Motorsport - Nascar race

Motorsport

It’s human nature, isn’t it? As soon as we invent a new mode of transport, we have to race it. It happened with horses; it happened with bicycles. Heck, it even happened with pigeon carriers. As soon as we find something practical and efficient in its purpose – to get from A to Z – we have to ask the question: “yes, but which one is fastest?”

We’re not complaining, by the way. Turning automobile driving into a sport has led to some of the most impressive, innovative inventions since the dawn of mankind. Companies like Ferrari, Mercedes and Ford push the boundaries every year to create robust, fast vehicles to accelerate the brand and keep themselves on top of the world stage. 

Not to mention the geniuses behind the wheel. Driving the fastest vehicles in the world is not exactly easy. In fact, it takes a lot of skill and precision, all of which are on display in every motorsport event around the globe.

Speaking of these events, however, what exactly are they? Well, motorsport refers to any sport involving automobiles. This includes NASCAR, Formula One, Moto GP, Rallycross, IndyCar, Endurance Racing. Even Lawnmower Racing. Seriously, it takes place in the southern states of North America, and it’s well worth a watch if you’re passing by.

To understand more, here’s a quick 101 of motorsports:

Motorsport: The 101

  • Motorsport racing became a thing almost immediately after the invention of gasoline in the 1880s.
  • It refers to a race or endurance battle of some kind that involves automobiles.
  • The most popular form of motorsport is Formula One – or F1 – with a global audience of around 445 million.
  • NASCAR is the second most popular, although it is miles behind Formula One when it comes to viewership. The NASCAR Cup Series in 2022 attained a viewership of 3.7 million.
  • Other sports – such as Moto GP and Rallycross – are also much loved by fans, with millions of viewers tuning in and attending the live events every year.
  • With the world turning toward sustainability, motorsport will likely have to change. Every company in F1, for instance, is already working on fully electric vehicles and hybrid technology.

A Revving History Of Motorsport

The Nineteenth Century 

As mentioned previously, as soon as gasoline was invented, people chugged itinto cars and began racing. The very first automobile competition occurred in Paris, 1894. It was an endurance test of fifty miles, and it was won at an average speed of 10 mph. 

One year later, the first actual race was held, beginning in Paris and ending in Bordeaux – a distance of 1,178 km. It was a success, and as soon as America caught word of it, they knew they had to do better. On Thanksgiving Day in 1895, a race from Chicago to Evanston was held, with the races sponsored by local newspapers.  

The Early Twentieth Century

Many races like this began sparking up around the world but, due to a well-publicised accident in 1903, a change had to be undertaken. Instead of an open road race, the first closed-circuit race was put into action, named the Course de Perigueux. 

Pretty soon after this, the owner of The New York Herald – James Gordon Bennett – offered a trophy to be contested by national automobile clubs. This marked a significant moment in motorsport history, as it was the first time automobile companies began to build cars – especially for the races. 

The first ever Grand Prix was held in France, 1906, and the first Indianapolis 500 race was held five years later, in 1911. Every year, the Grand Prix would be held in different countries, including Italy in 1921, Belgium in 1925 and Germany in 1926

Post-World War II

After the second world war, Rally Driving, in particular, became very popular. European and international championships became instituted by the FIA, and the concept of weekend rallies became commonplace worldwide, with large organisations sponsoring the car companies that were competing. It was around this time that NASCAR was also introduced, with its first race taking place on Daytona Beach in 1948 and being won by Ford. 

From the 1980s to the late 1990s, NASCAR and Formula One – which had its roots in the European Grand Prix championships – were at their most popular. The speed of every vehicle went far beyond anything experienced before, growing from 120 kph in 1911 to 354 kph on average. 

The Twenty-First Century

While NASCAR lost a bit of that traction in the late 2000s, both motorsports – and indeed many other motorsports – remain popular worldwide. As mentioned previously, Formula One remains the pinnacle of the sport, with McLaren, Mercedes and Ferrari still creating iconic vehicles that light up the race tracks. All of this nearly one-hundred-and-thirty-years after the first motorsport event took place.

Motorsport: DAZN Bet’s Pop Quiz

There’s so much to talk about when it comes to motorsports – far too much to fit into one article – but if you’re planning on tuning in this year, you don’t have to know too much in order to find enjoyment in the races. 

What you do need to know, however, are the basics. But that’s what we’re here for. Below is a little pop quiz that can get you up to speed – eh, speed, get it? – and help you understand the context of your chosen motorsport before you tune in: 

Q: What Are The Five Most Popular Motorsports?

A: The five most popular motorsports – based on viewership – are Formula One, NASCAR, MotoGP, IndyCar and Drifting.

Q: What Is The Fastest Speed Ever Reached In A Motorsport Event?

A: In motorsports, Formula One cars are undoubtedly the fastest. In fact, the fastest speed ever achieved by a Formula One car was 397 kph, which was set by Honda in 2006.

Q: Who is the best Formula One Driver of all time?

A: This is a topic of much debate within the Formula 1 community, while Lewis Hamilton stands on top in number of race wins – currently standing at 103 – and other records he is tied with championship wins with the great Michael Schumacher, each having 7 overall. We cannot however forget another legend of the sport, Ayrton Senna, who tragically passed in a race accident at the peak of his career. He had an impressive 41 race wins and 3 championships in his up until this point.

Q: Who Is The Best Formula One Driver Today?

A: Max Verstappen – who drives for Red Bull – was voted the best driver of 2022 in an anonymous vote carried out by F1. Although some might disagree, it’s hard to argue his superiority in the sport right now.

Q: Who Is The Best NASCAR Driver Today?

A: Judging by the current series, the best NASCAR driver is Joey Logano, who has achieved 5040 points compared to Ross Chastain, who sits behind him at 5034.

Q: What Car Company Is The Most Successful In Motorsports?

A: It’s hard to put a finger on the most successful car company in all of motorsports. In Formula One, Ferrari enjoyed an early 2000s domination which has not really been rivalled before or since. Ford, however, have dominated WRC, F1 and Le Mans. Wherever a motorsport is taking place, you’d be hard-pressed not to hear Ford’s name. In this sense, then, it might be true that Ford is the best racing car company of all time. 

Bonus Q: Who Won The 2022 Lawnmower Championship?

A: Graham Tibbenham. If your lawn needs a quick and efficient trim, you know who to ask.