Ten races you won't want to miss in 2022

Motorsport News

There's plenty to look forward to in the 2022 motor racing season, but here are ten races that you really won't want to miss

Charles Leclerc drives through orange smoke at Zandvoort

The orange army will be out in force at Zandvoort this year

Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

If 2021 was a vintage year for racing, then 2022 has the promise to be even better: new cars in Formula 1 and WRC will reset the competitive order, easing Covid restrictions should bring fuller grids at many events, and the arrival of Peugeot could give Toyota its toughest test for some time.

It will be a rare weekend when there’s nothing worth viewing, but we’ve picked ten international races that are worth circling now in your calendar. If you can’t get there in person, then make sure your TV is tuned.


Monte Carlo Rally

WRC, January 17-19

Starting today, the 90th Monte Carlo Rally launches a new era of hybrid Rally1 cars, although much of the focus is on names that belong to a past generation.

Sébastiens Loeb and Ogier are among those taking the starting ramp in Casino Square this evening. The duel between these part-time members of the 2022 series; the performance of the new cars; and the first round of this year’s title battle in the hills above the French Riviera will provide compelling viewing.

Watch live: wrc.com (subscription required)

Hyundai Rally1 car

New Rally1 hybrid cars will have their first test in the hills around Monaco



Race of Champions

February 5-6

Give top-level drivers the same cars and pit them against each other in head-to-head races. Then sit back to see who really has the talent of a champion. It’s a concept that has provided entertaining viewing for more than three decades, but this year’s event brings a new twist, as it is being held on the frozen Baltic Sea.

You’ll see the German duo of Sebastian Vettel and Mick Schumacher slithering on the Swedish ice against the formidable Finnish line-up of Valtteri Bottas and Mika Hakkinen, as well as WRC’s Sébastien Loeb, NASCAR legend Jimmie Johnson, four-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves, nine-time Le Mans-winner Tom Kristensen and the Solberg family: Petter and Oliver racing for Norway and Sweden respectively. Waving the Union Jack are David Coulthard and Jamie Chadwick.

Watch live: tbc


Qatar Grand Prix

MotoGP, March 6

Although the title went to Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo, it was Ducati which ended 2021 on a high: championship runner-up Pecco Bagnaia will rate his chances of going one better in 2022. But with eight Ducatis on the grid this year, he’ll face tough competition from the same stable, not to mention a stronger Marc Márquez, and a buoyant Quartararo.

In 2021, the first eleven races saw seven different winners and each manufacturer making an appearance on the podium. After the 2022 season opener at Qatar we’ll have a better idea of whether this year will see the same competition.

Watch live: BT Sport

Pecco Bagnaia on Ducati

Bagnaia was runner-up in last year’s MotoGP championship, but Ducati ended the season with the upper-hand



Bahrain Grand Prix

Formula 1, March 20

In 2009, Formula 1 regulation changes brought us the Brawn GP fairytale. In 2014, the new hybrid era saw Mercedes end Red Bull’s dominance. And in 2022….

We’ll find out in Bahrain. All suspicions of sandbagging will disappear at the first grand prix of the year, as we will discover which teams have the edge, and whether the much-heralded aerodynamic changes really can bring closer and more competitive racing.

You can bet on the fallout from last year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to be rumbling on even as Max Verstappen and (hopefully) Lewis Hamilton re-engage their rivalry. Will George Russell join the party, and can other teams also run at the front?

Watch live: Sky Sports F1


Food City Dirt Race, Bristol Motor Speedway

NASCAR, April 18

2021 saw the return of racing on dirt for NASCAR’s Cup Series for the first time since 1970 and it’s no surprise that it’s being repeated in 2022. The low grip, evolving surface and limited visibility delivered on entertainment, as Joey Logano took his only win of 2021 asn pre-race favourites crashed out.

See NASCAR’s new-generation 750bhp cars meet the dirt oval in April.

Watch live: Premier Sports

Joey Logano, Daniel Suarez, 2021 Bristol Dirt Race

Joey Logano fighting Daniel Suarez for victory at Bristol last year

Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Historic Monaco Grand Prix

May 13-15

It’s arguably the jewel in the crown of the historic racing calendar, as grids of classic racers speed through the streets of Monaco in the early summer sun.

Covid claimed the 2020 event and resulted in a diminished grid last year, not helped when Jean Alesi, driving Niki Lauda’s 1974 Ferrari 312B3 was punted into a wall.

This year should see the event back to full strength, as it resumes its usual cycle of only running during an even year.

Slotting in between Formula E’s ePrix and the F1 Grand Prix, for many it will be the pick of the trio.

Watch live: tbc


SBK, Donington Park

July 17

Last year’s World Superbike champion was only going to be one of three riders, with either Toprak Razgatlıoğlu, Jonathan Rea and Scott Redding victorious in 24 of the season’s 26 races.

The racing was as thrilling and close as ever but Redding and Rea couldn’t make up for mid-season struggles, making Razgatlıoğlu champion by 13 points.

Expect battle to resume once more in 2022, where there can be no better place to watch than Donington Park, where both Rea and Redding will be looking for a home win.

Watch live: worldsbk.com (subscription required)


Le Mans 24 Hours

WEC, June 11-12

As long as its Hypercar is ready on time, Peugeot will be back at Le Mans this year; a factory-backed rival to Toyota, looking to claim overall victory ahead of next year’s influx of competitors based around the new LMDh regulations.

The hope of genuine competition at the front should be more than enough to see the return of the spectating hordes, as the race returns to its usual June slot for its 90th running, following last year’s Covid-delayed August race.

Watch live: Eurosport

Peugeot 9X8 Hypercar overhead shot

Peugeot is looking for more Le Mans success with its 9X8 Hypercar



Dutch Grand Prix

Formula 1, September 4

F1’s return to Zandvoort lived up to its billing: drivers loved the circuit’s banked corners, the race was entertaining, and the orange-infused atmosphere was electric.

If this year’s new aerodynamics do bring closer racing, then the spectacle will only be improved.

Whatever the case, the orange army will fill the 2.6 mile circuit providing a cathedral of support as Max Verstappen returns as world champion.

Watch live: Sky Sports F1


Bathurst 1000

Australian Supercars, October 9

There’s not a lot in motor racing that can compete with the spectacle of Aussie Supercars roaring their way through the concrete luge that winds down Mount Panorama, and the Bathurst 1000 serves that spectacle up 161 times during the 1000km race in October.

There’s the no-holds-barred racing you expect from the V8-powered series, the physical challenge for the drivers and, inevitably, the unexpected which last year materialised in the form of an unwary echidna that padded on to the circuit and brought out the safety car.

Watch live: supercars.com (subscription required)