Watch the top ten races of 2015 outside F1

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The 2015 F1 season didn’t serve up many great races but there was plenty of exciting action elsewhere – much of which we featured in Weekend Racing Wrap during the season.

Here are my ten favourite car races of the last 12 months from outside F1.

World Endurance Championship Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps

It became clear we were on for a close fight in the championship and the upcoming Le Mans 24 Hours after another gripping encounter between Audi and Porsche in the World Endurance Championship at Spa. The Marcel Fassler/Andre Lotterer/Benoît Treluyer Audi took the flag just 13 seconds ahead of the Romain Dumas/Neel Jani/Marc Lieb Porsche.

Indianapolis 500

Juan Pablo Montoya won the Indianapolis 500 for a second time after a scintillating scrap with Penske team mate Will Power. Watch the full race above.

Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup Spa race two

In a wide open season, eight drivers arrived at the final weekend of the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup with a shot at the title, and three were still in the running at the final race. Long before then, Jake Hughes chased down and passed Ukyo Sasahara for victory on the last lap at Spa.

Formula Renault 3.5 Silverstone race two

Formula Renault 3.5 champion Oliver Rowland was made to work hard for his title by rival Matthieu Vaxiviere. Nowhere was that more true than at Rowland’s home race, where Vaxiviere piled on the pressure after losing the lead during the mandatory pit stop. Rowland clung on for a vital victory.

European Formula Three Hockenheim race three

While Felix Rosenqvist took a widely-expected title victory, rookie Charles Leclerc stepped into Max Verstappen’s old car and turned in a few performances the Formula One star would have been proud of. In his sixth start he passed Rosenqvist – racing in F3 for his sixth year – at a slippery Hockenheimring en route to victory.

British Touring Car Championship Donington Park race three

A surprise rookie performance, fiercely fighting championship contenders, and a few controversial collisions – the third BTCC race at Donington Park had it all.

World Touring Car Championship Moscow race two

The World Touring Car Championship at Moscow Raceway: Neither a championship nor a circuit synonymous with great racing. And yet that’s exactly what it served up as ex-F1 racer Tiago Monteiro inflicted a rare defeat on the all-conquering Citroens in a thrilling encounter.

Australian V8 Supercars Bathurst 1000

The Bathurst 1000 usually supplies the action to justify its place as one of the world’s top racing events. This year was no exception as a rain shower added a dramatic twist to proceedings and the top runners crossed the line just a second apart after a thousand kilometres of racing.

Formula E Putrajaya, Malaysia

Eight laps of craziness defined the conclusion of Formula E’s return to the Putrajaya street circuit in Malaysia for the second race of their second season. Lucas di Grassi got his car home first while Robin Frijns dragged his wounded machine across the line in third after being one of several drivers to hit the wall.

Japanese Super Formula Suzuka race two

Rain, Suzuka and arguably the fastest cars outside of F1 is a recipe for seriously good racing. And in the penultimate race of the year the championship was hanging in the balance as well. While Andre Lotterer led from lights to flag, eventual champion Hiroaki Ishiura withstood a fierce attack from ex-F1 man Kamui Kobayashi while a crash for James Rossiter allowed Kazuki Nakajima to keep his title hopes alive.

Bonus 11th race

The second GP3 race at Monza, Italy also deserves a mention. Pole sitter Luca Ghiotto stalled, handing the initiative to championship rival Esteban Ocon who led the field to turn one. But an inspired Emil Bernstorff charged to the front to deny him.

However because of FOM restrictions you’ll have to head to the GP3 website to watch footage of this one.

Over to you

What were your favourite races of the year on four wheels – or fewer? Have your say and share links to the footage in the comments.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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51 comments on “Watch the top ten races of 2015 outside F1”

  1. For me personally, nothing beats the Australian MotoGP race in 2015!

    1. @neelv27 Agreed, how did this race not make the list!?

      1. @pastaman To be clear, the list only refers to car races – I generally don’t watch bike racing.

          1. @warwick Purely out of a lack of time!

        1. your missing out on possibly the best motor racing in the world, with the most exceptional sportsmen in the sport. 2 wheels is much harder then 4, they use their whole body, 60 degree lean angle at 250kmh. very high speed (higher top speed and faster acceleration then f1 on many tracks), HEAPS of passing, and riders side by side for many sequences of turns at incredible speed. the Australian MotoGp race you have to watch, now that you have time with not much racing going on :) it was a better race then any of those 11 mentioned above, and better then anything F1 has done in 2 decades.

          1. I’m not saying anything against it, I’m saying I haven’t got time to watch it.

  2. Gosh, the Renault 3.5 sound amazing!

    1. Not sure about the trophies though :P

  3. I know the Indy 500 gets all the hype, but the IndyCar race in Fontana this year was one of the best races in any category that I have ever seen, and makes the 500 look boring in comparison. I have never been so on the edge of my seat watching a race as I was with this one. Please watch this instead:

    pt 1:
    pt 2:

    1. Ya ya, cue jokes about oval racing. Honestly I’m not a big fan of oval races myself, but this one was amazing

    2. @pastaman Far too much pack racing for my liking at Fontana. Another sign they need less downforce and more power.

      1. Not sure I understand. The pack racing is what made it exciting, there were over 2500 overtakes in that race. There were 43 lead changes by the halfway mark. You’d rather they follow each other single file for 500 miles?

        1. @keithcollantine And to be clear, the aero is only one part of what creates pack racing. The characteristics of the track (shape, surface, length, width, etc.) have much more influence on the type of race than just the aero. There were no other races like that on the calendar.

        2. @Pastaman

          You’d rather they follow each other single file for 500 miles?

          Well that depends on whether there’s a realistic expectation that anyone might change position. After all overtaking is not the only thing which makes for entertaining motor racing.

          What I know I don’t want to watch again is incessant, meaningless changes of position in what amounts to motorised Russian Roulette. Because that is what we had at Las Vegas in 2011, and that was the kind of racing Fontana last year threatened to become.

          1. Hated that race, Las Vegas still in the memory

        3. I’m not going to pretend that I didn’t like Fontana. That was pure gladiator type racing. But that said, I never want to see that type of lunacy again. I was scared and I wasn’t even in one of the race cars.

      2. yes it is pack racing, but put yourself in the position of the drivers, how on the edge and concentrating you have to be every second of such a long race – that takes skill and bravery, and these guys put in a great race whatever your views of the regulations.

    3. Nope– Stand out IndyCar race for me was the Alabama Grand prix. Nice little track, lots of action, and a late race charge that kept the fans guessing until the flag. Takuma Sato was involved in the most ridiculous accident of the race– as an innocent bystander.

      2500 passes in one race? That’s not racing– that’s brownian motion.

    4. I am not a fan of pack racing. Aside from an obvious safety perspective (we all remember Wheldon), I can only switch on for a final ten laps to see the winner. People rave about how brilliant Moto3 is but I don’t get it. This is NASCAR-style racing when the position is rather irrelevant and you only want to stay out of trouble. I prefer racing series when they are making proper passes and I can follow the action. Indy 500 has this spot on.

  4. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
    27th December 2015, 15:06

    The top ten races of 2015 outside F1

    In other words, the top ten races of 2015.

  5. the 6 hours of silverstone were better than spa in my opinion.

      1. Well, there was that insane battle between Audi and Porsche where the stewards were having so much fun they forgot to pay attention to “all four wheels off”.

      2. the amazing audi and porsche battles trough the race ;) great battles in other categories too. spa was great as well but silverstone just slightly beats it. just my opinion. fuji and bahrain were fantastic as well.

      3. @keithcollantine – maybe also for the fact Audi, Porsche and Toyota finished 1-2-3 with small margins between them? It was pretty good race too but so was Spa.

  6. BTCC Donington Race 3 was absolutely superb. Breathless, action-packed and brutal. That, along with Indycar’s Fontana race were the best for me this year. Fontana was absolute madness, but perhaps a one-off that should never be repeated, especially in lieu of Justin Wilson’s horrendous accident which occurred later in the season. But my god, what a nail-biting crazy race that I’ve watched numerous times since.

  7. Great to see Super Formula crack the list. Should be a regular feature on the Weekend Racing Wrap next year especially if Vandoorne has to make it his last stepping stone to F1.

    1. @rjoconnell It was this year, it’s just they only have eight or so race weekends per season!

  8. ILuvSoundtracks (@)
    27th December 2015, 17:26

    Naoki Yamamoto had bad luck in Super Formula just after he won the 2013 title. In 2014, as a defending champion, he took 2 pole position, but neither scored a podium or win. But in 2015, he had another bad luck in the first race, but in Sugo, he took a podium, and then a victory at the Suzuka Race 2.

  9. wait, there were races outside of F1? whoa ;)

  10. Moscow Raceway: Neither a championship nor a circuit synonymous with great racing.

    Why all the hate? It’s great track with lots of variation and difficult corners. Much like Istanbul Park, except this track is still being used.
    I’ve only seen above-average racing on that track.

    1. @huhhii Well it’s in Russia so plenty of people will hate it just for that.

      1. @ciaran Yeah. That’s probably the main reason for all the negativity. That’s sad, as location should not matter when reviewing sport events / circuits

    2. @huhhii I’d never seen an even halfway decent race at that track until then. Or since, come to think of it. The layout is just default Tilke – it could be any track any where. Not a single memorable corner on it.

      1. @keithcollantine How about the DTM races this year?

        1. @xtwl – Abu Dhabi also produced a thriller in 2012. Every track can do this. I do not follow DTM closely but from what I know, this series is pretty gimmicked already so there might have been some action even at this circuit. The only memorable moment from this circuit was a five-wide moment from 2013’s WTCC race.

          1. @michal2009b I have never felt those gimmicks were as annoying as in F1. DRS is never to powerful I feel and the success ballast just makes it a fun championship between just three different cars. The DTM has a very worldwide profile but one must not forget it’s still only a national touring car series…

          2. @xtwl – I can agree to an extent. I have nothing against reverse-grid races in GP2 or success ballast in touring cars. I may be mistaken but are they still using a rule requesting to use both tyres? This is actually terrible as it make two seperate races inside a one. The passes as they cross each other are so uneventful. Anyway it still leave DTM full of gimmicks to create on-track action.

  11. SRO Endurance Series finale at the Nürburgring was the race of the year for me. I felt great throughout watching this one, all three hours of it. An intense battle for the championship between Nissan and Bentley, Lamborghini and McLaren to the fore (if you want to see a McLaren lead, this is the place to go!), WRT Audi were a bit out of it for a change, and underdogs in a self-developed Jaguar pipped AF Corse in Pro-Am.

    1. I loved WRW this year by the way, a great digest feature! To be continued…

  12. Surprised by the lack of GT racing here, considering it provides probably the best racing out there. Top-notch drivers, visibly different and attractive cars, but still hugely competitive. I’d certainly put the Bathurst 12 Hours in this. The final laps are insane:

    Also throw in there the Blancpain race at Paul Ricard.

    I’d also say Petit Le Mans deserves a mention as one of the most memorable races of the season, although it was perhaps too chaotic to be called exciting. But in the final laps before the race was called off, Nick Tandy, in his GT Porsche, was scything through the field in the driving rain, catching and passing the Prototypes as though he were still in his 919 Le Mans car to take a remarkable victory. That was one of the performances of the year, if nothing else.

    1. I think the 2014 Bathurst 12 hours finish was more tense as it was a battle for the lead and both drivers drove perfectly. In 2015, it was more like a ping-pong match and it was for 2nd place.

      I honestly can’t imagine this year’s… well, next year’s race, albeit in only some one and a half month away, can eclipse these two, they were brilliant.

      Bathurst is also brilliant in a GT3 car – up the Mountain from the Cutting up to Skyline, it’s not quite flat-out (as it probably would be in a properly set up F1 car), but a series of bigger or smaller lifts and some clever car placement at very high speeds. In az F1 car, however impressive Jenson’s lap was a few years ago, it would not be quite as challenging, IMO.

    2. @jackysteeg The only one of those I saw much of was Petit Le Mans, and though the conclusion was fun I thought the hours spent under red flags because of the rain were not

    3. Besides, there was an exciting GT race at the WEC at Spa, and that race made it into the top 10. (Though as an AF Corse fan, I’m still annoyed about the whole dropped-tyre issue – the penalty was fair but it was one of those things that just shouldn’t have happened in the first place).

  13. Race 3 at Donington Park was thrilling to watch and it showcased multiple exercises in defensive and attacking driving – but as great as it was, it must have been a hard decision between that one and race 3 at Brands Hatch, the season finale with Gordon Shedden driving the race of his life.

    1. Shedden’s drive in that Brands race was definitely something else (I don’t think I’ve seen a finer drive all year), and maybe I’d’ve gone for that race myself, but the Donington race had more going on through the entire field, so it’s right it was chosen I think.

  14. Michael Brown
    28th December 2015, 3:28

    2015 6 Hours of Silverstone is the best dry race I’ve ever seen.

  15. @keithcollantine I wonder what your top 10 racing series is, and for sure if F1 is in your top 3.

    1. @xtwl I don’t really but there are several categories where I prefer not to miss a race live (F1, IndyCar, GP2) and others where I always catch up on the latest race (WEC, F3, GP3). And of course this year I’ve been commentating on FR3.5 and FR2.0.

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