The best European motoring events in 2019

The best European motoring events in 2019
Europe is home to some of the greatest motoring events in the world. 

So, if you’re a motoring enthusiast, this year you can take in everything from full-throttle motorbike racing to classic car shows held at stunning palaces. 

To help you plan your year, we’ve put together a list of some of the unmissable events from the 2019 motoring calendar...

The 2019 European Motoring Events Calendar

7-17  Geneva International Motor Show   Geneva, Switzerland
13  Formula E Rome E-Prix   Rome, Italy
27  Formula E Paris E-Prix   Paris, France
10-12  Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix   Barcelona, Spain
11  Formula E Monte Carlo E-Prix   Monte Carlo, Monaco
18-20  Spa Classic   Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium
24-26  Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix   Monte Carlo, Monaco
25  Formula E Berlin E-Prix   Berlin, Germany
25–7 Jun  Isle of Man TT   Isle of Man
15-16  Le Mans 24 Hours   Le Mans, France
20-23  Nűrburgring 24 Hours   Nűrburg, Germany
21-23  Formula 1 French Grand Prix   Le Castellet, France
22  Formula E Bern E-Prix   Bern, Switzerland
28-30  Formula 1 Austrian Grand Prix   Spielberg, Austria
4-7  Goodwood Festival of Speed   Chichester, UK
12-14  Formula 1 British Grand Prix   Silverstone, UK
26-28  CarFest (North)   Bolesworth, UK
26-28  Formula 1 German Grand Prix   Hockenheim, Germany
1-4  WRC Rally Finland   Finland
2-4  Formula 1 Hungarian Grand Prix   Budapest, Hungary
9-11  Nűrburgring Oldtimer Grand Prix   Nűrburg, Germany
30-1 Sep  Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix   Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium
5-8  Salon Privé Concours d’Elégance   Blenheim, UK
6-8  Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix   Monza, Italy
12-22  Frankfurt Motor Show   Frankfurt, Germany
27-29  Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix   Sochi, Russia
3-6  WRC Rally Great Britain   Wales, UK

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Geneva Motor Show (7-17 March)

One of the world’s greatest motor shows takes place in the Swiss city of Geneva, showcasing the best new innovations from the automotive industry and crowning the vehicle deemed “Car of the Year” by experts.

If you’re thinking of driving to the show, Geneva is under eight hours’ drive from Calais and the journey takes in some excellent French cities like Troyes and Dijon — just make sure you’re aware of both French and Swiss driving laws.

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Formula E Paris E-Prix (27 April)

Experience the thrill of wheel-to-wheel action in the stunning grounds of Paris’s Les Invalides complex as you see some of the world’s best drivers go head to head in an exhilarating all-electric battle.

Paris is the closest E-Prix race to the UK, and with the French capital less than four hours’ drive from Calais it’s a great option for fans of electric motorsport — just don’t forget to check out our guide to driving to Paris before you set off.

Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix (24-26 May)

The world’s focus turns to Monte Carlo for one glamourous weekend in May as the stars of F1 hit the principality’s streets in one of the most jaw-dropping sights in sport, pushing their cars around the tightest street circuit in Europe.  

If you fancy rubbing shoulders with the stars, Monte Carlo is a 12-hour drive from Calais, although it might be best to park somewhere else along the coast and take the train into the heart of the action.

Formula E Berlin E-Prix (25 May)

Located at the iconic Tempelhof Airport, a former airfield in the heart of the city, Berlin’s E-Prix is one of Formula E’s best circuits and a great experience for the whole family, with kids even able to meet the drivers after the race.

For motorists heading across to Berlin, the journey from Calais takes under ten hours and crosses through France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany, so make sure you know the laws and requirements of every country you cross.

Isle of Man TT (25 May–7 June)

Source: Dave Kneen Pacemaker Press International


It doesn’t get much more full-throttle than this. Known as one of the world’s most dangerous events, the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy sees a daring bunch of motorcyclists hurtle round the island’s famous 37.73-mile Mountain Course.

For motorsport fans, this is as close to the action as it gets, with the course kept to the island’s public roads. You can take ferries from Liverpool, Heysham or Belfast, and you’ll be covered by your RAC breakdown cover on the island.

Le Mans 24 Hours (15-16 June)

The ultimate test of motoring endurance has been putting the world’s greatest drivers through their paces since 1923 — including last year’s winners Fernando Alonso and Sébastien Buemi — and for many is the pinnacle of motorsport. 

The race runs from 3pm on Saturday to 3pm on Sunday and is thrilling to watch from the grandstands as it rolls into the night. Plus, with Le Mans less than five drive from Calais, you won’t need your own 24-hour drive to get there. 

Goodwood Festival of Speed (4-7 July)

Set in the spectacular South Downs National Park, Goodwood is a hill-climb with a difference, where fans can see Formula 1 cars, classic cars, and retro motorbikes tackle the climb just touching distance from the action.

Founded back in 1993, the festival has quickly established itself as a must-see in the British motoring calendar. Around 150,000 fans attend every year, so expect queues in and around the estate during the event.

CarFest (North) (26-28 July)

The ultimate car-inspired family day out, CarFest has everything you need from a motoring event — the latest models, car rides, and weird cars from around the world as well as live music, a kids’ theatre, and even a car-nival.

The brainchild of Chris Evans, CarFest raises money for BBC Children in Need. And if Cheshire sounds too far away, there’s also a CarFest South, which takes place in late August outside Overton in Hampshire.

WRC Rally Finland (1-4 August)

As one of the world’s quickest rally courses, it’s easy to see why Rally Finland is so popular with fans looking to catch a glimpse of their heroes as they throw themselves round the adrenaline-charged gravel track.

If you’re thinking of driving there, Rally Finland is about a 32-hour drive from Calais, taking in nine countries on the way. If Finland is too far for you, why not check out the WRC Rally of Great Britain, held in North Wales in early October?

Salon Privé Concours d’Elégance (5-8 September)

Styled as the “most luxurious of garden parties set against the backdrop of Britain’s greatest palace”, Salon Privé showcases the finest supercars and classic cars around.

Held at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, the event is conveniently accessed off the M40. Just remember to check the clothing requirements before you set off as some of the days have dress codes.  

What do I need to drive in Europe?

If you’re planning to drive to a motoring event on the continent, make sure you and your car are fully prepared for every stage of your journey by checking out our Driving in Europe checklist.

You’ll need to decide how to cross the English Channel too, using either the Channel Tunnel from Folkestone or the ferry from Dover or one of the other ports along the English coast.

You should also read up on the local laws and requirements for every country you intend to drive through, ensuring you take with you everything you need to stay on the right side of the law.

In France, this will include warning triangles and Crit’Air clean air stickers, but each country is different so make sure you research the local motoring laws thoroughly before to your trip.

Before leaving home, remember to carry out some simple car checks — including topping up fluid levels and checking tyre pressure. If anything’s wrong book your car into your local garage to get it checked out.

Do I need European breakdown cover?

If you’re planning to drive outside the UK, the first thing you need to make sure of is that you have breakdown insurance that covers the whole of your trip.

The RAC has some great-value European breakdown cover options that offer comprehensive cover if you break down on your way to the Alps, including roadside assistance and a 24/7 English-speaking helpline.

Want more European driving advice? Check out our other guides here…

Did you know, you can get fined for moving out of the way of an ambulance?

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