A modern-day Formula One car in action (Rubens Barrichello in a Honda RA108 at the 2008 Australian Grand Prix)

Motorsport or motorsports is the group of competitive events which primarily involve the use of motorized vehicles, whether for racing or non-racing competition. MotoSport refers to motorcycle racing specifically and includes off-road racing such as motocross.

Motorsport is governed by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile, and Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme.


  • History 1
  • Open wheel racing 2
    • Formula One 2.1
    • Indy Racing League 2.2
  • Enclosed wheel racing 3
    • Sports car racing 3.1
    • Stock car racing 3.2
    • Touring car racing 3.3
  • Other racing 4
  • Non-racing motorsport 5
  • Olympics 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
    • Sources 8.1
  • External links 9


In 1894, a French newspaper organized a race from Paris to Rouen and back, starting city to city racing.[1] In 1900, the Gordon Bennett Cup was established. Closed circuit racing arose as open road racing was banned. Brooklands was the first dedicated track in the United Kingdom.[2]

After Grand Prix races over closed courses. In the United States, dirt track racing was popular.[3]

After World War II, the Grand Prix circuit was organized. In the United States, stock car racing and drag racing was organized.[4]

Motorsports divided by types of motor vehicles into racing events, and organizations.

Open wheel racing

Open wheel racing is a set of classes of vehicles, with the wheels outside of the chassis.

Formula One

Formula One is a class of single seat grand prix closed course racing, organized by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile. The formula is a set of rules governing vehicle power, weight and size.[5]

Indy Racing League

In the United States, Indy Car is a class of single seat paved track racing, organized by INDYCAR. The premier race is the Indianapolis 500.

Enclosed wheel racing

Enclosed wheel racing is a set of classes of vehicles, where the wheels are inside the chassis of the vehicle, similar to a "stock car."

Sports car racing

Sports car racing is a set of classes of vehicles, over a closed course track, including sports cars, and specialized racing types. The premiere race is the 24 Hours of Le Mans which takes place annually in France during the month of June. Sports car racing rules and specifications differentiate in North America from established international sanctioning bodies.[6]

Stock car racing

Stock car racing is a set of vehicles, that race over a speedway track, organized by

  • Formula 1 (F1)
  • Motorsports Association (UK)
  • World Rally Championship (WRC)

External links

  • Clive Gifford, Racing: The Ultimate Motorsports Encyclopedia Kingfisher, 2006, ISBN 9780753460405


  1. ^ Gifford, p. 7.
  2. ^ Gifford, p. 9.
  3. ^ Gifford, p. 10.
  4. ^ Gifford, p. 11.
  5. ^ Jonathan Noble; Mark Hughes. "Discovering What Makes Formula One, Formula One". Formula One Racing For Dummies. 
  6. ^ "Regulations". Federation Internationale de l'Automobile. Retrieved 2015-10-09. 
  7. ^ Layford, Bob. Built for Speed. Courage Books. p. 29.  
  8. ^ "Car Facts | Pirelli World Challenge". Retrieved 2015-10-09. 


See also

Motorsport was a demonstration event at the 1900 Summer Olympics.


Forms of motorsport which do not involve racing include drifting, regularity rally, motorcycle trials, gymkhana, Freestyle Motocross and tractor pulling.

Non-racing motorsport

Motor sports which involve competitors racing against each other include:

Finnish speedway riders in the Speedway Extraliiga competition

Other racing

Touring car racing is a set of vehicles,[8] modified street cars, that race over closed purpose built race tracks and street courses.

Touring car racing

. A1A was founded where land speed records were set on the beach, and including part of Daytona Beach and Road Course [7]