10 Dec 2008

Hot dates for the enthusiast's diary

13-14 Dec
Rockingham Stages Rally

No need to get covered in mud, sweat and beers if you want to catch some rallying action.

14 Dec
Race of Champions, Wembley Stadium, London

Will Priaulx, Coulthard and Co find the KTM as disappointing as we did?

26 Dec
Stock Car Racing, Wimbledon, London

Cold turkey sandwiches and The Great Escape or stock cars and banger racing?
Your call… www.spedeworth.net

3 Jan
Javelin trackday, Elvington, York

If you’re not still hungover, get the year’s first track action under your belt in Yorkshire.

8-11 Jan
Autosport Show

The Birmingham NEC celebrates all things motorsport. DC (right) and some of his old racing cars will be there, too.

17-25 Jan
Detroit motor show

Motor City’s annual shindig  could be a few balloons short of a party if the global economy has its way. That (right) is a hybrid, by the way. www.naias.com

18 Jan
Run what ya brung, Santa Pod

Not great if you love grammar, but great if you love the idea of firing your own car down a drag strip.

3-18 Jan

The name’s probably a bit misleading – never mind Dakar, the race won’t even be in Africa this time after security concerns caused the abandonment of the 2008 event. Instead, Dakar ’09 will take in Argentina and Chile, beginning and ending in Buenos Aires and including around 5500 miles of hardcore off-roading along the way.

Open to cars, trucks and motorbikes, it’s a gruelling event for both driver and vehicle, with a number of casualties over the years. Whatever happens, expect a strong challenge from Mitsubishi. The Pajero has clinched the last seven Dakars and is the event’s most successful model, so the new Racing Lancer should put in a strong challenge for glory in South America. www.dakar.com

20-24 Jan
Monte Carlo Rally

Not a WRC round this year – it’ll only be used for world rallying biennially – the Cote d’Azur kicks off the 2009 Intercontinental Rally Challenge instead. www.fia.com

22-24 Jan
Rally of Qatar

If Monte Carlo ain’t your thing, then watch the Middle Eastern rally championship begin in the Arab Emirates over the same weekend.

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