When did motor races start?

Man has been fond of competition and races since ancient times. In the Middle Ages, he used to participate in horse and chariot races. Later, he got bicycle as an excellent vehicle for racing. Then came the development of motor cars which generated tremendous speed and thrill in such competitions.

The first motor race of the world was held at 8 a.m. on July 22, 1894. Twenty-one cars participated in this race from Paris to Rouen. But this was only an exhibition race. A real race first took place on June 11, 1895 from Paris to Bordeaux, covering a distance of 1,178 km. Later, most of the races were held in circular tracks.

The oldest motor race of the world first took place on September 14, 1905. This was conducted for awarding the R.A.C. Tourist Trophy. The first inter-continental motor race was held in Sicily on May 9, 1906. The Grand Prix motor race was held on June 26-27, 1906 in France.

The fastest motor race of the world was held on February 8, 1964 in the US. In this race Richard Peri of North Carolina covered a distance of 80km in 17 minutes 27 seconds, averaging a fantastic speed of 275 km per hour. Francois Lecket of France established an interesting record of covering a distance of 4,00,000 kilometres by driving for 363 days out of 370 days from the 22nd July 1935 to 26th July 1936. Eight persons of France drove a distance of 1, 85,353 miles and 1741 yards in a period of 133 days, 17 hours, 37 minutes and 38.6 seconds between March to July 1933, thus averaging a speed of about 93 km per hour.

Juan Manual Fangio, born on June 24, 1911 in Argentina is known to be the most successful motor racer of the world. He had won twenty-four races by 1958 when he finally retired.

There are many advantages of participating in motor races. While participants receive instant fame around the world, they also get fabulous prize money on winning these races. The biggest advantage is reaped by the motor company whose car comes first in the race as it gets highly publicized.