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Lewis Hamilton 070615.jpg
A modern-day Formula One car (the Mercedes F1 W06 Hybrid of 2015)

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.


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 World War I, European countries organized 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 NASCAR. While once stock cars, the vehicles are now purpose built, but resemble the body design and shape of production cars. NASCAR was organized in 1947, to combine flat track oval racing of production cars.[7] Daytona Beach and Road Course was founded where land speed records were set on the beach, and including part of A1A.

Touring car racing

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

Other racing

Finnish speedway riders in the Speedway Extraliiga competition

Motor sports which involve competitors racing against each other include:

Non-racing motorsport

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


Motorsport was a demonstration event at the 1900 Summer Olympics.

See also


  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.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Regulations". Federation Internationale de l'Automobile. Retrieved 2015-10-09.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Layford, Bob. Built for Speed. Courage Books. p. 29. ISBN 0762404418.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Car Facts | Pirelli World Challenge". Retrieved 2015-10-09.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>


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

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pt:Anexo:Lista de desportos#Desportos motorizados