Ten Great Orphaned Racing Series

Illustration for article titled Ten Great Orphaned Racing Series

Remember when men were men and had the cojones to race around in cars that were fundamentally death traps. We asked you to scour your memories to help us remember the top ten orphaned racing series.

This is Answers of the Day - where we take the best ten responses from the previous day's "Question Of The Day". It's by you and for you, the Jalopnik readers.


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10.) ATCC

Suggested by: John Burbano

Why It's Orphaned: Hey Europe, America had a touring car championship too! It started in 1996 and only lasted two seasons, but it really showed America what the Dodge Stratus could do. It was intended for use a support series to CART. There didn't seem to be much enthusiasm for it though because when even fewer cars were fielded in its second year, down to 9 from 12. Another touring car series was supposed to start in 2009, known as the ATCC, but interest seems to have disappeared.


Suggested by: Alfisted

Why It's Orphaned: At one point in history, the S in NASCAR held true. That is to say, that the cars used to race were mostly stock cars one could buy at a dealer instead of fiberglass encased space frames. It wasn't the extremely commercial series it is now, but rather a time when men liked to really fast in large ovals. Those were the days.

8.) BTCC

Suggested by: Dominic Chan

Why It's Orphaned: BTCC has always been an intense racing series filled with a number of varying racecars. In the very early years, large American pony cars race against small British compacts and American muscle didn't always prevail! Later on in the 80s and 90s, the battles between the drivers were so intense that you couldn't predict who would win a race even with only 3 laps remaining.

7.) Group C

Suggested by: jbh11126

Why It's Orphaned: Group C was primarily designed for racing in the World Endurance Championship, which includes the 24 hours of Le Mans. In its heyday, it was as popular as Formula, if not more, and saw some of the fastest cars in the world. Toyota, Nissan, Mercedes, Porsche, Mazda, and Jaguar created prototypes for us in Group C racing and near its end, cars were surpassing 240 mph speeds at the end of the Mulsanne straight at Le Mans. 1994 was the last year Group C cars were allowed to race at the 24 hours, also the year that a Group C car disguised as a road car won the race. Group C is to thank for the two chicanes now present on the Mulsanne straight.

6.) Formula 5000

Suggested by: jip1080

Why It's Orphaned: Formula 5000 was the black sheep of open-wheel racing. The 5000 stood for the maximum allowable engine displacement in cubic centimeters. Its creation was inspired by CanAm cars and started in 1968 as a class within Formula A. Much like CanAm, F5000 saw manufacturers like McLaren, Lola, and Lotus and drivers like Mario Andretti, Jody Scheckter, James Hunt, and David Hobbs.

5.) CanAm

Suggested by: They call me MISTER Scroggs!

Why It's Orphaned: The Canadian American Challenge Cup started in 1966 and fielded Group 7 sports cars. There was no formula for CanAm, which meant manufacturers could essentially do whatever they wanted. There was no limit on engine size, turbocharging and supercharging or aerodynamics. CanAm cars were the first to use wings, including active wings, ground-effects, and the use of aerospace materials like titanium. All the great drivers of the era raced in CanAm and the list of notable drivers is a long as a gorilla's arm.

4.) CART

Suggested by: juicysushi

Why It's Orphaned: This is not the Indy race that exists now. Before the IRL and Champ Car merged to form IndyCar and before they had even split up, existed CART, an open wheel racing series. Basically, it was Formula 1 except with heavier, turbocharged, and with higher top speeds. It's what retired Formula 1 champions did in their spare time. They raced on road courses, street courses, and ovals; it was a mix of everything. Some of the F1 champions that went on to become CART champions include Nigel Mansell, Mario Andretti, Emerson Fittipaldi, and Jacques Villeneuve.

3.) DRM

Suggested by: Pessimippopotamus

Why It's Orphaned: The Deutsch Rennsport Meistershaft began in 1972 and was Germany's premier racing league. It started out with Group 2 Touring cars and Group 4 GT cars but by 1982, Group C sports cars had replaced the previous groups. The series had its last season in 1985, replaced by the Group C-only Supercup series and DTM rose to become Germany's top touring car championship. It was a swarm BMWs, Porsches, Fords, and Lancias, buzzing around and fighting each other in intense battles for position and glory.


Suggested by: smackela

Why It's Orphaned: the IMSA GT Championship started in 1971 and ran GT and Touring cars, similar to Groups 1-4 in Europe. By 1981, the GTP cars had come on the scene. They were similar to European Group C cars except that there was no limit on fuel consumption, which meant almost infinite power. This series saw prodigious prototypes from Nissan, Toyota, Jaguar, and Porsche as well as amazing touring cars from the same manufacturers and all of them had insane amounts of power and wings galore.

1.) Group B Rally

Suggested by: SpikeJnz – Shomer Shabbos

Why It's Orphaned: Group B was like a chainsaw filled with Africanized bees that would kill you now and again if you weren't too careful. Started in 1982, Group B saw copious amounts of power coming from tiny anti-lag equipped, turbocharged engines. The cars were as fast as or faster than Formula 1 cars on dirt and snow. Group B was banned by the FIA in 1987 because of the inherent danger and large number of deaths in Group B.

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