It may be the off-season for most motorsport categories, but there are a few famous events taking place in January, including the Dubai 24 Hours, the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona and the Dakar Rally. Here’s what’s on the motorsport agenda in January 2020!
January 5 – 17: Dakar Rally
The first major event of the year will see Fernando Alonso ticking another famous motorsport event off his bucket list: the Dakar Rally. The event takes place from January 5 – 17 and the route will take competitors across Saudi Arabia from Jeddah to Qiddiya. Alonso will be the headline star this year, but fellow Spaniard, and rallying legend, Carlos Sainz will also be racing.
January 10-12: Dubai 24 Hours
The Dubai 24 Hour race takes place at Dubai Autodrome from January 10 – 12. The prestigious endurance race has been run every year since 2006, and former F1 driver Brendon Hartley and Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff are among the previous winners. Familiar names on the 2020 entry list include ex-F1 drivers Markus Winkelhock and Bernd Schneider plus former GP2 racer Daniël de Jong. The 24-hour endurance race in Dubai has fast become a modern classic, and is open to GT, sports cars and touring cars. It welcomes both professional and semi-professional teams.
January 11 – 12: Autosport International
In addition to this month’s on track action, the Autosport International takes place at the Birmingham NEC over the weekend of Janaury 11 – 12. Europe’s biggest motorsport show has become a regular fixture on the off-season calendar for British motorsport fanatics, with a vast array of categories represented at the exhibition. Some of this year’s highlights include a display of revolutionary cars from the past 70 years, plus a guest appearance by Charles Leclerc on the final day. Tickets, priced at £37, are still available.
January 18: Formula E, Santiago E-Prix
After the first two rounds of the 2019-2020 Formula E championship, Alexander Sims sits at the top of the standings, five points ahead of Stoffel Vandoorne. Next up is the Santiago E-Prix at the Parque O’Higgins Circuit in Chile on January 18. Sam Bird won last year’s event and will be hoping for a strong result following his win in the first race of the season. Elsewhere, reigning champion – and 2018 Santiago E-Prix winner – Jean Eric Vergne suffered a frustrating start to his year, and will be looking to get more points on the board in Chile.
January 20 – 26: 88th Rallye Monte-Carlo
Dakar isn’t the only famous rally taking place in January. Towards the end of the month, from January 20-26, the 88th Rallye Monte Carlo takes place. The prestigious event has taken place annually almost every year since 1911. France’s Sébastien Ogier and co-driver Julien Ingrassia have been undefeated in the event since 2014. A win for Ogier this year would be a record-breaking eighth victory, overtaking the previous record held by Sébastien Loeb.
January 25 – 26: Rolex 24 at Daytona
The 2020 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s famous Rolex 24 Hour race takes place on January 25-26. The event has been run at Daytona International Speedway since 1962. It attracted headlines last year as the race came to a premature end due to torrential rain and was won by Fernando Alonso and team-mates Renger Van Der Zande, Jordan Taylor and Kamui Kobayashi. While Fernando Alonso won’t be competing this year, plenty of other top stars from the likes of Formula 1, IndyCar and more will be battling for the win. Among them are Sebastien Bourdais, Juan Pablo Montoya and Simon Pagenaud.