Racing, auto racing,
Gas engine racing history, racing tracks, racing events
The beginning of racing
Racing started soon after the manufacture of the first successful gasoline automobiles. The first race ever was on April 28, 1887 organized by the chief editor of Paris publication Le Vélocipède, Monsieur Fossier. It was 2 kilometers from Neuilly Bridge to the Bois de Boulogne. The victor was Georges Bouton of the De Dion-Bouton company, in a car he had made with Albert, the Comte de Dion, but as he was the only competitor to show up so it is rather difficult to call it a race.
Then on July 22, 1894, the Parisian magazine Le Petit Journal organised what is considered to be the world's first car race from Paris to Rouen. Sporting events were a tried and tested form of publicity and circulation booster. Pierre Giffard, the newspaper's editor, promoted it as a Competition for Horeseless Carriages (Concours des Voitures sans Chevaux) that were less dangerous, easier to drive, and cheaper during the journey. Even though it blurred the distinctions between a reliability trial, a general event and a race, the main prize was for the first across the finish line in Rouen. 102 people paid the 10 franc entrance fee.
69 cars started the 50 km (31 mi) selection event that would show which entrants would be allowed to start the main event, the 127 km (79 mi) race from Paris to Rouen. The entrants ranged from serious manufacturers like Peugeot, Panhard or De Dion to amateur owners-operators, and only 25 were selected for the main race.
The race started from Porte Maillot and continued through the Bois de Boulogne. Count Jules-Albert de Dion was first into Rouen after 6 hours and 48 minutes at an average speed of 19 km/h. He finished 3'30 ahead of Georges Lemaître (Peugeot), followed by Doriot (Peugeot) at 16'30, René Panhard (Panhard) at 33'30'' and Émile Levassor (Panhard) at 55'30. The official winners in the race were Peugeot and Panhard as cars were judged on their speed, handling and safety features, and De Dion's steam car needed a stoker which was forbidden.
In 1895, the Paris-Bordeaux-Paris Trial was held and was the first real race as all competitors started together. The winner was Émile Levassor in a Panhard-Levassor 1205 cc model. He completed the course (1,178 km or 732 miles) in 48 hours and 47 minutes, finishing about six hours before the runner-up.
The first true auto racing venue was Nice, France, run in late March 1897 as a "Speed Week." To fill out the schedule, most types of racing event were invented here, including the first hill climbing race (Nice La Turbie) and a sprint that can be considered the first drag race.
An international competition, between nations, began with the Gordon Bennett Cup in auto racing.
The first auto race in the United States happened in Chicago, Illinois. The course went from the South side of the city, North along the lakefront to Evanston, Illinois and back on November 28, 1895 over a 54.36 mile(87.48 km) course, with Frank Duryea winning the event in 10 hours and 23 minutes, beating three petrol-fueled vehicles.
With auto construction and racing dominated by France, the French automobile club ACF staged a number of major international race events, usually from or to Paris, connecting with another major city, in France or elsewhere in Europe.
These very successful races came to an abrupt halt in 1903 when Marcel Renault was involved in a fatal accident near Angoulême in the Paris-Madrid race. Nine fatalities caused the French government to stop the race in Bordeaux and ban open-road racing.
The first racing circuits/tracks ever built:
The Milwaukee Mile is the oldest motor racing track in the world, with racing being held there since 1903. It was not built exclusively for motor racing, but started as a one-mile (1.6 km) horse racing track in the 19th century. A remaining section of the Brooklands track till exists today.
Brooklands in Surrey, England was the motor racing venue, opening in June 1907.It featured a 4.43 km (3 mi) concrete track with high-speed and banked corners. Brooklands was also a center of the aviation industry, with Vickers setting up a factory and aerodrome there during World War I. The racing track was closed in 1939 as war-time aircraft production took over. Damage done to the track during World War II caused the track to never reopened for racing.
However, Brooklands seems to have been the inspiration for the Indianapolis Speedway, which opened in 1909.
The 1930s brought about the transformation from high-priced road cars into pure racers, with Delage, Auto Union, Mercedes-Benz, Delahaye, and Bugatti constructing streamlined vehicles with engines producing up to 450 kW (612 hp), aided by multiple-stage supercharging. Begining in 19281930 and again in 19341936, the maximum weight permitted was 750 kg, a rule diametrically opposed to current racing regulations. Extensive use of aluminium alloys was required to achieve light weight, and in the case of the Mercedes, even the paint was removed to satisfy the weight limitation, producing the famous Silver Arrows.
Road Racing Drivers Club - rrdc.org
Founded in 1952, the Road Racing Drivers Club is comprised of leaders of the sport and serves to recognize, promote and mentor American road racing drivers.
News and Events
theglen.com: the Watkins Glen International official site, with information, links, history, feature stories
chasinracin.com: the most comprehensive directory of US and Canadian tracks and information, as well as other features
greengrandprix.com: The annual Green Grand Prix celebrates the use of alternate fueled vehicles and educates the public about related issues
speednet.com: the website of the Indianapolis Star, and includes well-informed writing and research
motorsportsforum.com: specializing in wire service reports, media details, motorsport press associations
motorsport.com: news from all racing series
atlasf1.com: the definitive F1 site. AtlasF1 is literate, comprehensively researched, and mindful of racing's historical context. Includes award-winning columnists and historians, and well organized, important links
dailyf1.com: largest most up-to-date F1 site
galeforceF1.com: statistics, photographs, daily headlines, with articles on testing
forix.com: Formula 1 Results and Information Explorer
f1power.com: web site of the "world's first motorsport resort," to be located on the Spanish island Majorca
nascar.com: official site of NASCAR, including news, results, standings, transcripts of interviews, collectibles
ovaltrack.com: a site index directory with useful evaluations
glen-scca.org: Glen Region of the Sports Car Club of America Inc.
grand-am.com: official site of the Grand American Road Racing Association
theracesite.com: a wide range of information relating to sports car racing
flr-scca.com: Finger Lakes Region SCCA
cars-hq.com: All about cars.
thecarconnection.com: Comprehensive automotive news and views. Includes columns by Mike Davis, a recent visitor to the Center, who wrote about the experience.
cart.com: the official site, with news, history, features, photographs, standings, schedules
speedcenter.com: another in-depth look at champ car racing
seventhgear.com: a particularly rich site with columns, sound files, images, schedules, links, and more
indyracingleague.com: the official site, with news, history, features, photographs, standings, schedules
vintageracecar.com: history, restoration, market value
varac.ca: Canadian historic site
autosport.com: an astounding compilation of historic results
vintagemotorsport.com: the Journal of Motor Racing History
victorylane.com: one of the premier motorsport magazines, with excellent photographs
vintageAutoSports.com: Online journal featuring news, in-depth articles and classifieds for the vintage racing enthusiast
meadowdaleraceway.homestead.com: The 3.27-mile road course in Carpentersville, Ill., 40 miles outside of Chicago, operated from 1958 to 1969 and hosted amateur and professional sports car races as well as NASCAR, ARCA, AMA and USAC events. The website has over 1,000 vintage photographs as well as 100 current photos. The track property is still intact as a public nature and recreation area. While the old course can be followed on a walking tour, the track surface has crumbled to uselessness.
tamsoldracecarsite.net: a collection of photographs of California sports car racing, 1961-62
glenphotos.com: "The Bog" and more; all things Watkins Glen
deepthrottle.com: history links; a creative site
artemis.crosslink.net/~gewhite: Gordon White's history of the American classic Offenhauser
montereyhistoric.com: official site of the world's most prestigious concours
datsun.org/fairlady/usindex.htm: a Nissan/Datsun site
cs.unc.edu/~nick/vir.html: Virginia International Raceway site
geocities.com/simontmallett/: An impressive site of historical narratives relating to important race cars.
progcovers.com: an encyclopedic reference of racing program cover art
autosportsltd.com: the Michael Keyser site, with reference to his excellent Speed Merchants, French Kiss With Death and the many images from his career
unfairadvantageracing.com: A Mark Donohue tribute site
stirlingmoss.com: Britain's Motorsports Competitor of the Century
philhill.com: America's First Formula 1 Champion
jackbrabham.com: three-time World Driver Champion
glenspeed.com: the work of racing artist Robert Gillespie, who specializes in historical moments
arteauto.com: Jacques Vaucher's splendid site of fine art and rare visual pieces
vintagemotorphoto.com: a large commercial photo archive
ashcom.homestead.com: a very nice site of photojournalist Andy Hartwell, includes unusual links, media services
klemcoll.com: the Klemantaski Collection is one of the world's largest and most varied libraries of historic motor sports photography
kanerogers.com: Kane Rogers' collection of automotive art
avantimotorsports.com: Thom Montanari's gallery of fine art
cartoonsbybooth.net : fanciful artistic clay renderings by Craig and Pamela Booth
prairiestreetart.com: A fine website by Ron Nelson, prominent motorsports photographer and generous friend of the Research Center
thierrythompson.com: Lithographs of particular interest
barry-rowe.com: Barry Rowe's automotive fine art site: aesthetic treatments of the classics
Blackhawk Automotive Museum
Gilmore-Classic Car Club of America Museum
National Packard Museum
The National Automotive Collection
Located in the Detroit Public Library, the NAHC is considered the premiere automotive archive in the U.S. that is accessible to the public. Highlights of the collection include manuscript material documenting the history of the automotive industry and a broad selection of both service and owner's manuals.
The Automobile Reference Collection
Founded in 1948 as the Thomas McKean Collection potion of the Free Library of Philadelphia, the Reference Collection is another source for general history, featuring books, periodicals and photographs.
The National Motor Museum
The Motoring Reference Library, Photograph Library and Film Library at the National Motor Museum, Hampshire, England, have grown since its inception in 1960 to include more than one hundred periodical titles (including Autocar from 1895 to date), thousands of photographs, and over one thousand films.
Eastern Museum of Motor Racing
Dedicated to the history of open wheel racing, The Eastern Museum of Motor Racing has a Research Library component consisting of books, periodicals and photographs.