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Given this is our 25th anniversary, we thought of taking a look at the journey of a petrolhead in India, and the most iconic moments in motorsports that got us hooked for life. A child’s dream, an adult’s reality.

Remember Kimi’s iconic pace through the smoke in Spa, 2002? Or the 2015 Rossi-Marques battle? Or even the pace of Sebastian Loeb as he darted through the WRC? These moments gave us chills, they had us invested through thick and thin. Formula One, in recent years, showed us the wonder and awe of speed and adrenaline. The passion, the tension and the nail-biting, seat-edging stance we assume as the chequered flag is raised.

And so began a discussion. What about, you ask? What were the great motorsports moments in all time? Now, this is a subjective list and while we here had quite the argument deciding which entries come in, you can have a different list. What we will ask you is to tell us about it!

  1. Sergio Perez, Formula One Sakhir 2020 – dead last with no hope to pole.

Now you will have to indulge me a bit here, I love Sergio Perez. I have followed his career since his time at Force India. Being on the younger side, I do not remember his earlier races but his Sakhir 2020, a long-awaited pole finish was his finest moment.

The initial few laps saw him down in last place with a lap one crash between Ferrari’s Leclerc, Red Bull’s Verstappen and Racing Point’s Perez. With the former two out of the race, Perez faced a daunting task starting at P20. The 87-lap race was Formula One at its best, one man who hunted down the world’s best drivers like a dire wolf, alone in the wild. He would finish first after a decade of never seeing a pole finish in a feature race.

2. First Triple Crown winner, Mr Monaco’s iconic yet very confusing race.

The first and only true winner of the Triple Crown, Norman Graham Hill is considered a legend among the Hall of Legends. The 1966 Indianapolis 500, the 24 hours of Le Mans in 1972 and the Monaco Formula One GP from 1963 to 1969.

By far his most iconic race remains the 1966 Indianapolis 500. Controversy, confusion and a whole lot of drama, this race remains unclear even to this day as many still wonder what the official running order was. With the standings pylon being manual and uncontrolled for the majority, Hill and Jim Clark had a very weird weekend. The latter had a few spins with no serious concerns and despite more than the time spent in the pits, Clark’s team contented that they were ahead of Hill by nearly one lap.

Despite the on-track protest by Jim’s teams, Hill was crowned the winner by a 41-second time gap between the two drivers. To take down Jim Clark was no easy feat; after all, he is what many (including me) consider the best racer of all time. He showed the world what racing his racing was, a force of nature.

While many who have watched this race tell you with an affirmative stance, on what the real standings were. It remains an iconic race in motorsport history.

3. 2012 Brazilian Formula One Grand Prix – An upset grid with debris everywhere

The 2012 season in Formula One caused more anxiety than perhaps the intense battles of Hamilton and Verstappen in the 2021 season. The rainy track of Brazil in 2012 saw Vettel secure his third driver championship title, despite finishing only 6th in the race itself.

The early race saw a massive crash that resulted in Vettel down in P22. The German knew what he had to do, and he did, despite the next contender in the points being Alonso finishing second in the same race.

Vettel, many petrolheads believe was blessed, with rain and a safety car which saw the racer end in a rather quaint fashion. Vettel’s quick thinking to switch to inters and sheer race pace, unforgettable would be the only way to describe it.

4. 1966 Le Mans: The Americans came, saw and dominated

Ask any layman, they would call the Italians the masters of the V12 and the Americans of the V8. Apart from pop culture and some amount of truth perhaps, the real test of the finest in these two lands came at the French track of Le Mans.

Le Mans, perhaps the most enduring race to have ever existed takes a lot more than physical damage to get through. Ford was set to buy Ferrari, a few years prior and it remains no secret that Ford’s desire to control the Ferrari racing team turned the entire deal on its heels.

The Americans were pissed, hence they created the GT40, a monster to say the least.

This race also had another big controversy that taints Ford to this day, having asked Ken Miles to abandon his triple crown for the team and ultimately losing to another Ford of Burce Mclaren and Chris Amon. The triple Ford photo finish remains the most celebrated picture in Le Mans history.

5. 1952, Daytona: The Fabulous Hudson Hornet

It was driven by a legend, Marshall Teague and a memorable race for many early motorsports fans. The 1952 Daytona, the second event of the NASCAR season saw the race start with 61 drivers and ended with just 10. Imagine that, 51 drivers and cars are all gone by the end of a 37-lap race. However, Marshall had a different day which is remembered as the Fabulous Hudson Hornet.

Hudson Motors was not shy to the victory, having won many manufacturing trophies and countless podiums in the early days of Carolina racing, things were all fine and dandy in America.

6. Hamilton’s 3-leg race at 2020 Silverstone: One of a kind?

The 2020 Silverstone race remains one that has committed to the Formula One frenzy in recent years. The seven-time world champion finished on three tyres to become the Formula One world champion for the seventh time. How?

The 2020 Mercedes was dominating, to say the least, it had the pace and the aero to make veterans such as Ferrari look like toy cars. Among the best Mercedes cars to be raced in a Formula One season, combine that with the talent and guts of Lewis Hamilton. The season is pretty much over from the get-go.

The 2020 Mercedes had other issues though, with tyres being a main concern. Towards the latter half of the season, Mercedes would struggle with tyre-related issues including Silverstone and Sakhir. It was either mistaken calls or poor heat management but the world champion, well he had built a 30-second lead over Verstappen and came home with three legs instead of four. Radio calls between the champion and the team did not believe it either, though he lost 23 seconds leaving him with a seven-second lead in the end. Those 23 seconds held everyone at the edge of their seats.

7. A Videogame overtake at 2022 Martinsville Speedway: Ross Chastain’s wall-ride to playoffs!

NASCAR is crazy, to say the least, with 40 cars on tight roads racing at average speeds of up to 300 kph with any near miss causing total catastrophe all over. Best reference, the 2002 Aaron’s 312 also dubbed as the ‘Big One’ involved nearly 31 cars all over the track by lap 14.

The 2022 Martinsville speedway awoke a similar feeling of enigma and finger-clenching moment as Ross Chastain entered the final lap’s final corner and hugged the wall, scrapping it all the way to gain fifth place from his 10th place before the corner. The fans had their share of amazing racing and NASCAR banned the trick with a severe penalty as this would cause critical concerns for fans and the driver in the cockpit. Memorable and close to the edge of racing, Senna wanted it no other way.

A recent memory for the younger fans!

In these iconic races, we witness the underdog’s triumph, the clash of titans, and the sheer resilience of those who dare to chase their dreams at breakneck speeds. Whether it’s Sergio Perez’s remarkable comeback from last place in Sakhir or Norman Graham Hill’s controversial victory at the Indianapolis 500, each race tells a story of courage, perseverance, and the unyielding pursuit of greatness.

As we celebrate the past, let us also look forward to the future, where new legends will be born, and new chapters of motorsports history will be written. For in the world of racing, the journey never truly ends – it simply accelerates towards the next chequered flag, the next moment of glory, and the next unforgettable chapter in the annals of motorsports history.

P.S. Stay tuned, we got something cookin’ on the two-wheeler front too!