Welcome to AutoRacing.com

Guide to Auto Racing

Auto Racing Today

We provide information about most aspects of auto racing, including Formula 1 (F1) racing, NASCAR, CART, Muscle Cars, and the history of racing – its venues, drivers, and innovations. Also called motor racing, professional and amateur sporting contests have been held on various types of roads, tracks, and circuits. Races can also take a variety of forms, including the following:

• Formula 1 racing
• Speed way racing
• Stock car competitions
• Sports car events
• Drag racing
• Midget car events
• Karting
• Hill climbs

Various governing bodies, especially the Federation Internatonale de L’Automobile (FIA), separate race cars into categories and subcategories and oversee racing competitions. Therefore, there are as many variations to racing as there are in the cars themselves. To see how the sport evolved, you have to take a closer look at the history.

When It All Began

The history racing of cars soon began after the invention of gasoline – a fuel that powered the internal-combustion engine during the 1880s. It is hard to believe, with today’s race speeds hovering around 200 miles per hour, that that first organized auto contest, which covered about 50 miles, was won at an average speed of 10 miles per hour. This first “race” event was a reliability test that took place in 1894. It started in Paris and ended in Rouen, France.

The following year, the first true auto race took place in Paris and finished in Bordeaux, France. During this event, the winner ran an average speed of 15 miles per hour. In the U.S., an organized race was held that started in Chicago and ended in Evanston, Illinois. It covered about 55 miles. It was held on Thanksgiving Day in 1895.

By 1903 town-to-town races in France or from France to other countries became common – that is, until authorities stopped a Paris-to-Madrid racing event in 1903. At that time, the race was halted at Bordeaux because of the large number of mishaps.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway

One of the world’s best auto racing tracks is the 4-km, 2.5-mile oval, at Speedway, Indiana. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which opened in 1909, started out as an unpaved racing track. It was paved with bricks for the first running of the Indianapolis 500 in 1911, with the race continuing thereafter as an annual event except during war time.

Auto Racing Speeds

In almost all types of auto racing, speed plays a prominent role. However, a concern about safety by auto racing’s governing bodies has kept the speeds from steadily increasing. Nevertheless, the speed has risen from 75 miles per hour at the 1911 Indianapolis 500 to almost 160 miles per hour in the early 1970s. Because Grand Prix races do not take place on oval tracks and because of the variation in terrains, the speeds on Grand Prix circuits are usually lower.

Speed Records and Auto Racing Champions

The first Formula 1 champion was Giuseppe Farina in 1950, and the first driver to exceed 200 miles per hour (320 km) was Henry Segrave. What is interesting about Segrave’s record is that he reached the speed in 1927 at the Daytona Beach Road Course.

Seagrave set this record twice at the same site. The first speed record was 203.79 miles per hour, followed by a speed of 231.45 miles per hour in 1929. He died in 1930 in Windermere, England while trying to make a water speed record attempt. While you might think the land speed record would have been set in modern times, it actually was made in the early part of the 20th century.

Two brothers, Bobby and Al Unser, from Albuquerque, New Mexico, won the Indianapolis 500 a combined total of 7 times. Dale Earnheart Sr., known as the Intimidator, was a champion NASCAR competitor, winning the International Race of Champions four times. He died in 2001, when he crashed at at the Daytona International Speedway.

Formula 1 – The Zenith of Auto Racing

We provide information about auto racing events and drivers. However, our primary focus has been on Formula 1 which many car racing experts consider at the top of the racing pyramid.

Where speedway or NASCAR racing is performed on oval tracks, Formula 1 events take place on varying terrains and circuits. F1 races showcase Grand Prix racing events around the world, with some of the most popular being the Japan Grand Prix and the French Grand Prix events. One of the greatest drivers of Formula 1 racing is the German driver, Michael Schumacher.

What makes great reading about Formula 1 is the art and science of the sport – something that Formula 1 teams must know if they expect to win a race. For example, during a typical race, sensors monitor fuel consumption, air flow, tire temperatures, and oil levels. They are also used to check on a driver’s heart rate. In fact, the average F1 racing car has over 300 sensors – all which produce data that help F1 teams gain an advantage on the track and with speed.

By carefully measuring sensors and using computers, F 1 Teams can find out ways to gain an edge competitively. For example, a 0.05 second advantage, although small, translates to a 3-second lead by the end of an F1 event. Therefore, time is considered at a premium when it comes to this elite form of racing. That is why aerodynamicists are constantly testing concepts via computer models. It’s those extra seconds, and the design of an engine, that can make the difference between winning and losing a racing event.

Auto Racing Resources

What do you think you like the best about auto racing? Who is your favorite driver or who is your favorite team? Do you prefer watching Formula 1 races or like to see NASCAR drivers compete? Indeed, racing is an exciting event – one that depends on science and technology to ensure that both the expectations of the drivers and the fans are met.

Whether you are a member, occasional visitor, or new to AutoRacing.com, we hope that you enjoy what you read and visit us again soon as we continue to add fresh content and features. If you have any suggestions or comments we look forward to hearing from you.

Fast Facts

We have assembled some fast facts and trivia about auto racing for around the world. This information was compiled from a variety of sources including Top10HQ, Wikipedia, Statista, FIA official website, NASCAR official website, Our World in Data.

  • 1887: First organized automobile race (France)
  • 258,000: Capacity at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway
  • 82: the number of auto racetracks (world-wide) with a capacity of 35,000 or more
  • 5 out of 10: Number of tracks US tracks with greatest spectator capacity
  • 91: Most Formula 1 driver victories (Michael Schumacher)
  • 288: Most Formula 1 victories by nationality (England)
  • 18: Age of youngest Formula One winner (Max Verstappen)
  • 53: Age or oldest Formula One winner (Luigi Fagioli)
  • 200: Most wins by a NASCAR driver (Richard Petty)
  • 1948: NASCAR founded by Bill France, Sr.
  • 1949: First NASCAR race (Daytona Beach, Florida USA)
  • 30: The number of tracks used for NASCAR races (2020)
  • Oldest endurance race: 24 hours of Le Mans
  • 7: Most wins at Le Mans (Tom Kristensen)
  • 19: Most Le Mans victories by a manufacturer (Porsche)
  • 626 km (8.467 mi): Length of Le Mans circuit
  • 405 km/h (252 mph); Fastest recorded time at Le Mans
  • Sébastien Loeb: Most Championship, Event and Stage wins
  • 102: Most Rally wins by a manufacturer (Citroën)

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