The beginning of auto racing started right after the successful introduction of cars powered by gas. The very first auto race was in 1887, in Paris, France. Actually, it seems weird calling it a race since only one person showed up, so naturally he was the winner. In 1894, another car race was organized, also in Paris, and many consider this one the world’s first race. 102 people paid the entrance fee, but in the end only 25 people participated in the main auto race.
Not everyone started at the same time & the same place and three winners were selected based on the handling, the speed, and the safety characteristics of their cars.
The first real auto race, where all the cars started at the same time, at the same place, took place in 1895 in France. The winner reached the finish line almost 6 hours before his competitor. That’s a big difference!
It looks like the foundation of auto racing lies in France. That’s why most races, even international ones, at that time, took place in France. Open road races in France ended in 1903, after a fatal accident involving Marcel Renault happened.
The oldest auto race track worldwide is called “The Milwaukee Mile”. It opened its doors in 1903. Interestingly, this auto race track was not originally built for cars, but rather for horses.
The first track that was specifically built for car racing is the Brooklands, located in England. It opened its doors in 1907. In 1939 the Brooklands racing track was closed, when wartime production of airplanes and other aircraft took over. It was extensively damaged during the Second World War, and never reopened its doors.
The Indianapolis Speedway race track opened in 1909. It looks like Brooklands inspired the Indianapolis Speedway.
From 1930 and later, cars made specifically for racing replaced the expensive road cars used earlier.
There are many different types of racing. Here are a few of them. There’s single seater racing, touring car racing, sports and production car racing, and single marque (also known as one-make racing). There’s also stock car racing, targa racing, rallying, drag racing, off road racing, and kart racing. There are so many different flavors of auto racing, that you can pick and choose which one suits you and your situation best.
There are many auto race tracks in the US. There are about nine dirt oval tracks, seventeen drag strips, over 50 paved oval tracks, 70 (yes, that’s 70) road courses, and eight super speedways. In addition, there are currently 23 temporary circuits. Whoa, that’s a lot to choose from!
Auto racing in the US has become a very popular sport, enjoyed by many people. If you want to take up the sport and drive a race car yourself, just get some more information and start doing it.