Everyone knows the most popular motorsports in the world. Forumla 1, Nascar, IndyCar MotoGp all attract millions upon millions of fans each race both viewing at home and in person at racetracks. However for all those elite race drivers there are thousands more each weekend who are packing up their kit, grabbing the pig ( you read that right) and heading out to race.
We take a look at the top Ten below.
After mentioning the pig, we could hardly leave that explanation till the end could we, so we will start with the Pig-N-Ford racing.
1. Pig-N-Ford Races
The Tillamook County Fair takes place every summer in Oregon, United States. The fair, which was established in 1891 has a strange motorsport event, known as a Pig-N-Ford race, which was first run in 1925.
The drivers have to drive stripped Model T Fords that have stock mechanicals. When the race begins, the drivers run to the opposite side of the straight, where they have to grab a live 20-pound pig which they carry to their car and begin the race with.
The cars must be hand-cranked, and after each lap the drivers stop to get a different pig. The first driver to complete three laps wins. We are not sure what the pig wins.
2. School Bus Racing
The Tour of Destruction promotes school bus racing in Florida. The races are very popular in Bithlo, Florida. The races take place at a biannual event known as Crash-a-Rama. Each race has 20 starters, and it is common that nine to 12 drivers crash out.
The tracks use figure-8 configurations. The school busses must be 24 feet long from bumper to bumper, as well as using the tyres that they originally came with. All doors on the bus must remain shut, and a roll cage has to be installed. The motors can be changed, but they must remain in the same location.
3. Rickshaw Challenge
The Rickshaw Challenge is an autorickshaw rally that takes place over the Indian sub-continent over several days. The participants use autorickshaws, which are also known as tuk-tuks, which are very popular in Eastern India.
They have to cross a very large area, that is roughly 1000 kilometres, and in the process they cross 12 districts. They often have to travel 200 kilometres in a single day, which can be hard due to cows and monsoon rain.
The rickshaws can travel at speeds of around 40 miles per hour. The events are run for charity rather than competition, and they raise funds for education programs across India.
4. Reliant Robin Racing
The Reliant Robin is a small three-wheeled car that was produced by a UK-based company for over 30 years. The car is known for its poor stability, and as such, it has been used in entertaining banger races in the UK, which is where scrap vehicles are raced on small tracks.
Due to the poor stability, the cars often roll over or go onto two wheels, which makes for a very funny spectacle. The engines are 850cc, and the cars have fibreglass bodies. The cars were also tested and raced on the popular UK TV show Top Gear.
5. Lawn Mower Racing
People sometimes race ride-on or self-propelled lawnmowers that have had their blades removed, and the practice is particularly popular in the UK. It was known to have taken place as early as 1968 during the Lawn Mower Grand Prix at Mersey Cricket Club.
There are now several lawn mower racing clubs around the UK, which use mowers that can travel up to 50 miles per hour. However, the mowers rarely reach this speed due to the obscure track designs.
There are also endurance lawn mower races, such as the BLMRA 12-hour endurance race which has been held since 1978 and has featured F1 drivers such as Stirling Moss.
6. Trailer Racing
The Rockford Speedway is an oval circuit in Loves Park, Illinois. It is ¼ mile long and has high banking. As well as hosting NASCAR races, the track hosts several notable traditional races, such as trailer racing.
In the race, each vehicle must tow another vehicle, which is often another car, a boat or a motorhome. The cars and their trailing vehicle are very large, and the track is fairly small so there are many crashes. The race takes place on a figure-8 layout.
7. Folk Racing
Folk racing, which originated in Finland, is very popular in Denmark. It. Is a form of Nordic rallycross racing which takes place on special gravel or tarmac tracks that are 2,400 meters in length. The tracks are designed to limit the speed to just 50 miles per hour, but this can often be broken to reach 75 miles per hour.
The races are divided by gender and age, and drivers as young as 14 can take part. There are tight rules on car cost to keep the competition close, however personal equipment is not included in the price. The races often have six cars.
8. Aussie Postie Bike Challenge
Postmen, who are known as posties in Australia, have used red motorcycles to deliver mail around the country since the 1970s. The motorbikes used are Honda CT110s. The bikes are used in challenge races that go across Australia.
Drivers travel in groups through the Australian bush and countryside and often stop to take breaks at rural towns and schools along the way.
Anyone over 18 who has a motorcycle licence is allowed to take part. Drivers often wear fancy dress on the bikes to enhance the experience and make it a spectacle for onlookers.
9. Combine Demolition Derby
A demolition derby is a non-racing motorsports event in which competitors compete to damage the other competitors’ vehicles. At some fairs in the United States, these events take place using combine harvesters, which is a type of agricultural equipment.
The derbies can last up to three hours, and the drivers remove heavy parts from the vehicles to make them more agile. A vehicle is eliminated when it is immobilised. Despite the crazy nature, the events are usually safe as dangerous parts are removed.
10. Bar Stool Racing
Bar stools are a tall type of stool that are used at bars. They are very popular in the USA, and they have been used in a type of motorsport where an American style bar stool is mounted onto a small go kart-frame.
This means that the drivers sit unusually high up compared to the steering wheel. Some constructors have even built ‘bar stool racers’ that can travel as fast as 45 miles per hour.
There are also some rules, such as the fact that there must only be one single 12-volt motor. The brakes must also be single-hand operated, and the bar stool must be genuine.
Special Note about chairs:
There have been Darwin Awards almost given to other strange users of chairs. Lawn Chair larry, who didn’t race hsi chair, but did beat gravity for a few hours when he tied over 45 helium balloons to a lawn chair. He wasn’t stupid though, he did pack beer and sandwiches for his trip of 30 feet up into the air.
However, a scientist he was not, and those 45 balloons gave him more lift than he planned, and he was eventually reported at a height of 16,000 feet by planes on their approach to Los Angeles international Airport.
Amusingly, when he did build up the courage to shoot some balloons, he hadnt prior to this as he was correctly worried about unbalancing his makeshift aircraft, he landed on power lines, which caused a blackout of a Long Beach Area.
His flight lasted over 14 hours, and is a cautionary tale to those who wish to strap things to chairs that don’t belong.
That is just ten of the weirdest motor sports in the world. However the world is a huge place, and we know there are hundreds of other weird motorsports out there. If you have any you want mentioned you can pop a message in the comments below and we will be happy to take a look and maybe add them on to theis list of weird and wonderful motorsports.