The deafening (for some) noise of a race car going past a long straight—be it in the infamous 24 Hours of LeMans Mulsanne straight or the 24 Hours of Nurburgring at full chat—is arguably one of the most exhilarating elements of motorsport ever, inciting fans to camp all day and night to catch a piece of the action live. Here’s our roundup of the best sounds from the world of motorsport.
Bet you saw that coming from a mile away (thanks to its distinct four rotor scream), punishing the Mulsanne straight while the high pitched wail strums a musical treat to fans’ ears. Road and Track compared its sound to ‘an angry swarm of killer bees’. Make what you will of that after listening to it yourselves—headphone users beware!
Alfa Romeo V6 TI DTM
It’s no small surprise that Alfa’s Busso V6 is often voted the best sounding engine and a nominee in lists much like this one. While the car itself might look like a block of soap with a physics defying spoiler, it caught on with the boy racer charm. Imagine firecrackers loaded with gun powder, set on fire at every corner of the race track, while what happens to be a sedan with a spoiler hurls past you.
The golden V10 era that Vettel fantasizes about. The most dominant car ever to race in F1, manned by Schumacher and Barrichello. Need I say more? Let the banshee growl of 10 cylinders tickle your inner tifosi. What F1 cars are supposed to sound like.
Group B spec Audi Quattros
The fourth race car (on gravel) in this list (worked really hard on this one) is the humble Audi Quattro. Except there’s nothing humble about it reflecting on the road car. Flamboyant arches, a spoiler designed by an architect (don’t quote me on that) and a flame spitting anti lag turbo system that keeps the drivers’ and spectators’ ears in check.
You would have already known this car by now had you played Gran Turismo on your trusty old PS2, as the V12 roared through the pixelated circuits, flames and backfires included. This group C LeMans racer was the ultimate Jag swan song, and quite literally so—packing a 7 litre V12 as it cuts through the dense fog on final hour of the 1988 24 Hours of LeMans to clench victory from Porsche, breaking the latter’s streak. It was the first podium finish for Jaguar since 1957. The road to victory wasnt as tranquil as you’d think. Gearbox gremlins meant the big cat was stuck in 4th gear. Who cares when it sounds that orgasmic?
Being a Porsche fanboy myself, I couldn’t resist chucking in a Porsche here—the very car that built Porsche’s steady racing pedigree in LeMans. The design process, the teamwork and effort going into homologating the long tailed 917 can make for another article by itself. The end product resulted in a what looked like a period correct sketch of a rocket back in 1970, propelled by a flat 12 motor. Further evolutions (the 917 was in racing use well until the late 1980s) of both the chassis and engine rose to a frame twisting 1580 HP as the menacing banshees were the weapon of choice for many privateer racers. The 917, much to Rennsport fans delights, was voted as the most dominant car in the LeMans history. Heck, Steve McQueen raced one, in a certain orange and blue colour scheme!
Head on over to www.thedailystar.net/shift for videos of all of these cars in action—since you can’t hear the greatest sounds in motorsport on a piece of paper. Or can you? Give it a try and let us know the results!