This year’s whopping 21-race Formula One calendar didn’t leave an awful lot of time for following over championships. Watch up on ten great races you may have missed.
IndyCar Grand Prix of Alabama
IndyCar served up an early-season nailbiter at the sinuous Barber Motorsport Park circuit in Alabama. Graham Rahal went on the attack in the closing stages but contact was made as he forced his way inside Simon Pagenaud for the lead. The Penske driver fought back a few laps later and Rahal made contact with a backmarker, leading to a loss of grip which Pagenaud ultimately capitalised on.
Nurburgring 24 Hours
The expression ‘this race had it all’ is well-worn, but in this case it’s probably true. Snow and rain forced stoppages, a spate of engine problems hit the front-runners and the lead was still being disputed on the final lap of the monstrous Nordschleife.
BTCC Thruxton race one
The ultra-fast Thruxton circuit and the dependably entertaining British Touring Car Championship usually makes for a potent mix. This year was no exception. Following a three-way tangle at the start of the race and battles throughout the field, proceedings had to be red-flagged after a multi-car crash by the pit lane entrance.
WTCC Hungary race one
The Hungaroring doesn’t always produce the best races but the World Touring Car Championship arrived at the circuit to find a freshly laid surface which made for unpredictable grip levels. It then rained before the start of the first race, though not enough to deter a few optimistic drivers from starting on slicks. Mehdi Bennani reaped the rewards of fitting wet weather tyres to claim victory.
Formula Renault 2.0 Red Bull Ring race one
Hotly-tipped young British racer Lando Norris scooped three championships during the course of 2016, the most prestigious of which was the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup crown. Belgian Max Defourney was his closest adversary for most of the year and at the Red Bull Ring they battled thrillingly for the win, swapping the lead time and again.
Formula V8 3.5 Circuit de Catalunya race two
Tom Dillmann went into the Formula V8 3.5 title-decider on the back foot. Rival Louis Deletraz held a six-point lead over him and started six places ahead on pole position. But when the lights went out Deletraz saw his title hopes unravel quickly. He slipped back into the field, Dillmann arrived on his tail and jumped ahead through the pit stops. A wayward backmarker handed Dillmann the chance to take the lead and his victory sealed a remarkable championship win.
Formula E 2015-16 Buenos Aires
Formula E’s third championship is already underway but the fourth round of the 2015-16 season remains the pick of this year’s action so far. A Safety Car aided Sebastien Buemi’s quest for victory from last on the grid, passing championship rival Lucas di Grassi on the way. But he was denied by Sam Bird.
Euroformula Open Monza race two
As the European Formula Three field dwindled, producing a mostly dreary and predictable campaign, it fell to Euroformula Open to produce the best Formula Three action of 2016. The no-holds-barred last-lap fight between eventual champion Leonardo Pulcini and Ferdinand Habsburg at Monza was the season’s highlight.
Le Mans 24 Hours
The final minutes of the 2016 Le Mans 24 Hours surely rank as one of the most incredible in the history of this great race. Toyota’s decades-long pursuit of victory appeared to be at an end until, with just a few minutes remaining, Kazuki Nakajima’s TS050 hit trouble. Toyota’s heartbreaking loss was Porsche’s gain.
If there was a more stunning moment in motor racing in 2016, it had to be this. Alexander Rossi learned a thing or two about fuel-saving during his brief time in Formula One and it served him well when he made his first start at the Indianapolis 500. A late caution period opened the door for anyone who could stretch their fuel to the end. With judicious slip-streaming of team mate Ryuan Hunter-Reay and a disciplined right foot, Rossi snatched an unbelievable victory in the 100th running of the race.
Watch more great racing from 2016
Relive the entire 2016 season from a range of championships plus a host of guest series in Weekend Racing Wrap:
- FIA GT World Cup ends in farce
- Late crash sets up NASCAR season finale
- Stunning turnaround in Formula V8 title-decider
- Japanese Super Formula title decided at Suzuka
- Four more drivers knocked out of NASCAR title fight
- Title-winning weekend for Red Bull drivers
- Formula E returns while protest sours Bathurst 1000
- Formula Three, Formula Renault and BTCC titles won
- Disqualifications hit DTM title fight
- Technical trouble decides IndyCar title at finale
- Last-lap position swap decides Indy Lights title
- Crash puts IndyCar title decider in doubt
- Closest-ever finished in delayed IndyCar Texas race
- Three points covers Super Formula top five
- Chaos in rain-hit NASCAR feeder series race
- Red flags interrupt NASCAR at Watkins Glen
- Cameraman unharmed as car vaults barrier in BTCC smash
- WEC returns to action after Le Mans at Nurburgring
- Crane incident in Euro F3 raises safety fears
- The curse of second place strikes again in IndyCar
- Grandstand finish for IndyCar’s Road America return
- Shocking twist in final minutes of Le Mans 24 Hours
- IndyCar race postponed for two months due to rain
- IndyCar gets sixth different winner in eight races
- Shock as rookie wins 100th Indianapolis 500
- Happy ending after weekend of huge crashes
- European F3 title fight wide open after nine races
- Wide open Le Mans in prospect after drama at Spa Six Hours
- 21-car wreck in NASCAR’s traditional Talladega crash-fest
- Gripping IndyCar showdown and debut rally winner
- Winners disqualified in WEC season-opener
- Huge field for GT Series season-opener
- Punctures hit leaders in IndyCar’s Phoenix return
- Heavy crashes send NASCAR race into overtime
- IndyCar pole sitter misses out, Formula E winner loses out
- Rain and rules produce shock V8 Supercars winner
- Landmark victory in NASCAR round two
- Closest-ever finish at Daytona 500
- Swedish rally shortened and Toyota title won
- Gripping end to first Formula E race of 2016
With thanks to @bradley13 and @mathers.
2016 F1 season review
- The complete F1 Fanatic 2016 season review
- Your favourite F1 drivers and teams of 2016
- ‘Well done Baku’? No, it was 2016’s worst race
- F1 Fanatic’s must-read highlights of 2016
- Watch the top ten non-F1 races of 2016