In the scheme of things, it is nearly impossible to keep up with the craft beer industry, if only from a cursory point of view. The last count I saw stated that there were at least 3000 brewers in the US alone. Are you kidding? I know the statistics from the 80’s to today are just mind-numbing. I am sure there is a great site that documents those trends. If I find it before this Friday epistle is complete I’ll include that information as well. Great information for the Brewers Association
Since it’s painfully obvious that even as a full-time job, keeping up with the craft beer craze would be next to impossible…let’s move on to motorsport. Because, honestly, keeping up with everything that goes on each weekend there is just as difficult.
First, when we say motorsport, what does that mean? Is that racing anything with a motor? I remember my grandfather saying cars had engines and sewing machines had motors! Until a few years ago that was just some quaint hyperbole, but with the advent of all the electric racing “motors” well, it is slowly becoming -motor- sports.
Not really the point I wanted to make here. The issue is much broader than that. Does motorsport encompass 2-wheel or 4-wheel vehicles? Is this on-road or off-road? You see the trend developing here; right? Depending upon your geographic location major motorsport for some would naturally be something like Formula One, or NASCAR or DTM or INDY car or….etc etc. What guidelines could we possibly use to define the top race series?
- Spectator count. How many fans are “at” the events? I don’t think how many watch on TV should be a first indicator
- Participant count. How many racers/teams are at each event?
- Sponsor involvement. Marketing managers are probably driving the direction of racing more than many would like to admit.
- Number of yearly events. A race series of 4 events compared to the exposure from 12 seems an obvious? distinction, or maybe not.
- Media coverage. Yes, we can’t ignore “made for TV” events anymore. Much like it’s silly to ignore the number of people around the world who watch the Indy 500 or F1 Grand Prix because geographically going 8000 miles to an event might be stretch.
So, now that we have some very vague guidelines, it’s probably reasonable to assume that there are a dozen or so race series events on any given weekend that would require a motorsport enthusiasts attention. Great; that means for anyone completely engrossed in the world of oil, rubber and go fast there could easily be three times that many!
Let me give you a simple example from a recent weekend. Here’s a very incomplete list of the series that were hold competition events.
- Formula One
- GP2 – GP3
- Nationwide Series – Truck Series
- Indy Lights
- FIM World Endurance Championship
- Blancpain Sprint Series
- United Sports Car Championship
- Rolex Sports Car Series
- Pirelli World Challenge
- World Rally
- AMA Motocross
- FIM Motocross
- FIM MotoGP
- World of Outlaws
That is just a broad sampling. Scattered within those groups many times are two or three other series that run in conjunction with a major event.
Believe it or not, there is an excellent page on Wikipedia that has a pretty comprehensive list of motorsport championships.
This list is current and previous championships. I’ve yet to find an accurate or comprehensive list of just current series.
Here is a link to the Wiki page. Should I find or heaven forbid develop a site to do what I think motorsport aficionados need to keep track of what’s going on….I will certainly update that here.