Although the likes of Formula One and MotoGP are getting back into the swing of things, other racing series have been written off for 2020. So, to fill that gap, we’ve listed the most iconic helmets to grace European motorsports.
We’ve not just organised by the fanciest-looking lids, though – all of our picks have significance. Whether it’s the helmet Schumacher wore when he broke a near-50-year record, or Marc Marquez’s when he became MotoGP’s youngest-ever champion. That being said, a few of them are also works of wearable art.
And the admiration goes well beyond the chequered flag, with their helmets and racing suits fetching, in some cases, six-figure sums.
If F1 and MotoGP are the sensible siblings, the World Rally Championship must be the black sheep of the go-fast family. As a less forwards, more sideways style of racing, WRC is home to some of the most renowned racers of any sport.
And few more so than Sebastien Loeb, who holds a record nine titles – all of which he won back to back between 2004 and 2012. But it’s Colin McRae whose name is arguably more known.
Despite only winning one WRC championship in 1995, the Scot still holds the record for being the youngest to do it, beating Subaru teammate Carlos Sainz (father of F1’s Carlos Sainz Jr.) in a tense rivalry that was split by only five points. The team’s blue and gold also has a legacy of its own, even long after McRae’s passing in 2007, as a popular colour scheme for Scoobies on UK roads.
Sebastien Ogier is also a worthy mention, as WRC’s second most successful driver after Loeb, with 48 victories and six consecutive titles. Despite having three less than Loeb, however, Ogier is the only driver to top 2,000 points.
Because of the glaring omissions, it’d be harsh to leave our list at just eight. Any mention of European motorsports, for example, surely must include 24 Hours of Le Mans, the world’s oldest active event in endurance racing.
Tom Kristensen, Le Mans’ most successful racer, has nine wins at the Circuit de la Sarthe, six of which were back to back. The track also forms one third of the Triple Crown of Motorsport – a motorsport achievement comprising wins at Le Mans, Indianapolis 500 and the Monaco Grand Prix – which has been held by only one racer since 1972, Britain’s Graham Hill.
Despite countless others who just missed out, such as Stirling Moss – largely considered the greatest racer to never win an F1 title – it’s Lewis Hamilton who makes the last spot, and the headwear from his early days in karting. Currently in the form of his career and only one title behind Schumacher, there’s no saying how many he could end up on, but it all started at Rye House Kart Circuit.
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