Dirt track racing
Dirt track racing is a type of auto racing performed on clay or dirt surfaced oval tracks. It became widespread during the 1920s and 1930s. Two different types of race cars dominated—open wheel racers in the Northeast and West and stock cars in the South. While open wheel race cars are purpose-built racing vehicles, stock cars can be either purpose-built race cars or street vehicles that have been modified to varying degrees. Dirt track racing is the single most common form of auto racing in the United States. There are hundreds of regional racetracks throughout the nation; the sport is popular in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. The track surface may be composed of any soil; the curation of a racetrack requires hours of work. The machines for track curation include a grader, cultivator and water truck however this varies at different dirt tracks around the world; the track is graded and'dug up' after the racing is finished and it is watered with a water truck. It may be broken down with a cultivator or rolled.
These steps are repeated however many times necessary and do vary according to climate and soil composition. Nearly all tracks are less than 1-mile in length with most being 1/2 mile or less; the most common increments in the U. S. are ½ mile, ⅜ mile, ⅓ mile, ¼ mile, ⅛ mile. With the longer tracks, the race cars achieve higher speeds up to 160 mph and the intervals between cars increase; this decreases the chance of crashes but increases the damage and chance of injury when cars do crash. In Great Britain the oval tracks are on grass with lengths of 400 meters to 800 meters; the races consist of several four lap. There is a final race featuring the fastest competitors. In mainland Europe, long tracks can be grass, sand or cinder, can be up to 1-kilometer long. Dirt track racing in Australia has a history dating back to the 1930s. Most oval track speedways are similar to those in the USA for car racing such as sprint cars and sedans, with most tracks around ¼ mile to ⅓ mile in length. Most tracks have a clay surface, though some use dolomite and clay mix or sand and clay mix.
During the 1970s and early 1980s, a small number of tracks were paved with asphalt, though this phase only lasted about a decade and all tracks paved over reverted to their former surfaces. Each racetrack or sponsoring organization maintains a rule book outlining each class of race car which includes dimensions, engine size, equipment requirements and prohibitions; the requirements for each class are coordinated with multiple tracks to allow for the widest available venue for each type of car. This coordination allows the drivers to compete at many different racetracks, increase competitors' chances of winning, lets racing associations develop a series of race events that promote fan interest. Many tracks support two types of racing in open wheel cars and stock cars. Both types range from large and powerful V8 engines to small yet still powerful, four-cylinder engines; some of the smaller open wheel race cars have classes for single-cylinder engines. Depending on the class, the cars may have wings to aid in handling at higher speeds.
Open wheel cars are manufactured with tubular frames and a body purchased for that particular class. The wheels of these vehicles are not protected by fenders. Classes include: Dwarf Mod lite - 1000-1250cc motorcycle engines Kart Mini sprint- 600-1200cc motorcycle engines. Utilize a top wing. Winged sprint- 410ci, 360ci engine, or 305ci engines; the top wing helps these powerful racecars with downforce. Non-wing sprint car Silver crown Midget Three quarter midget Quarter midget 600 and 270 micro sprintsOpen wheel sanctioning bodies include: USAC - The United States Automobile Club World of Outlaws Sprint Cars All Star Circuit of Champions National Sprint League American Sprint Car Series United Sprint Car Series MOWA POWRi Popular chassis manufacturers around the country for winged sprint cars are Eagle, Maxim, J&J, Triple X, GF1. There are several engine builders that build both 410ci and 360ci engines for traveling sprint car teams. Speedway, Gaerte, Shaver, Don Ott Racing Engines, Fisher Racing Engines are the more popular engine builders.
Modified cars are a hybrid of open wheel cars and stock cars. This class of car has the racing characteristics of a stock car; the rear wheels are covered by fenders but the front wheels are left exposed. There are sanctioning bodies; each sanctioning body has their own set of guidelines provided in an annual rule book and their own registration fees. Sanctioning bodies include: Super DIRTcar Series IMCA UMP USRA USMTS WISSOTA TSMA (Tri-State
Oval track racing
Oval track racing is a form of closed-circuit automobile racing, contested on an oval-shaped track. An oval track differs from a road course in that the layout resembles an oval with turns in only one direction universally left. Oval tracks are dedicated motorsport circuits, used predominantly in the United States, they have banked turns and some, despite the name, are not oval, can have unique variances in shape. Major forms of oval track racing include stock car racing, open-wheel racing, sprint car racing, modified car racing, midget car racing and dirt track motorcycles. Oval track racing is the predominant form of auto racing in the United States. According to the 2013 National Speedway Directory, the total number of oval tracks, drag strips and road courses in the United States is 1,262, with 901 of those being oval tracks and 683 of those being dirt tracks. Among the most famous oval tracks in North America are the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Daytona International Speedway. Notable ovals in other countries include Rafaela in Argentina, Mexico City in Mexico, Motegi in Japan, Lausitzring in Germany, the Calder Park Thunderdome in Australia and Rockingham in the United Kingdom, Monza in Italy, Montlhéry in France.
Pack racing is a phenomenon found on high-banked superspeedways. It occurs when the vehicles racing are cornering at their limit of aerodynamic drag, but within their limit of traction; this allows drivers to race around the track at wide open throttle. Since the vehicles are within their limit of traction, drafting through corners will not hinder a vehicle's performance; as cars running together are faster than cars running individually, all cars in the field will draft each other in one large pack. In stock car racing this is referred to as "restrictor plate racing" because NASCAR mandates that each car on its two longest high-banked ovals and Daytona, use an air restrictor to reduce horsepower; the results of pack racing may vary. As drivers are forced to race in a confined space, overtaking is common as vehicles may travel two and three abreast; this forces drivers to use strong mental discipline in negotiating traffic. There are drawbacks, however. Should an accident occur at the front of the pack, the results could block the track in a short amount of time.
This leaves drivers at the back of the pack with little time to little room to maneuver. The results are catastrophic as numerous cars may be destroyed in a single accident; this type of accident is called "The Big One". Oval track racing requires different tactics than road racing. While the driver doesn't have to shift gears nearly as brake as or as or deal with turns of various radii in both directions as in road racing, drivers are still challenged by negotiating the track. Where there is one preferred line around a road course, there are many different lines which can work on an oval track; the preferred line depends on many factors including track conditions, car set-up, traffic. The oval track driver must choose. On a short track in a 25 lap feature race, a driver might not run any two laps with the same line. Both types of racing place physical demands on the driver. A driver in an IndyCar race at Richmond International Raceway may be subject to as many lateral g-forces as a Formula One driver at Istanbul Park.
Weather plays a different role in each discipline. Road racing offers a variety of slow corners that allow the use of rain tires. Paved oval tracks don't run with a wet track surface. Dirt ovals will sometimes support a light rain; some tracks have "shine" rules requiring races to be run in rain. Safety has been a point of difference between the two. While a road course has abundant run-off areas, gravel traps, tire barriers, oval tracks have a concrete retaining wall separating the track from the fans. Innovations have been made to change this, however; the SAFER barrier was created to provide a less dangerous alternative to a traditional concrete wall. The barrier can be retrofitted onto an existing wall or may take the place of a concrete wall completely. Oval tracks are classified based upon their size and shape, their size can range from only a few hundred feet to over two and a half miles. Track surfaces can be dirt, asphalt, or a combination of concrete and asphalt; some ovals in the early twentieth century had wood surfaces.
The definitions used to differentiate track sizes have changed over the years. While some tracks use terms such as "speedway" or "superspeedway" in their name, they may not meet the specific definitions used in this article. A typical oval track consists of two parallel straights, connected by two 180° turns. Although most ovals have only two radii curves, they are advertised and labeled as four 90° turns. A short track is an oval track less than one mile long, with the majority being 0.5 miles or shorter. Drivers seeking careers in oval track racing serve their apprenticeship on short tracks before moving up to series which compete on larger tracks. Due to their short length and fast action, these tracks are nicknamed "bullrings". Professional-level NASCAR races on short tracks use a 500-lap or 400-lap distance. Short tracks in many cases have lights installed and host night races. Synonymous with the name, a 1-mile oval is a common length for oval track racing; the exact measurements, can vary by as much as a tenth of a mile and still fall into this category.
Most mile ov
Sports Car Club of America
The Sports Car Club of America is an American automobile club and sanctioning body supporting road racing and autocross in the United States. Formed in 1944, it runs many programs for both amateur and professional racers; the SCCA traces its roots to the Automobile Racing Club of America. ARCA was founded in 1933 by brothers Miles and Sam Collier, dissolved in 1941 at the outbreak of World War II; the SCCA was formed in 1944 as an enthusiast group. The SCCA began sanctioning road racing in 1948 with the inaugural Watkins Glen Grand Prix. Cameron Argetsinger, an SCCA member and local enthusiast who would become Director of Pro Racing and Executive Director of the SCCA, helped organize the event for the SCCA. In 1951, the SCCA National Sports Car Championship was formed from existing marquee events around the nation, including Watkins Glen, Pebble Beach, Elkhart Lake. Many early SCCA events were held on disused air force bases, organized with the help of Air Force General Curtis LeMay, a renowned enthusiast of sports car racing.
LeMay loaned out facilities of Strategic Air Command bases for the SCCA's use. By 1962, the SCCA was tasked with managing the U. S. World Sportscar Championship rounds at Daytona, Sebring and Watkins Glen; the club was involved in the Formula 1 U. S. Grand Prix. SCCA Executive Director John Bishop helped to create the United States Road Racing Championship series for Group 7 sports cars to recover races, taken by rival USAC Road Racing Championship. Bishop was instrumental in founding the SCCA Trans-Am Series and the SCCA/CASC Can-Am series. In 1969, tension and infighting over Pro Racing's autonomy caused Bishop to resign and help form the International Motor Sports Association; the SCCA began sanctioning professional racing. In 1963, the United States Road Racing Championship was formed. In 1966 the Canadian-American Challenge Cup was created for Group 7 open-top sportscars; the Trans-Am Series for pony cars began in 1966. Today, Trans-Am uses GT-1 class regulations. A professional series for open-wheel racing cars was introduced in 1967 as the SCCA Grand Prix Championship.
This series was held under various names through to the 1976 SCCA/USAC Formula 5000 Championship. Current SCCA-sanctioned series include Trans Am, the Pirelli World Challenge for GT and touring cars, the Global MX-5 Cup, F2000 Championship Series, F1600 Championship Series and the Atlantic Championship Series. SCCA Pro Racing has sanctioned professional series for some amateur classes such as Spec Racer Ford Pro and Formula Enterprises Pro. SCCA Pro Racing sanctioned the Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup during its time; the Club Racing program is a road racing division where drivers race on either dedicated race tracks or on temporary street circuits. Competitors require a national racing license. Both modified production cars and designed-from-scratch "formula" and "sports racer" cars can be used in Club Racing. Most of the participants in the Club Racing program are unpaid amateurs, but some go on to professional racing careers; the club is the source for race workers in all specialties. The annual national championship for Club Racing is called the SCCA National Championship Runoffs and has been held at Riverside International Raceway, Daytona International Speedway, Road Atlanta, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Heartland Park Topeka, Road America, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
In 2018, the Runoffs will go back west to Sonoma Raceway. In 2019, the race will be held at Virginia International Raceway a track where the race has never been held, it was announced on June 15, 2018 that the Runoffs would go back to Road America in the year 2020. The current SCCA record holder is Jerry Hansen, with twenty-seven national championships; the eight classes of the formula group are Formula Atlantic, Formula 1000, Formula SCCA, Formula Continental, Formula Mazda, Formula F, Formula 500 and Formula Vee The autocross program is branded as "Solo". Up to four cars at a time run on a course laid out with traffic cones on a large paved surface, such as a parking lot or airport runway, without interfering with one another. Competitions are held at the regional and national levels; each division crowns a divisional champion in each class, determined at a single event. A national champion in each class is determined at the national championship held in September. In 2009, Solo Nationals moved to the Lincoln Airpark in Nebraska.
Individual national-level events called "Championship Tours" and "Match Tours" are held throughout the racing season. The SCCA holds national-level events in an alternate format called "ProSolo". In ProSolo, two cars compete at the same time on mirror-image courses with drag racing-style starts, complete with reaction and 60-foot times. Class winners and other qualifiers compete in a handicapped elimination round called the "Challenge". Points are awarded in both class and Challenge competition, an annual champion is crowned each September at
James Ernest Bryan was an American racecar driver who won the 1958 Indianapolis 500. Born in Phoenix, Bryan died as a result of injuries sustained in a champ car race at Langhorne Speedway, he drove in the AAA and USAC Championship Car series, racing in the 1952–1960 seasons with 72 starts, including each year's Indianapolis 500 race. He finished with 23 victories. Bryan won the the 1954 AAA and 1956 and 1957 USAC National Championship. During his 1957 championship season, Bryan won the inaugural running of the Race of Two Worlds at Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Italy, he died after a crash in a Champ car race at Langhorne Speedway in 1960, on the same day that two drivers were killed in the Belgian Grand Prix, making the day one of the most tragic in racing history. For many years one of the two championship races at the Phoenix International Raceway was a memorial race dedicated to Bryan, he was memorialized in a song by Harry Weger titled "The Ballad of Jimmy Bryan". Bryan is buried in Phoenix's Greenwood/Memory Lawn Cemetery.
He was inducted in the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in 1994. He was inducted in the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 1999, he was inducted in the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2001. Race of Two Worlds 1958 Indianapolis 500 Grand Prix History, Jimmy Bryan AAA and USAC Championship Car Statistics - Jimmy Bryan
An open-wheel car is a car with the wheels outside the car's main body, having only one seat. Open-wheel cars contrast with street cars, sports cars, stock cars, touring cars, which have their wheels below the body or inside fenders. Open-wheel cars are built for road racing with a higher degree of technological sophistication than in other forms of motor sport. Open-wheel street cars, such as the Ariel Atom, are scarce as they are impractical for everyday use. American racecar driver and constructor Ray Harroun was an early pioneer of the concept of a lightweight single-seater, open-wheel "monoposto" racecar. After working as a mechanic in the automotive industry, Harroun began competitive professional racing in 1906, winning the AAA National Championship in 1910, he was hired by the Marmon Motor Car Company as chief engineer, charged with building a racecar intended to race at the first Indianapolis 500, which he went on to win. He developed a revolutionary concept which would become the originator and forefather of the single-seater racecar design.
Harroun has been credited by some as pioneering the rear-view mirror which appeared on his 1911 Indianapolis 500 winning car, though he himself claimed he got the idea from seeing a mirror used for a similar purpose on a horse-drawn vehicle in 1904. A typical open-wheeler has a minimal cockpit sufficient only to enclose the driver's body, with the head exposed to the air. In the Whelen Modified Tour and other short track modified series, the driver's head is contained in the car. In modern cars the engine is located directly behind the driver, drives the rear wheels. Depending on the rules of the class, many types of open-wheelers have wings at the front and rear of the vehicle, as well as a low and flat undertray that helps achieve additional aerodynamic downforce pushing the car onto the road; some major races, such as the Singapore Grand Prix, Monaco Grand Prix and the Long Beach Grand Prix, are held on temporary street circuits. However, most open-wheel races are on dedicated road courses, such as Watkins Glen International in the US, Nürburgring in Germany, Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium and Silverstone in Great Britain.
In the United States some top-level open-wheel events are held on ovals, of both short track and superspeedway variety, with an emphasis being placed more on speed and endurance than the maneuverability inherently required by road and street course events. The Whelen Modified Tour is the only opened wheeled race car series endorsed by NASCAR; this series races on most of NASCAR's most famous tracks in the United States. Other asphalt modified series race on short tracks in the United States and Canada, such as Wyoming County International Speedway in New York; the most well-attended oval race in the world is the annual Indianapolis 500 in Speedway, sanctioned by IndyCar. Open-wheeled racing is among the fastest in the world. Formula 1 cars can reach speeds in excess of 360 kilometres per hour. At Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Antônio Pizzonia of BMW Williams F1 team recorded a top speed of 369.9 kilometres per hour in the 2004 Italian Grand Prix. Since the end of the V10 era in 2006 speeds like this have not been reached, with contemporary machinery reaching around 360 kilometres per hour.
It is difficult to give precise figures for the absolute top speeds of Formula 1 cars, as the cars do not have speedometers as such and the data are not released by teams. The'speed traps' on fast circuits such as Monza give a good indication, but are not located at the point on the track where the car is travelling at its fastest. BAR Honda team recorded an average top speed of 400 kilometres per hour in 2006 at Bonneville Salt Flats with unofficial top speed reaching 413 kilometres per hour using modified BAR 007 Formula 1 car. Speeds on ovals can range in constant excess of 210–220 miles per hour, at Indianapolis in excess of 230 miles per hour; some sources claim that in 1996, Paul Tracy recorded a trap speed of 256.948 miles per hour at Michigan International Speedway. In 2000, Gil de Ferran set the one-lap qualifying record of 241.428 miles per hour at California Speedway. On tight non-oval street circuits such as the Grand Prix of Toronto, open-wheel Indy Cars attain speeds of 190 miles per hour.
Driving an open-wheel car is different from driving a car with fenders. All Formula One and Indycar drivers spent some time in various open-wheel categories before joining either top series. Open-wheel vehicles, due to their light weight, aerodynamic capabilities, powerful engines, are considered the fastest racing vehicles available and among the most challenging to master. Wheel-to-wheel contact is dangerous when the forward edge of one tire contacts the rear of another tire: since the treads are moving in opposite directions at the point of contact, both wheels decelerate, torquing the chassis of both cars and causing one or both vehicles to be and powerfully flung upwards An example of this is the 2005 Chicagoland crash of Ryan Briscoe with Alex Barron; the lower w
Rodger M. Ward was a WWII P-38 aviator in the United States Air Force, an American race driver with 26 victories in top echelon open-wheel racing in North America, two Indianapolis 500 victories, two USAC National Championships, who conceived the classic tri-oval design and layout of Pocono International Raceway, modeled after his three favorite signature turns, at Trenton and Milwaukee. Ward was born in Beloit, the son of Ralph and Geneva Ward. By 1930, the family had moved to California, he died in California. Ward's father owned an auto wrecking business in Los Angeles. Rodger was 14 years old, he was a P-38 Lightning fighter pilot in World War II. He enjoyed flying so much, he was so good he was retained as an instructor. After the war he was stationed in Texas when a quarter mile dirt track was built, he began racing midget cars in 1946. He finished poorly, his skills improved in 1947 and by 1948 he won the San Diego Grand Prix. He won several races. Ward shocked the midget car racing world when he broke Offenhauser motor's long winning streak by using Vic Edelbrock's Ford 60 "shaker" motor at Gilmore Stadium on August 10, 1950.
The motor was one of the first to feature nitromethane for fuel. Ward and Edelbrock won again. Ward used his midget car in 1959 to beat the top expensive and exotic sports cars in a Formula Libre race at Lime Rock Park. Midget cars were considered competitive for oval tracks only before that time; that same year, Ward entered the United States Grand Prix for Formula One cars with the midget car, under the false belief that it was much quicker through the turns, a fact he found not true at the beginning of practice. He retired from the race after twenty laps with a mechanical failure, he won the 1951 AAA Stock Car championship. The championship gave him an opportunity for a rookie test at the 1951 Indianapolis 500, he qualified for the race. He finished 34 laps, he finished 130 laps in the 1952 Indianapolis 500. His 1953 Indianapolis 500 ended after 170 laps, his 1954 Indianapolis 500 ended after his car stalled on the backstretch, he completed all of the laps for the first time in 1956. In 1959 he joined the Leader Card Racers team with owner Bob Wilke and mechanic A. J. Watson.
Ward won his first Indianapolis 500. He won the USAC National Championship with victories at DuQuoin and the Indy Fairgrounds, his 1959 season ended by competing in the only United States Grand Prix held at Sebring Raceway. Ward battled Jim Rathmann for the lead in the 1960 Indianapolis 500. In one of the epic duels in Indy 500 history and Rathmann exchanged the lead 14 times before Ward slowed on lap 197 to nurse his frayed right front tire to the finish. Rathmann struggling with worn-out tires after such a furious pace, took the lead on lap 197 and the two drivers limped home in what is still regarded as one of the greatest duels for the win in Indianapolis 500 history. Ward led the rest of the race, he won the season championship that year. In the midst of the Lotus-Ford rear-engine invasion in 1964, car owner/chief mechanic A. J. Watson built the first rear-engined Watson, mated to the four-cam Ford, but the night before the 1964 Indianapolis 500, Ward and Watson made a uncharacteristic strategic error.
Going against the strong recommendation from Ford to use gasoline fuel instead of the cooler-burning but less powerful methanol/gasoline. The car was fast. Ward calculated that he had spent two minutes less on the track than winner A. J. Foyt, yet only lost the race by 1 minute. In addition, the horrific second-lap accident, in which his friends Dave MacDonald and Eddie Sachs both perished in a fiery, gasoline-fueled wreck, left an indelible impression on Ward. After a difficult month of May, 1965, Ward suffered the embarrassment of failing to qualify. At the banquet, Ward stood at the podium and made a painful announcement to the crowd: "I always said I'd quit racing when it stopped being fun," he said, he paused. "Today it wasn't fun anymore." He had 26 victories in his 150 starts between 1950 and 1964, he finished in the top ten in more than half of his starts. Ward retired to be a commentator for ABC's Wide World of Sports for NASCAR and Indycars from 1965 to 1970. From 1980-1985, he served as a driver expert for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network, before retiring in Tustin, California.
In years, he served as public relations director for the new Ontario Motor Speedway, managed the Circus Circus unlimited hydroplane team. He died on July 5, 2004, aged 83. In 1992, he was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame, he was inducted in the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 1995. Ward was inducted in the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 1995. Ward is a member of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame, he was inducted in the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame in 2003. Ward's finishes from 1959 to 1963 and 1960 to 1964 rank as the best and second best five-race finishing streaks in Indianapolis 500 history; the Indianapolis 500 was part of the FIA World Championship from 1950 through 1960. Drivers competing at Indy during those years were credited with World Championship points and
Champ Car was the trade name for Open Wheel Racing Series Inc. a sanctioning body for American open-wheel car racing that operated from 2003 to 2008. It was the successor to Championship Auto Racing Teams, founded in 1979 by United States Auto Club Championship Division team owners who disagreed with the direction and leadership of USAC, with the then-novel idea of car owners sanctioning and promoting their own series collectively instead of relying on a neutral body to do so. Starting in 1979, CART sanctioned the Indy Car World Series, which through the 1980s evolved into the pre-eminent open-wheel auto racing series in North America, featuring street circuits, road courses, oval track racing. CART drivers continued to compete at the USAC-sanctioned Indianapolis 500; as the series prospered, concerns about costs and revenue sharing began to create opposition to CART's organizational structure. Attempts at reform, which saw the company rebranded as IndyCar in 1992 and a compromise board formed, failed.
In 1996, an open wheel "split" saw the newly created Indy Racing League take full control over the Indianapolis 500 and start a competing oval-based open-wheel series. CART ceased using the IndyCar name but continued its series without participating in the Indianapolis 500; the "split" saw a dramatic fall in sponsorship and general interest for open wheel racing, compounded by the growing popularity of NASCAR. After a series of setbacks in the early 2000s saw the departure of major racing teams and engine manufacturers to the IRL, CART went bankrupt at the end of the 2003 season. A trio of team owners acquired the assets of the series renamed it the Champ Car World Series. Continuing financial difficulties caused Champ Car to file for bankruptcy before its planned 2008 season. Champ Cars were open-wheel racing cars, with mid-mounted engines. Champ cars had sculpted undersides to create prominent wings to create downforce; the cars would use different aerodynamic kits depending on whether they were racing on an oval or a road-course.
Teams purchased chassis constructed by independent suppliers such as Lola, Swift and March, with some owners, such as Dan Gurney and Roger Penske, constructing their own. The series used Goodyear tires until 1995, when Firestone entered, creating a spirited competition between the brands. Firestone became the exclusive supplier in 2000, with their parent company Bridgestone taking over the role in 2003 and maintained it until 2007. Champ Cars used turbocharged engines. Cosworth and Buick engines were common until the mid-1990s, which saw Mercedes-Benz take over as Ilmor's branding and Honda and Toyota enter factory efforts; until 2003 engines were leased from manufacturers, who conducted research and development during the racing season. The exclusive availability of more advanced versions of engines to certain teams in the early-1990s became a major source of contention within the organization, manufacturers fiercely resisted proposals to have engines be purchased by teams. Starting in 2003, after the withdrawal of Honda and Toyota, Champ Car purchased a series of identical engines from Cosworth and leased them to teams under Ford branding.
In 2007, Champ Car was a "spec" series, with all teams running a Panoz DP01 chassis and a Cosworth engine. Champ Cars were visually similar, compared to, Formula 1 cars, which featured wings, mid-engines, an open-wheel design. Due to their use on ovals, Champ Cars weighed more and were more substantial in size, but had more powerful engines. Both series tended to downplay comparisons for commercial reasons, but 2002 saw a rare occurrence in both series running the same track within a month of each other. Juan Pablo Montoya won the pole position for the Formula One race with a lap time of 1'12.836, with the slowest being Alex Yoong's 1'17.34. In 1905 the AAA established a national driving championship and became the first sanctioning body for auto racing in the United States; the AAA ceased sanctioning auto racing in the general outrage over motor racing safety that followed the 1955 Le Mans disaster. In response, Indianapolis Motor Speedway president Tony Hulman formed the United States Auto Club to take over the sanctioning of what was called "championship" auto racing, or open wheel racing, whose biggest event was the annual Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
USAC sanctioned the championship until 1978. A group of activist car owners coalesced around Dan Gurney who had grown disenchanted with what they saw as an amateur, hobby organization sanctioning their events and not properly promoting them or compensating teams. Notable incidents included the loss of a lucrative sponsorship by Marlboro in 1971 after USAC failed to enforce the brand's exclusivity at events and purses that teams said would result in a loss in money if the team was successful. In early 1978, Gurney wrote what came to be known as the "Gurney White Paper", the blueprint for an organization called Championship Auto Racing Teams. Gurney took his inspiration from the improvements Bernie Ecclestone had forced on Formula One with his creation of the Formula One Constructors Association; the White Paper called for the owners to form CART as an