Gordon Bennett Cup (auto racing)
As one of three Gordon Bennett Cups established by James Gordon Bennett, Jr. millionaire owner of the New York Herald, the automobile racing award was first given in 1900 in France. In 1899 Gordon Bennett offered the Automobile Club de France a trophy to be raced for annually by the automobile clubs of the various countries; the trophy was awarded annually until 1905, after which the ACF held the first Grand Prix motor racing event at the Circuit de la Sarthe, in Le Mans. The 1903 event in Ireland gave rise to the birth of British Racing Green; the trophy given the winner was a Panhard, driven by the Genius of Progress, with Nike as his co-driver. Competition was intended to be between national automobile clubs, or nations, not individuals; the first contestants were France, Great Britain, the United States, Austria, Switzerland and Italy. Each club was required to pay a Fr3000 entry fee; each could send up to three cars. A race, once scheduled, had to be held between 15 May and 15 August, with a total distance of between 550 and 650 km.
Participating clubs shared the cost of running the event. The cars themselves had to have side by side, with driver and riding mechanic. Cars were to weigh at least 400 kg empty, had to be built in the country under whose colors they ran; the Gordon Bennett Cup auto races drew entrants from across Europe, including future aviator Henry Farman, competitors from the United States such as Alexander Winton driving his Winton automobile. Under the rules, the races were hosted in the country of the previous year's winner; as the races were between national teams, it led to the reorganisation and standardisation of national racing colours. Count Eliot Zborowski, father of inter-war racing legend Louis Zborowski, suggested that each national entrant be allotted a different colour. Britain had to choose a different colour from its usual national colours of red and blue, as these had been taken by USA, France respectively.. Reputedly as a concession to Ireland where the 1903 Gordon Bennett Cup race was run, the British adopted shamrock green which became known as British racing green, although the winning Napier of 1902 had been painted olive green, green was well-established as an appropriate colour for locomotives and machinery, in which Britain had led the world during the previous century.
The international motor car race from Paris to Lyons for the Gordon Bennett Cup took place on June 14, 1900. The start from Paris was made at 3 o'clock in the morning and Charron was the first to reach Lyons, arriving at 12:23 p.m. M. Girardot finished second at 2 o'clock. In 1901 the Gordon Bennett Cup race was run in conjunction with the Paris-Bordeaux race on 29 May over a distance of 527.1 km. The race was won by Henri Fournier driving a Mors with a time of 6h 10m 44s; the first of the Gordon Bennett Cup contestants was Leonce Girardot, driving a Panhard with a time of 8h 50m 59s. The 1902 Gordon Bennett Cup was run over a distance of 565 km from Paris to Innsbruck in conjunction with the Paris-Vienna motor car race; the race started in Paris on June 26. Competing were 30 heavy cars, 48 light cars, six voiturettes, three motorcycles, three motorcyclettes; each nation was allowed to nominate up to three cars to compete for the Gordon Bennett Cup, but only six entries were received, three French and three British.
The Automobile Club of Great Britain announced that car No. 160 driven by Mr White, car No. 45, made by Napier & Son of London with Dunlop tyres, driven by Mr Edge. The Times announced on June 30, it was announced in Vienna on July 1 that M. Marcel Renault had won the Paris-Vienna race, with M. Henri Farman second. On Thursday, 2 July 1903 the Gordon Bennett Cup was the first international motor race to be held in Ireland, an honorific to Selwyn Edge who had won the 1902 event in the Paris-Vienna race driving a Napier; the Automobile Club of Great Britain and Ireland wanted the race to be hosted in the British Isles, their secretary, Claude Johnson, suggested Ireland as the venue because racing was illegal on British public roads. The editor of the Dublin Motor News, Richard J. Mecredy, suggested an area in County Kildare, letters were sent to 102 Irish MPs, 90 Irish peers, 300 newspapers, 34 chairmen of county and local councils, 34 County secretaries, 26 mayors, 41 railway companies, 460 hoteliers, 13 PPs, plus the Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin, Patrick Foley, who pronounced himself in favour.
Local laws had to be adjusted, ergo the'Light Locomotives Bill' was passed on 27 March 1903. Kildare and other local councils drew attention to their areas, whilst Queen’s County declared That every facility will be given and the roads placed at the disposal of motorists during the proposed race. Kildare was chosen on the grounds that the straightness of the roads would be a safety benefit; as a compliment to Ireland the British team chose to race in Shamrock green which thus became known as British racing green although the winning Napier of 1902 had been painted Olive green. There was considerable public concern about safety after the 1901 Paris-Bordeaux Rally, in which at least eight people had been killed, severe crashes during the May 24th 1903 Paris-Madrid race where more than 200 cars competed over a distance of 800 miles but which had to be halted at Bordeaux because there had been so many fatalities. To allay these fears, the 1903 race was held over a closed course which had
Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile
The Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile is an association established on 20 June 1904 to represent the interests of motoring organisations and motor car users. To the general public, the FIA is known as the governing body for many auto racing events; the FIA promotes road safety around the world. Headquartered at 8 Place de la Concorde, the FIA consists of 246 member organisations in 145 countries worldwide, its current president is Jean Todt. The FIA is known by its French name or initials in non-French-speaking countries, but is rendered as International Automobile Federation, its most prominent role is in the licensing and sanctioning of Formula One, World Endurance Championship, World Rally Championship and various forms of sports car and touring car racing. The FIA along with the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme certify land speed record attempts; the International Olympic Committee provisionally recognized the federation in 2011, granted full recognition in 2013. The Association Internationale des Automobile Clubs Reconnus was founded in Paris on 20 June 1904, as an association of national motor clubs.
The association was designed to represent the interests of motor car users, as well as to oversee the burgeoning international motor sport scene. In 1922, the AIACR delegated the organisation of automobile racing to the Commission Sportive Internationale, which would set the regulations for international Grand Prix motor racing; the European Drivers' Championship was introduced in 1931, a title awarded to the driver with the best results in the selected Grands Prix. Upon the resumption of motor racing after the Second World War, the AIACR was renamed the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile; the FIA established a number of new racing categories, among them Formulas One and Two, created the first World Championship, the Formula One World Drivers' Championship, in 1950. The CSI determined the regulations for holding Grands Prix and selected the races that formed part of the World Championships – a World Sportscar Championship was established in 1953 – but the organisers of the individual races were responsible for accepting entries, paying prize money, the general running of each event.
In Formula One, this led to tension between the teams, which formed themselves into the Formula One Constructors Association founded in 1974, event organisers and the CSI. The FIA and CSI were amateur organisations, FOCA under the control of Bernie Ecclestone began to take charge of various aspects of organising the events, as well as setting terms with race organisers for the arrival of teams and the amount of prize money; this led to the FIA President Prince Metternich attempting to reassert its authority by appointing Jean-Marie Balestre as the head of the CSI, who promptly reformed the committee into the autonomous Fédération Internationale du Sport Automobile. Under Balestre's leadership FISA and the manufacturer-backed teams became involved in a dispute with FOCA; the conflict saw several races being cancelled or boycotted, large-scale disagreement over the technical regulations and their enforcement. The dispute and the Concorde Agreement, written to end it, would have significant ramifications for the FIA.
The agreement led to FOCA acquiring commercial rights over Formula One, while FISA and the FIA would have control over sport's regulations. FOCA chief Bernie Ecclestone became an FIA Vice-President with control over promoting the FIA's World Championships, while FOCA legal advisor and former March Engineering manager Max Mosley would end up becoming FISA President in 1991. Mosley succeeded Balestre as President of the FIA in 1993 and restructured the organisation, dissolving FISA and placing motor racing under the direct management of the FIA. Following the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix, which saw the deaths of Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger, the FIA formed an Expert Advisory Safety Committee to research and improve safety in motor racing. Chaired by Formula One medical chief Professor Sid Watkins, the committee worked with the Motor Industry Research Association to strengthen the crash resistance of cars and the restraint systems and to improve the drivers personal safety; the recommendations of the committee led to more stringent crash tests for racing vehicles, new safety standards for helmets and race suits, the eventual introduction of the HANS device as compulsory in all international racing series.
The committee worked on improving circuit safety. This led to a number of changes at motor racing circuits around the world, the improvement of crash barriers and trackside medical procedures; the FIA was a founder member of the European New Car Assessment Programme, a car safety programme that crash-tests new models and publishes safety reports on vehicles. Mosley was the first chairman of the organisation; the FIA helped establish the Latin NCAP and Global NCAP. The Competition Directorate of the European Commission and the FIA were involved in a dispute over the commercial administration of motorsport during the 1990s; the Competition Commissioner, Karel Van Miert had received a number of complaints from television companies and motorsport promoters in 1997 that the FIA had been abusing its position as motorsport's governing body. Van Miert's initial inquiry had not concluded by 1999, which resulted in the FIA suing the European Commission, alleging that the delay was causing damaging uncertainty, receiving an apology from the Commission over the leaking of documents relating to the case.
Mario Monti took over as Commissioner in 1999, the European
Drag racing is a type of motor racing in which automobiles or motorcycles compete two at a time, to be first to cross a set finish line. The race follows a short, straight course from a standing start over a measured distance, most 1⁄4 mi, with a shorter becoming popular, as it has become the standard for Top Fuel dragsters and funny cars, where some major bracket races and other sanctioning bodies have adopted it as the standard, while the 1⁄8 mi is popular in some circles. Electronic timing and speed sensing systems have been used to record race results since the 1960s; the history of automobiles and motorcycles being used for drag racing is nearly as long as the history of motorized vehicles themselves, has taken the form of both illegal street racing, as an organized and regulated motorsport. This article covers the legal sport. Push starts to get engines running were necessary until the National Hot Rod Association mandated self-starters in 1976. After burnouts, cars would be pushed back by crews.
Don Garlits was the first to do burnouts across the starting line, now standard practise. Each driver backs up to and stages at the starting line. Before each race, each driver is allowed to perform a burnout, which heats the driving tires and lays rubber down at the beginning of the track, improving traction; the cars run through a "water box". Modern races are started electronically by a system known as a Christmas tree, which consists of a column of lights for each driver/lane, two light beam sensors per lane on the track at the starting line. Current NHRA trees, for example, feature one blue light three amber, one green, one red; when the first light beam is broken by a vehicle's front tire, the vehicle is "pre-staged", the pre-stage indicator on the tree is lit. When the second light beam is broken, the vehicle is "staged", the stage indicator on the tree is lit. Vehicles may leave the pre-stage beam, but must remain in the stage beam until the race starts. Once one competitor is staged, their opponent has a set amount of time to stage or they will be disqualified, indicated by a red light on the tree.
Otherwise, once both drivers are staged, the system chooses a short delay at random starts the race. The light sequence at this point varies slightly. For example, in NHRA Professional classes, three amber lights on the tree flash followed 0.4 seconds by a green light. In NHRA Sportsman classes, the amber lights illuminate in sequence from top to bottom, 0.5 seconds apart, followed 0.5 seconds by the green light. If a vehicle leaves the starting line before the green light illuminates, the red light for that lane illuminates instead, the driver is disqualified. In a handicap start, the green light automatically lights up for the first driver, the red light is only lit in the proper lane after both cars have launched if one driver leaves early, or if both drivers left early, the driver whose reaction time is worse, as a red light infraction is only assessed to the driver with the worse infraction, if both drivers leave early. If both drivers leave early, the green light is automatically lit for the driver that left last, they still may win the pass.
Several measurements are taken for each race: reaction time, elapsed time, speed. Reaction time is the period from the green light illuminating to the vehicle leaving the starting line. Elapsed time is the period from the vehicle leaving the starting line to crossing the finish line. Speed is measured through a speed trap covering the final 66 feet to the finish line, indicating average speed of the vehicle in that distance. Except where a breakout rule is in place, the winner is the first vehicle to cross the finish line, therefore the driver with the lowest combined reaction time and elapsed time; because these times are measured separately, a driver with a slower elapsed time can win if that driver's advantage in reaction time exceeds the elapsed time difference. In heads-up racing, this is known. In categories where a breakout rule is in effect, if a competitor is faster than his or her predetermined time, that competitor loses. If both competitors are faster than their predetermined times, the competitor who breaks out by less time wins.
Regardless, a red light foul is worse than a breakout, except in Junior Dragster where exceeding the absolute limit is a cause for disqualification. Most race events use a traditional bracket system, where the losing car and driver are eliminated from the event while the winner advances to the next round, until a champion is crowned. Events can range from 16 to over 100 car brackets. D
Stock car racing
Stock car racing is a form of automobile racing found and most prominently in the United States and Canada, with Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain and Brazil having forms of stock car auto racing. Traditionally, races are run on oval tracks measuring 0.25 to 2.66 miles. The world's largest governing body for stock car racing is the American NASCAR, its Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series is the premier top level series of professional stock car racing. Top level races range between 200 to 600 miles in length; the cars were production models, but are now modified. Top level stock cars exceed 200 mph at speedway tracks and on superspeedway tracks such as Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway. Contemporary NASCAR-spec top level cars produce maximum power outputs of 860-900 hp from their aspirated V8 engines. In October 2007 American race car driver Russ Wicks set a speed record for stock cars in a 2007-season Dodge Charger built to NASCAR specifications by achieving a maximum speed of 244.9 mph at the Bonneville Salt Flats.
For the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, power output of the competing cars ranged from 750 to 800 hp. In the 1920s, moonshine runners during the Prohibition era would have to outrun the authorities. To do so, they had to upgrade their vehicles—while leaving them looking ordinary, so as not to attract attention. Runners started getting together with fellow runners and making runs together, they would challenge one another and progressed to organized events in the early 1930s. The main problem racing faced was the lack of a unified set of rules among the different tracks; when Bill France, Sr. saw this problem, he set up a meeting at the Streamline Hotel in order to form an organization that would unify the rules. When NASCAR was first formed by France in 1948 to regulate stock car racing in the U. S. there was a requirement that any car entered be made of parts available to the general public through automobile dealers. Additionally, the cars had to be models; this is referred to as "homologation".
In NASCAR's early years, the cars were so "stock" that it was commonplace for the drivers to drive themselves to the competitions in the car that they were going to run in the race. While automobile engine technology had remained stagnant in World War II, advanced aircraft piston engine development had provided a great deal of available data, NASCAR was formed just as some of the improved technology was about to become available in production cars; until the advent of the Trans-Am Series in 1967, NASCAR homologation cars were the closest thing that the public could buy, very similar to the cars that were winning national races. The 1949 Oldsmobile Rocket V-8 with a displacement of 303 cu in is recognized as the first postwar modern overhead valve engine to become available to the public; the Oldsmobile was an immediate success in 1949 and 1950, all the automobile manufacturers could not help noticing the higher sales of the Oldsmobile 88 to the buying public. The motto of the day became "win on Sunday, sell on Monday".
However, in spite of the fact that several competing engines were more advanced, the aerodynamic and low-slung Hudson Hornet managed to win in 1951, 1952, 1953 with a 308 cu in inline six-cylinder that used an old-style flathead engine, proving there was more to winning than just a more powerful engine. At the time, it took three years for a new design of car body or engine to end up in production and be available for NASCAR racing. Most cars sold to the public did not have a wide variety of engine choices, the majority of the buying public at the time was not interested in the large displacement special edition engine options that would soon become popular. However, the end of the Korean War in 1953 started an economic boom, car buyers began demanding more powerful engines. In 1953, NASCAR recommended that the drivers add roll bars, but did not require them. In 1955, Chrysler produced the C-300 with its Chrysler FirePower engine 300 hp 303 cu in OHV engine, which won in 1955 and 1956. In 1957, several notable events happened.
The Automobile Manufacturers Association banned manufacturers from using race wins in their advertising and giving direct support to race teams, as they felt it led to reckless street racing. This forced manufacturers to become creative in producing race parts to help racers win. Race teams were caught trying to use factory produced racing parts that were not available to the public, though many parts passed muster by being labeled as heavy-duty "police" parts. Car manufacturers wanted to appear compliant with the ban, but they wanted to win; the NASCAR tracks at the time were dirt tracks with modest barriers, during the 1957 season a Mercury Monterey crashed into the crowd. This killed many spectators, resulted in a serious overhaul of the safety rules, which in turn prompted the building of larger, more modern tracks. In 1957, Chevrolet sold enough of their new fuel injected engines to the public in order to make them available for racing, but Bill France banned fuel injection and superchargers from NASCAR before they could race.
However without official factory support or the use of fuel injection, Buck Baker won in 1957 driving a small-block V-8 Chevrolet Bel Air. In 1961, Ford introduced the F1 390 in a low drag Galaxie "Starliner", but 1960 and'61 championships were won by drivers in 409-powered Chevrolet Impalas. Pont
Indy Racing League, LLC, doing business as IndyCar, is an American-based auto racing sanctioning body for Indy car racing and other disciplines of open wheel car racing. The organization sanctions four racing series: the premier IndyCar Series with its centerpiece the Indianapolis 500, developmental series Indy Lights, the Pro Mazda Championship and the U. S. F2000 National Championship, which are all a part of The Road To Indy. IndyCar is recognized as a member organization of the FIA through ACCUS; the sanctioning body was formed in 1994 under the name Indy Racing League, began competition in 1996. The trademark name INDYCAR was adopted on January 1, 2011; the sport of open-wheel car racing itself historically referred to as Championship Car racing or Indy racing, traces its roots to as early as 1905. It is the fourth major sanctioning body to govern the sport of Indy car racing, following AAA, USAC, Champ Car. IndyCar is owned by Hulman & Company, which owns the Indianapolis Motor Speedway complex and the Clabber Girl brand.
The League's premier series debuted in 1996 under the name Indy Racing League. The series adopted the name Indy Racing League IndyCar Series in 2003. With Verizon as corporate sponsor from 2014 through 2018, the series has been known as the Verizon IndyCar Series. On January 15, 2019, it was announced that NTT Corporation would become the title sponsor and the series will become the NTT IndyCar Series; the series raced on oval tracks, as the series was founded in response to the increasing prominence of road and street courses on the CART schedule. In 2005, the series abandoned its unofficial ovals-only stance, added three road–street course events. By 2009, the series had a 50/50 split of ovals and road/street courses. Presently, the series runs one-third of its schedule on ovals and the rest on road and street circuits. Indy Lights is the development series for the IndyCar series; the Indy Lights concept traces its roots back the USAC Mini Indy Series of the late 1970, the CART ARS/Indy Lights series that began in 1986.
The current Indy Lights series debuted in 2002 under the name Infiniti Pro Series. After the 2008 open wheel unification, the Indy Lights name returned; the Indy Lights run as support races to IndyCar Series races, but has run stand-alone races, or as a support race of other events. The series is now promoted by Andersen Promotions; the Pro Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear is an open-wheel racecar driver development series in North America. Competitors use spec Formula Mazda race cars built by Star Race Cars; the original series, using first-generation tube-frame cars started in the early 1990s, with the current, high-tech, carbon-fiber car released in 2004. The series has included road courses, street courses, ovals; the series' primary sponsors are Mazda and Cooper Tire and the cars, while purpose built for the track with carbon fiber monocoques, are powered by 250 horsepower Mazda'Renesis' rotary engines. The series' stated goal is "to develop new race driving talent." In 2010, the series became a part of The Road to Indy.
In 2013 the series' promotion was taken over by Andersen Promotions. USF2000 is a series the organisation started sanctioning in 2010. Started in 1991 and folded in 2006, it was restarted in 2010 as part of the "Road to Indy" ladder series promoted by Andersen Promotions; the series utilizes tube frame Formula Ford chassis fitted with larger Mazda MZR four cylinder engines and wings and slicks and was based on the Formula Continental rules formula. The term "Indy Car" began as a nickname for the cars that competed in USAC's "Championship" division of open-wheel auto racing in the United States, deriving from the sport's most popular competition, the Indianapolis 500; the division's link with Indianapolis soon resulted in the term supplanting the official descriptor, "champ car," in common use and promotions. The term continued to be used by USAC's replacement as the dominant governing body for open-wheel racing, Championship Auto Racing Teams, which called its main series the "CART PPG Indy Car World Series" despite the body not sanctioning the 500.
In 1992, during an attempt by CART to broaden their board membership, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway registered the camel case trademark IndyCar with the United States Patent and Trademark Office and licensed it to CART as their new tradename. In 1996, Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Tony George launched a new national championship racing series, the USAC sanctioned Indy Racing League; this resulted in a legal battle over the IndyCar trademark: In March 1996, CART filed a lawsuit against the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in an effort to protect their license to the IndyCar mark after the Indianapolis Motor Speedway had attempted to terminate it. A settlement was reached in which CART agreed to give up the use of the IndyCar mark following the 1996 season and the IRL agreeing not to use the name before the end of the 2002 season. CART returned to branding as CART for 1997, resurrected the term "champ car" to describe their vehicles. Following a six-year hiatus, the Indy Racing League announced it would rename their premier series the IndyCar Series for the 2003 racing season.
Post-unification, a heavy emphasis has been placed on deemphasizing the legal entity name and its initials and replacing it with the IndyCar name. This became official on January 1, 2011, as Indy Racing League LLC adopted as its trade name INDYCAR (but not its legal bus
Brooklands was a 2.75-mile motor racing circuit and aerodrome built near Weybridge in Surrey, United Kingdom. It opened in 1907 and was the world's first purpose-built motor racing circuit as well as one of Britain's first airfields, which became Britain's largest aircraft manufacturing centre by 1918, producing military aircraft such as the Wellington and civil airliners like the Viscount and VC-10; the circuit hosted its last race in August 1939 and today part of it forms the Brooklands Museum, a major aviation and motoring museum, as well as a venue for vintage car and other transport-related events. The Brooklands motor circuit was the brainchild of Hugh F. Locke King, was the first purpose-built banked motor race circuit in the world. Following the Motor Car Act 1903, Britain was subject to a blanket 20 mph speed limit on public roads: at a time when nearly 50% of the world's new cars were produced in France, there was concern that Britain's infant auto-industry would be hampered by the inability to undertake sustained high-speed testing.
King commissioned Colonel Capel Lofft Holden of the Royal Artillery to design the projected circuit and work began in 1906. Requirements of speed and spectator visibility led to the Brooklands track being built as a 100 ft wide, 2.75 miles long, banked oval. The banking was nearly 30 feet high in places. In addition to the oval, a bisecting "Finishing Straight" was built, increasing the track length to 3.25 miles, of which 1.25 miles was banked. It could host up to 287,000 spectators in its heyday. Owing to the complications of laying tarmacadam on banking, the expense of laying asphalt, the track was built in uncoated concrete; this led in years to a somewhat bumpy ride, as the surface suffered differential settlement over time. Along the centre of the track ran a dotted black line, known as the Fifty Foot Line. By driving over the line, a driver could theoretically take the banked corners without having to use the steering wheel; the track was opened on 17 June 1907 with a luncheon attended by most of Britain's motor manufacturers, followed by an informal inauguration of the track by a procession of 43 cars, one driven by Charles Rolls.
The first competitive event was held on 28–29 June, with three cars competing to break the world record for distance covered in 24 hours, the first race meeting was held on 6 July, attracting over 10,000 spectators. Drawing inspiration from the development at Brooklands, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was built soon afterwards, held its inaugural race in August 1909; the Brooklands Mountain Circuit was a small section of the track giving a lap 1¼ miles long, running from the Fork to the rear of Members' Hill and back. It was created in 1930 using movable barriers. On 28–29 June 1907, eleven days after the circuit opened, it played host to the world's first 24-hour motor event, with Selwyn Edge leading three specially converted Napier cars around the circuit. A statement of intent had been made in 1906, Selwyn Edge entered into a physical training program to prepare for the event, his car, "804" was extensively modified, having a special fuel tank, bodywork removed, a special windscreen. Over 300 red railway lamps were used to light the track during the night.
Flares were used to mark the upper boundary of the track. Edge drove his car for the full duration, with the drivers of the other two cars taking the more familiar shift approach. During the event Edge covered a distance of 1,581.74 mi at an average speed of 65.91 mph, comfortably beating the existing record of 1,096.187 mi set at Indianapolis in 1905. Women were not allowed to compete for several years. Dorothy Levitt, S. F. Edge's leading driver, was refused entry despite having been the'first English-woman to compete in a motor race' in 1903, holding the'Ladies World Land Speed Record'. Edge completed 2,545 km at a record which stood for 17 years; the first standard race meeting would be held the next week, on 6 July. George E. Stanley broke the one-hour record at Brooklands race track on a Singer motorcycle in 1912, becoming the first rider of a 350 cc motorcycle to cover over 60 miles in an hour; the world record for the first person to cover 100 miles in 1 hour was set by Percy E. Lambert at Brooklands, on 15 February 1913 when driving his 4.5 litre sidevalve Talbot.
He covered 103 miles, 1470 yards in 60 minutes. A contemporary film of his exploits on that day can be viewed at the Brooklands Museum. In July and August 1929, Violette Cordery and her younger sister Evelyn drove her 4.5 litre four-seater Invicta for 30,000 miles in less than 30,000 minutes, averaging 61.57 mph and earning her second Dewar Trophy from the Royal Automobile Club. Brooklands closed to motor racing during World War I, was requisitioned by the War Office and continued its pre-war role as a flying training centre although it was now under military control. Brooklands soon became a major location for the construction and supply of military aeroplanes. Motor racing resumed in 1920 after extensive track repairs and Grand Prix motor racing was established at Brooklands in 1926 by Henry Segrave, after his victories in the 1923 French Grand Prix and the San Sebastián Grand Prix the following year raised interest in the sport in Britain; this first British Grand Prix was won by Louis Wagner and Robert Sénéchal, sharing the drive in a Delage 155B.
The second British Grand Prix was staged there in 1927 and these two events resulted in improve
Motocross is a form of off-road motorcycle racing held on enclosed off-road circuits. The sport evolved from motorcycle trials competitions held in the United Kingdom. Motocross first evolved in the U. K. from motorcycle trials competitions, such as the Auto-Cycle Clubs's first quarterly trial in 1909 and the Scottish Six Days Trial that began in 1912. When organisers dispensed with delicate balancing and strict scoring of trials in favour of a race to become the fastest rider to the finish, the activity became known as "hare scrambles", said to have originated in the phrase, "a rare old scramble" describing one such early race. Though known as scrambles racing in the United Kingdom, the sport grew in popularity and the competitions became known internationally as "motocross racing", by combining the French word for motorcycle, motocyclette, or moto for short, into a portmanteau with "cross country"; the first known scramble race took place at Camberley, Surrey in 1924. During the 1930s the sport grew in popularity in Britain where teams from the Birmingham Small Arms Company, Matchless, AJS competed in the events.
Off-road bikes from that era differed little from those used on the street. The intense competition over rugged terrain led to technical improvements in motorcycles. Rigid frames gave way to suspensions by the early 1930s, swinging fork rear suspension appeared by the early 1950s, several years before manufacturers incorporated it in the majority of production street bikes; the period after World War II was dominated by BSA, which had become the largest motorcycle company in the world. BSA riders dominated international competitions throughout the 1940s. In 1952 the FIM, motorcycling's international governing body, set up an individual European Championship using a 500 cc engine displacement formula. In 1957 it was upgraded to World Championship status. In 1962 a 250 cc world championship was established. In the smaller 250 cc category companies with two-stroke motorcycles came into their own. Companies such as Husqvarna from Sweden, CZ from the former Czechoslovakia and Greeves from England became popular due to their lightness and agility.
Stars of the day included BSA-works riders Jeff Smith and Arthur Lampkin, with Dave Bickers, Joe Johnson and Norman Brown on Greeves. By the 1960s, advances in two-stroke engine technology meant that the heavier, four-stroke machines were relegated to niche competitions. Riders from Belgium and Sweden began to dominate the sport during this period. Motocross arrived in the United States in 1966 when Swedish champion, Torsten Hallman rode an exhibition event against the top American TT riders at the Corriganville Movie Ranch known as Hopetown in Simi Valley, California; the following year Hallman was joined by other motocross stars including Roger DeCoster, Joël Robert, Dave Bickers. They dominated the event, placing their lightweight two-strokes into the top six finishing positions. Motocross began to grow in popularity in the United States during this period, which fueled an explosive growth in the sport. By the late 1960s Japanese motorcycle companies began challenging the European factories for supremacy in the motocross world.
Suzuki claimed the first world championship for a Japanese factory when Joël Robert won the 1970 250 cc crown. The first stadium motocross event took place in 1972 at the Los Angeles Coliseum. In 1975 a 125 cc world championship was introduced. European riders continued to dominate motocross throughout the 1970s but, by the 1980s, American riders had caught up and began winning international competitions. During the late 1970s and early 1980s, Japanese motorcycle manufacturers presided over a boom period in motocross technology; the typical two-stroke air-cooled, twin-shock rear suspension machines gave way to machines that were water-cooled and fitted with single-shock absorber rear suspension. In the 1990s, America's leading motorcycle sport governing body, the AMA, increased the allowable displacement limit for four stroke powered machines in the AMA motocross championship, due to the low relative power output of a four stroke engine, compared to the then-dominating two stroke design. By 1994, the displacement limit of a four stroke power motocross bike was up to 550 cc in the 250 class, to incentivize manufactures to further develop the design for use in motocross.
By 2004 all the major manufacturers had begun competing with four-stroke machines. European firms experienced a resurgence with Husqvarna, KTM winning world championships with four-stroke machinery; the sport evolved with sub-disciplines such as stadium events known as supercross and arenacross held in indoor arenas. Classes were formed for all-terrain vehicles. Freestyle motocross events where riders are judged on their jumping and aerial acrobatic skills have gained popularity, as well as supermoto, where motocross machines race both on tarmac and off-road. Vintage motocross events take place - for motorcycles predating the 1975 model year. Many VMX races include a "Post Vintage" portion, which includes bikes dating until 1983; the FIM Grand Prix Motocross World Championship is predominantly held in Europe, but includes events in North America, South America, Asia and Africa. It is the major Motocross series worldwide. There are four classes: MXGP for 450cc machines, MX2 for 250cc machines, MX3 for 650cc machines and Women's MX.
Competitions consist of two races which are called motos with a duration of 30 minutes plus two laps. The AMA Motocross Championship continues until late August; the championship consists of twelve rounds at twelve major tracks all over the continental United States. There are three classes: the 250 Motocross Class for 0–125 cc 2-stroke or 150–250 cc 4-stroke machines, the 450 Mot