another scenic locale and another demanding track, the Monaco Grand Prix is held on narrow city streets with tight corners, a dark tunnel and numerous elevation changes, requiring only the most skilled drivers in existence. Typically, the circuit is prepared in six weeks, as meticulous care is taken to ensure it's in pristine condition race-wise and aesthetically. Governed by Monaco's royal family, the event serves demonstrate the principality's finest qualities to an international audience.

  3. Indy 500

    Attracting more than 300,000 fans each year, the Indy 500 is another stop in the Triple Crown of prestigious auto races. Since 1911, careers have been made and dreams have been shattered along the 500-mile trek to the checkered flag. Most memorably, Foyt, Unser and Mears have forged their respective places in racing lore, winning four races apiece — and dousing themselves with traditional bottles of milk — during a 30-year span. The only problem with the Indy 500: it occurs at around the same time as the Monaco Grand Prix, so you may have to miss one to thoroughly enjoy the other.

  4. Daytona 500

    It may not have the same international flare as the aforementioned events, but the Daytona 500 is America's most popular race, garnering television ratings only surpassed by football and events such as the men's college basketball national championship game, the NBA Finals and the World Series. As NASCAR culture has expanded nationwide, the Daytona experience has only become more unique, certainly differing from what you'd experience in Monaco, for example. On the big day, the infield becomes an enormous week-long tailgate party fueled by booze and fan rivalries. If you're favorite driver wins, the weekend becomes pure ecstasy — just remember to take a few days to recuperate afterward.

  5. MotoGP

    Motorcycle racing enthusiasts flock to MotoGp, a World Championship consisting of an 18-race series set on four continents. Truly a global competition, riders of eight nationalities face off using the latest advancements in technology from the most-respected manufacturers in the industry. In 2010, more than 2.2 million people witnessed the event live, experiencing one of motorsports' most enthralling spectacles.

  6. The Dakar Rally

    The Dakar Rally presents drivers with the ultimate off-road challenge of navigating brutally adversarial terrain featuring rocks, erg, crossing dunes and mud — encumbrances that co-called off-road vehicles that you and I use couldn't overcome. Originally occurring from Paris, France to Dakar, Senegal, the course location has changed through the years, most recently taking place in Argentina and Chile for the third consecutive year. This race is an adventure, as new desert territories are explored, appealing to drivers who are bored with the monotony of the concrete jungle.

  7. Bathurst 1000

    In the States, the Daytona 500 and the Indy 500 are the ultimate racing events. In Australia, the Bathurst 1000 is regarded in the same manner. Boasting a 174-meter vertical difference, the track is far from ordinary, providing heated rivals Ford and Holden with all they can handle. The late Peter Brock, Australian racing legend, earned the nickname "King of the Mountain" because of his dominance on the course, as he collected nine victories during his career — today, winners receive the Peter Brock Trophy.

  8. The Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance

    Considered the "world's premier celebration of the automobile," the Concours d'Elegance on the famed Pebble Beach Golf Course brings together the world's finest classic automobiles. Each one is judged based on their authenticity and general presentation, vying to win its group and ultimately the "Best of Show" award. In 2006, the total cost of the cars was more than $200 million. The event is truly a social gathering for the wealthy, but they're doing more than just flaunting their prized possessions — since the beginning, more than $14 million has been given to charity from the Concours.

  9. New York International Auto Show

    Because the New York International Auto Show's notoriety and the numerous events it conducts — such as symposiums, industry forums and conferences — the country's and world's auto community and a who's who from the Big Apple congregate at the Javits Center each year. America's first automotive exhibition, it has displayed the latest innovations and designs since 1900. For example, in 2011, it featured the world debuts of the 2012 BMW Z4 sDrive28i, 2012 Jaguar XF, 2012 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe, 2012 Porsche Panamera Turbo S and 2012 Shelby GT500 Super Snake.

  10. Geneva Motor Show

    Just five years younger than the New York International Auto Show, the Geneva Motor Show has ushered in a myriad of automobile types, including almost every internal combustion engine model ever created. Located in Switzerland, a neutral country when it comes to the automotive industry, it's a favorite of the world's automakers, as none benefit from home-country advantage. As with the NYIAS, major conferences and much-anticipated announcements are common occurrences.

Leave a comment