Automobile Racing Essay

1001 words - 4 pages

International competitiveness, testing the capabilities of specially designed automobiles and the skill of their drivers,over tracks and courses of differing lengths and construction, this is automobile racing. The first car race consideredis the one held in France in July 1894, in which the winner averaged 24 kilometers per hour, when 100 automobiles setout from Paris to Rouen. The first race in North America was held in Chicago, Illinois, in the year 1895. Theexcitement generated by the possibility of driving at higher and higher speeds has made automobile racing one of theworld's major spectator and participant sports. Early races were held in two forms; pure speed races and the otherstested engine reliability, which later became known as rallies. In rallies, cars attempt to achieve and maintain aset speed between points. The first races were held on public roads, but with increasing concern for spectator safety,special closed-circuit tracks were built for rally racing. The most common racing track is a paved oval with banked corners,from 200 m to 4000 m in length. The difference between road and track racing ultimately led also to different vehicleconstruction; four major types of racing cars are now built. Pure racing machines, such as those used in Grand PrixFormula 1and in Indycar, are built for power and endurance at speeds of more than 320 km/h (200 MPH). In the past stock cars used tobe production automobiles modified for track racing, but are built now solely for the purpose of racing. Sports cars used forracing, such as rallies, may be either rebuilt production vehicles or pure racing machines. Drag racers are cars built to acceleraterapidly to high speeds over very short straight tracks, or drag strips, generally about 400 m (3 mi) long.The race most popularly associated with the sport is the Indianapolis 500, so called because contestants must cover 500 mi(about 805 km); it has been held annually on Memorial Day weekend since 1911. With crowds averaging 400,000, it is the best-attendedsingle-day sports event in the world. This year the Indy 500 will not involve most teams from IndycarCART, Championship Auto RacingTeams, the regulatory body which is now being opposed by the IRL, Indycar Racing League, whose owner also owns the Indy 500 track. Theelite Grand Prix races are held at various international sites, such as São Paulo, Brazil, and Johannesburg, South Africa, and throughthe streets of Monte Carlo, Monaco. Points scored by winners of these races are totaled to establish the world champion driver. The 24-hourrace at Le Mans, France, is the most famous road endurance race. The annual stock car Daytona 500 in Florida and the U.S. Nationals for dragracing at Indianapolis Raceway Park are classics in their respective fields.Growth in auto racing has shifted away from producing speed. Today the engineers of racing are not focusing their efforts to generate morespeed, but to improve cornering speeds, fuel economy and the...

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