IndyCar, 105th running of the Indianapolis 500 – Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indiana, May 30
One of the top spectacles of the motor racing season, the Indy 500 is set to return to its traditional calendar slot in May, and there’s even the prospect of the race being allowed to have of fans in attendance.
The premier IndyCar event is aiming to have as close to its 250,000-capacity crowd in the grandstands as possible, according to circuit owner Roger Penske.
Last year’s 500 was delayed until August because of Covid-19 restrictions and safety concerns, but so far preparations for the 2021 race have gone ahead without a hitch… fingers crossed!`
There are plenty of attractions to keep up with this year as familiar faces mix it with the up-and-coming IndyCar talent in the battle at the Brickyard. Two-time winner Juan Pablo Montoya returns as part of a reunion with his former F1 team McLaren. He will be aiming to become the 10th driver in history to win the 500 on at least three occasions.
V8 Supercars champion Scott McLaughlin is competing in his first IndyCar season with Team Penske. He impressed in the virtual IndyCar Series during lockdown last year, but a win in the real thing could be a possibility for the New Zealander.
Penske has won two of the last three Indy 500 races, and the Brickyard does have the ingredients to throw up a surprise winner every now and again.
Alexander Rossi’s 2016 win as a rookie was one of the recent shocks and Takuma Sato added to his 2017 victory last season, holding off Scott Dixon in the final laps to secure his second victory.
Pietro Fittipaldi filled in for Romain Grosjean in F1 last season and will take the Frenchman’s place for the 500 this year, while 2013 winner Tony Kanaan steps in for seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson at Chip Ganassi Racing.
Formula 1 — Azerbaijan Grand Prix
June 6, Baku, Azerbaijan
Racing returns to the streets of Azerbaijan as F1 visits Baku for the second street race of the season. Mercedes has a 75% win rate around the streets and Red Bull is the only other team to have won in Baku.
MotoGP — German Grand Prix
June 20, Germany, Sachsenring
The 2021 MotoGP season has been intriguing so far, with plenty of brilliant racing to open up the year. Yamaha started the campaign strongest, but can it stay on top of the Michelin rubber when the series rolls into Germany?
BTCC — Rounds 4, 5 & 6
June 12-13, Snetterton, Norfolk
Round two of the 2021 BTCC season heads to Snetterton, and could have limited fans in attendance for the first time in over a year. Team BMW and Colin Turkington was the combination to beat last year but rivals will be keen to prevent any early season momentum.
NASCAR – Ally 400
June 20, Nashville, Tennessee
Another new venue for NASCAR in 2021, Nashville hosts the Ally 400 in June. The speedway reopens for the first NASCAR meeting since the 2011 Truck and Xfinity races. With several big names yet to book their place in the Playoffs, it could prove a crucial race.
British GT — Round 2
June 26-27, Silverstone, Northamptonshire
The showpiece three-hour Silverstone 500 forms round two of the British GT season. After missing out last November, fans may be allowed back for the late-June race date, albeit at a limited capacity post-lockdown.
More June events
June 3-6 World Rally Championship, Rally Sardegna
June 12-13 World Superbike Championship – Misano
June 18-20 World Challenge Europe – Zandvoort