automobile racing

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.

automobile racing,

sport in which specially designed or modified automobiles race on any of various courses. Automobile racing originated in France in 1894 and appeared in the United States the following year. It is now one of the most popular spectator sports in the world. Of many different types of competition, the most prestigious have traditionally involved Formula OneFormula One
(F1), type of racecar used in Grand Prix automobile racing. Capable of speeds exceeding 230 mph (370 kph), the technologically sophisticated F1 cars are low-slung, open-wheeled, single-seat vehicles with powerful mid-engines, air foils, electronic aids, special
..... Click the link for more information.
 (Grand Prix) or "Indy-type" automobiles, both cars with low-slung bodies capable of speeds greater than 230 mph (370 kph). Their design and maintenance require full-time racing teams and large corporate investment. A number of countries sponsor Grand Prix races, which contribute to the designation of a world champion driver. The Grands Prix of Monaco, France, Great Britain, Canada, and Australia are among the best known.

America's famous Indianapolis 500 (begun 1911) is the best known of a series of races in which drivers compete for a series championship, organized by the United States Auto Club (USAC) and overseen from 1979 to 1996 by Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART). In 1996 CART began a competing series, leaving the Indy 500 and several other races in the hands of the Indy Racing League (IRL). The Indianapolis 500 attracts over 500,000 spectators annually, making it the nation's largest paid-admission sporting event. Many top drivers compete in both Formula One and Indy-type races, and some also drive in the two major endurance races for sports cars, the 24 Hours at Daytona (Daytona Beach, Fla.) and the 24 Hours at LeMans (France; officially the LeMans Grand Prix d'Endurance, held since 1923).

Enormously popular in the United States are the races of the National Association for Stock Car Automobile Racing (NASCARNASCAR
(National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing), organization that sanctions American stock-car races, est. 1948. It held its first race in Daytona Beach, Fla., in 1948 and began its first and most important series of races (known as the Grand National Division from
..... Click the link for more information.
) circuit, in which standard, or stock, cars with special equipment race at speeds that can average close to 200 mph (320 kph). The major races of the NASCAR circuit include the Daytona 500 and the Talladega 500. Midget racing originated in the 1940s among enthusiasts unable to afford Indy cars. Originally held on dirt tracks at fairgrounds, midget races have yielded their popularity to sprint cars, larger versions of the midgets that travel half-mile tracks at 100 mph (161 kph) or more. Drag racing, which grew out of the often illegal sprints held among American teenagers during the 1950s, involves acceleration tests among extremely powerful cars over .25-mi (.4025-km) courses at speeds exceeding 300 mph (483 kph). Hill climbing, done by cars of various classes against the clock, is popular in Europe, but has never attained more than regional popularity in the United States.


See R. Cutter and B. Fendell, Encyclopedia of Auto Racing (1973); A. E. Brown, The History of the American Speedway (1984).

References in periodicals archive ?
Pack a picnic and a blanket to spread iton, bring the kids, and set off for an afternoon of vintage automobile racing.
The British Automobile Racing Club (BARC) recently recognized Fittipaldi for his 2015 BARC Renault championship season where he dominated which included a winning streak of 8 successive wins over a trio of meetings between May and August.
Run by the Classic 2CV Racing Club with the British Automobile Racing Club, the event marks the end of yet another superb season of low-cost 2CV motorsport.
Caterhams of several classes, Mazda MX5s, junior saloon cars and the massive mixed grid of the British Automobile Racing Club (BARC) North West Centre's Sports Saloon Championship sponsored by CNC Heads will all compete.
600 Racing (UK) provides owner drivers and teams with racing opportunities and is affiliated to the British Automobile Racing Club which provides a platform for the Legends Series at all UK circuits.
The Corwen driver has earned his invitation by setting the fastest lap at an incident-packed Formula Renault (British Automobile Racing Club) Championship double-header at Croft.
James is being recognized for spending the greater part of his life, over 60 years, working for the safety and betterment of open wheel automobile racing.
WINDSOR, England, June 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Automobile racing statistics have been added to the growing roster of sports that are supported by XML standards of the International Press Telecommunications Council.
The British Automobile Racing Club's Championship Club Car Meeting visits the North-East to feature the Caterham Graduate Championship, the Dunlop Supersport Championship, the MG X Power Clubmans Cup and the Northern Saloon and Sports Car Championship.
is credited with originating and shaping into the standard by which all other historic automobile racing is measured in this country.
July 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Officials from Kimberly-Clark Professional, Track Enterprises and the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) announced today that SCOTT[sup.
THE North Western Centre of the British Automobile Racing Club make their annual return to Anglesey Circuit this Saturday and Sunday to run a full schedule of championship races.