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10 Of The Most Intense Car Courses In The World

Speed, stress, sharp turns, and more speed. That's what makes these courses legendary. Inspired by the changing course of drones that challenged the all-new Subaru WRX STI.

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10. The 12 Hours of Sebring


Built on a former Air Force base with 17 tight turns over 3.74 miles, this course is an American classic, but quickly turns into an endurance nightmare for cars on it.

9. The King of the Hammers

Spidertrax Off-Road / CC BY http://2.0 / Flickr: spidertrax

Sure, sure. Maybe a high-speed 165-mile desert race is normally not too big a deal. But this one also requires building your own car capable of handling rugged terrain.

8. The Baja 1000

Steven Harrell / CC BY-SA http://2.0 / Flickr: 16837963@N00

This year's race will be approximately 1,340 miles and, if tradition stays true, it'll most likely still be booby trapped by spectators.

7. The Rainforest Challenge

Vytautas Šėrys / CC BY http://2.0 / Flickr: vserys

Last year's race took nine days to navigate on- and off-road through Malaysia's dense, humid, and unpredictable forests.

6. The East African Safari Classic Rally

Simone Roda / CC BY http://2.0 / Flickr: sricchito

Invented to honor the Queen in the '50s, it's been over 3,977 miles at its longest, but usually hits about 3,107 miles through three countries over 10 days.

5. The Dakar Rally

viajesyturismoaldia / CC BY http://2.0 / Flickr: viajesyturismoaldia

Started as a race from Paris, France to Dakar, Senegal, next year's off-road rally is through three countries over 12 days — two of which are "marathon days" where drivers will have no access to their maintenance crews.

4. DARPA's Grand Challenge

Dan Homerick / CC BY http://2.0 / Flickr: danhomerick

In its heyday between 2004 and 2007, it required driving off-road, steering along mountain passes, or navigating intersections — without a driver behind the wheel.

3. The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb

Alan Stark / CC BY-SA http://2.0 / Flickr: squeaks2569

You know those stories Grandpa always tells about walking to school uphill both ways? Sounds cool and all, but he wasn't driving 12.42 miles over 156 turns and 4,721 feet uphill, was he?

2. The 24 Hours at Nürburgring

Klaus Nahr / CC BY-SA http://2.0 / Flickr: klausnahr

The track has been known as "Green Hell" since the '70s thanks to 15.5 miles of track in the middle of a forest and 90 of the car industry's least-favorite turns. The WRX recently blazed through the whole thing in just under eight minutes, setting a course record for sedans.

1. The 24 Hours of Le Mans

Mike Roberts / CC BY-SA http://2.0 / Flickr: cosmic_spanner

Each of a team's three drivers gets a break after two hours, but the car sure doesn't. The track has 38 turns over 8.469 miles — including parts normally open to the local town.

Then there's the adaptive race course, where the all-new WRX STI faces an ever-changing course made of drones.