Major UK Motor Racing Events
There are three major car racing championship series organised each year in the United Kingdom, as well as a championship series for rally cars. There are also several one-time major motor racing events staged on the British Isles, most notable the Formula One's British Grand Prix. All major motor racing events staged in the UK are sanctioned by the Motor Sport Association (MSA) and follow regulations of the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA).
Formula One British Grand Prix
Part of the Formula One World Championship, the British Grand Prix has been largely held at the Silverstone Circuit in England since 1948. Prior to Silverstone, the single-searer or open-wheel race was organised at Brooklands near London. Since 1955, Aintree and Brands Hatch circuits have also been occasionally used for the British Grand Prix. One of the oldest continuously staged Formula One Grands Prix, the premier event was first held in 1926. It features 52 exciting laps on a circuit of 5.891 kilometres or 3.66 miles for a total race length of 306.291 kilometres or 190.32 miles. The British Grand Prix is typically held in June or July.
The Formula One is the parent series of the GP2 Series, a form of open wheel motor racing. Launched in 2005, the international series was introduced after the Formula 3000 championship folded. GP2 races are held concurrently with the Formula One's British Grand Prix each year at the same venue. The series often serves as a stepping stone for racers interested in racing on Formula One circuits. The GP2 Series is also supported by the GP3 Series, a European motor racing feeder series that was launched in 2010. GP3 races are also held concurrently with the Formula One British Grand Prix.
British Touring Car Championship
Originally known as the British Saloon Car Championship, the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) was established in 1985. Currently, the championship series features a mix of 2.0 litre saloons or sedans and hatchback cars. Vehicles must meet the BTCC Next Generation Touring Car specifications, which standardise the design, building and running costs of cars and engines to ensure consistent performance between cars. The championship features circuits across the UK and currently features nine tracks in England and Scotland. The season runs from March to October and features ten rounds with three races in each round.
British Formula Three Championship
First organised in 1951 as the Autosport F3 Championship, the British Formula Three Championship is an international racing series. The championship is held in circuits across the UK and in small circuits in continental Europe. International class competitors are permitted to use vehicles that meet technical regulations set in 2009 by the FIA, while National class competitors may use cars that meet 2007 FIA regulations. The championship features ten rounds with three races in each round.
British GT Championship
The British GT Championship was first launched in 1993. While primarily organised in the UK, some sports car races are held at circuits in other countries during some seasons. In 2013, the series featured six venues in the UK and one circuit in the Netherlands. The season typically runs from late March to early October. The championship includes races for GT3, GT4 and GTC class cars, which follow FIA regulations.
British Rally Championship
The annual British Rally Championship includes seven events organised throughout the British Isles including circuits in England, Scotland and Isle of Man. First held in 1958, the event has been sanctioned by the MSA since 1999. Since 2014, only two-wheel drive production-based rally cars have been permitted to participate in the series. The British Rally Championship features drivers and co-drivers in various vehicle classes depending on technical specifications. The season generally runs from May to September.
Wales Rally GB
The Wales Rally GB is held each year in the autumn as part of the international FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) series. The event is typically staged in November, although races have been held in other months depending on annual schedules set by the FIA. Formerly known as the RAC Rally and the Rally of Great Britain, the event is the largest motor rally competition in the UK. The inaugural event was organised in 1932 and has been raced throughout the UK over the years. Since 2000, the rally has been run in Wales.