Automobile sport

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Full-page advertisement for the automobile and bicycle tire Continental Pneumatic of the Continental-Caoutchouc- und Gutta-Percha Compagnie in Hanover ; with a manned racing car No. 20 in front of a stylized Alpine backdrop

The motor sport as a form of motor racing in all disciplines and competitions that have the most rapid or clever move motor-driven and mostly four-wheeled motor vehicles to the destination.

A large proportion of automobile racing events are speed competitions. These events are usually called automobile races , or auto races for short . Many of them take place on special, purpose-built motorsport racing tracks , others on closed regular roads (see road races ). There are also off-road races for off-road vehicles . Road races on non-closed roads are usually illegal and endanger other road users ( illegal road races ). They are therefore not counted as part of automobile sport.

The first automobile race took place on July 22, 1894 from Paris to Rouen (126 km). 102 vehicles were registered, including 39 with steam drive, 38 with gasoline engine, 5 with electric drive, 5 with compressed air and one with a spring mechanism; 15 cars came to the finish. The winner was Albert Jules Graf de Dion with his steam car. The first “racing formula” with regulations regarding weight and occupation was the Gordon Bennett Cup . In 1906 the first circuit race was held with the French Grand Prix .

Hubert von Herkomer , who in 1905 initiated the first reliability race, the Herkomer competition , is considered a pioneer of automobile racing in Germany .

There are various national and international motorsport championships and series for cars .

Formula racing

Various racing series are part of formula racing. The best known among them is Formula 1 . Even before the Second World War were similar races held. There are also other popular series, including the IndyCar Series and the GP2 series . Certain formulas have also been established internationally, which have been adapted from national series. One of its best-known representatives is Formula 3 . This also includes Formula 2 or the earlier Formula 3000 . The latter is currently no longer officially advertised. Other well-known racing series from the past are the A1GP (discontinued in 2010) and the Champ Car World Series (discontinued in 2007).

There are also many brand formulas that only allow one type of vehicle from a particular manufacturer. The formula V was one of the pioneers of this series and has been in the Formula Renault or Formula BMW comparable imitators.


Karting is one of the entry-level classes in motorsport. Aspiring racing drivers as children can take part. Further advancement usually takes place via junior formulas such as Formula Ford or Formula BMW . There is a wide variety of championships in Germany. In addition to the most famous, the German Kart Championship , there are also numerous kart series in popular sports.

Sports car racing

Sports car racing

Sports car races are a form of automobile sport in which racing prototypes with an open or closed roof are used, which are mainly characterized by space for two seats and the wheels covered with fenders or wheel arches. Even with near-series Gran Turismos , races are held that belong to the sports car racing category. In some sports car races, different vehicle classes are driven in their own ratings, whereby thoroughbred racing prototypes can also be in a race together with Gran Turismos. Sports car races often cover long distances and several hours of driving time. Driver changes usually take place during a race. The sports car racing category includes the FIA World Endurance Championship with the Le Mans 24-hour race , the European Le Mans Series and the Blancpain Endurance Series . The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will be held on the American continent .

Touring car racing

Touring car racing

With touring cars built cars are described mostly in large series, which were processed by modifications to body, engine or chassis for motor sport. The World Touring Car Championship (WTCC), which emerged from the European Touring Car Championship (ETCC), has been held since 2005 . Like the ADAC Procar series based in Germany, this is reserved for Super 2000 vehicles. These are based directly on vehicles that can be obtained from any car dealer. There are also other popular national and supranational touring car championships , including the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) and Scandinavian Touring Car Championship (STCC). In addition to the currently popular Super 2000 touring cars, the super touring cars were widespread in the 1990s . In Germany there was the German Touring Car Championship (DTM) until 1995 .

The "new" DTM , which has been held since 2000 and is mainly held in Germany, is not a touring car championship in the classic sense. It relies on vehicles that look like touring cars on the outside, but are actually pure silhouette touring cars or prototypes .

Hill climb

Nowadays, mountain races are basically carried out as individual time trials on a sufficiently steep uphill stretch. In addition to an FIA Championship and several European Cup series, there are also numerous national series, such as in Germany, France and Switzerland, as well as the famous single race "Race To The Clouds" (German Race to the Clouds ) in Colorado ( USA ). While hill climbs in Central Europe usually take place on asphalt roads, and the Pikes Peak race in the lower part of the route over asphalt, then later over gravel, they may be. a. in Sweden and Norway mostly on gravel roads.

Rally and off-road sport

In the field of rallying, various racing series are carried out on a national and international level. Instead of driving “always in a circle” as in races on a circuit and fighting for positions, the rally participants drive individually every minute on cordoned-off special stages (SS) from point A to point B. The participants get to the individual SSs Connection stages in public road traffic. In addition to the World Rally Championship the FIA there are many national championships as well as the German Rally Championship , the German Rally Series and the ADAC Rally Masters .

So-called rally raids or marathon rallies are also held for off-road vehicles . Most of these take place on non-cordoned off streets and areas. They are usually at home in gravel pits and deserts. Well-known representatives of these events are the Dakar Rally and, since the Dakar Rally moved to South America, the Africa Eco Race on the trail of the original Dakar Rally. Other well-known rallies are the Baja 1000 , the Silk Way Rally , the Tuareg Rally and the Egyptian Pharaohs Rally .

There are also 4 × 4 trials and trophies, which are mostly about teamwork and just getting through. The best known are the Camel Trophy (discontinued in 1999), the Rainforest Challenge in Malaysia , the Outback Challenge in Australia and the G4 Trophy .

Rallycross, autocross and ice races

Rallycross. Here: Kenneth Hansen , 10 European championships with Citroën

Despite the similarity of names, rallycross is not a rally-like competition, but a sprint-style car race on stadium-like circuits with changing track surfaces (asphalt and gravel). In a similar type of autocross , in contrast to rallycross, in addition to closed touring car specials , open buggies are also used, but here the easily manageable circuit consists entirely of loose ground (earth, sand and / or gravel). The ice races of the so-called Trophée Andros in France and Andorra also come relatively close to rallycross , although the touring car specials can be prepared even more generously ( e.g. tubular frame bodies and all-wheel steering ), but have engines that are around 200 hp weaker.

Dragster sport

Dragster races are drag races. They are played on a straight track ( drag strip ). The race distance is about 400 meters, about a quarter of a mile. In the race, two drivers usually compete against each other; the winner moves on to the next round, the loser is eliminated.

Vehicles in automobile sport are essentially divided into three classes: Pro-stock vehicles are based on series vehicles, but are equipped with more powerful engines and different chassis. Funny cars are visually similar to a production car, but are built for drag sports. Top fuel dragsters are built for drag sports and have a streamlined shape. They have no similarities to production cars. Pro-stock vehicles run on conventional gasoline, top-fuel dragsters and funny cars use a special fuel that is similar to jet fuel ( kerosene ).

Historic automobile sport

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: Automobile sport  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Automobile Sports  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Illustrated newspaper . Volume 136. No. 3835. April 20, 1911.
  2. ^ Peter Kirchberg: Oldtimer - Cars of yore (= accent. 3). 4th edition. Urania-Verlag, Leipzig / Jena / Berlin 1981, DNB 820304913 , p. 97.
  3. ↑ In 2013 Sébastien Loeb won the Race To The Clouds in a Peugeot 208 T16 (photo).
  4. PC / PR: Pharaons the real Rally-raid. In: March 28, 2013, accessed July 1, 2019 .
  5. Created in 2002 by Peter Auto in association with the Automobile Club de l'Ouest, Le Mans Classic offers a great retrospective of the legendary Le Mans 24 Hours. In:, accessed July 1, 2019.