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  • Types of Racing: From Open-Wheel to Historic Racing

    Formula 1 racing

    There are many types of racing in motorsport. The Racing Edge Paddock offers different kinds of race cars that can compete in several types of racing.

    Whether you want to race open-wheel or endurance, we have you covered.

    Learn about the different types of racing in our handy guide. You can also learn about different race car types.

    Types of Racing

    Open-wheel racing

    This type of racing features open-wheel cars, usually single-seaters. It takes place on designated racetracks or street circuits. Examples of open-wheel racing include any Formula series (such as Formula 1 and the all-electric championship Formula E) and IndyCar racing. Open-wheel racing is often centred on technology and aerodynamics. It is high-speed and often dramatic. This type of racing that has both professional and amateur ranks across the world.

    Touring car racing

    Touring car is a type of racing for heavily-modified road production cars. Races take place on either racetracks or street circuits. Races can last anywhere between 2.5 and 24 hours. Touring car racing is closely competitive – as a result, there tends to be a lot of contact between cars. Therefore, the bodies of touring cars are usually strengthened. Touring car racing features everyday family vehicles, such as estate cars and sedans. Championships are held worldwide, including the World Touring Car Championship (WTC) which is run by the FIA.

    Sports car racing

    One of the most popular types of racing. Sports car racing has evolved over the decades, but the general consensus is it is a form of motorsport for GT (Grand Tourer) sports cars and prototypes. GT cars are based on road models and consist of enclosed wheels (under the body or a fender) and at least two seats. Prototypes are purpose-built high-performance race cars that are not road legal or intended for customer purchase. This type of racing usually favors endurance over high speed, with races lasting anywhere between 2.5 and 24 hours.

    Mostly, this type of racing takes place at closed circuits or racetracks. Sports car racing attracts some of the most prestigious manufacturers in the world, such as Ferrari, Porsche, Audi, Mercedes and Ford. Examples of well-known sports car races include Le Mans 24 Hours, 12 Hours of Sebring and Daytona 24 Hours. Governing bodies across sports car racing include Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO), the FIA, International Motorsports Association (IMSA) and Grand-Am Road Racing (GARRA).

    Stock car racing

    Primarily a type of racing found in North America, although it remains popular in sections of Europe and the United Kingdom. Stock cars are similar to touring cars (based on production models), but highly tuned for performance and built within strict specifications. The most popular form of stock car racing is NASCAR. This type of racing usually takes place on an oval track - such as the Daytona 500 - or a figure of eight track. Stock car racing can include different levels of contact between cars. Unique types of stock car racing, such as demolition derbies, have also formed over the years.

    Rally racing

    This type of racing involves rally cars, which are heavily-modified road cars designed to drive at maximum speed. Rallying is a type of racing that takes place on closed public roads and off-road areas. Racing is held across point-to-point courses that are split into stages. Rally courses consist of a number of different surfaces, including asphalt, dirt, snow and ice. The objective is to race from the starting point of the course to the finish point in the quickest time possible.

    There are many international, national and regional rally championships. The most popular championship is the World Rally Championship (WRC). Rally car drivers are accompanied by co-drivers, who read out notes on the course layout so drivers can push at higher speeds.

    Competitions usually stage two types of rally car: Type N (road-legal production-based cars) and Type A (usually heavily modified). This type of racing is dangerous. Examples of famous rally races include the Monte Carlo Rally and the endurance-based Dakar Rally. There are several types of rally racing – Nordic countries race Rallycross, which is more sprint-based.

    Drag racing

    Drag is a type of racing based on straight-line speed. It is traditionally held on a quarter-mile straight, although other distances and classes have become popular in recent times. Two or more cars usually wait for a signal and then race straight over the specified distance, with whichever vehicle crossing the finish line first is declared the winner. There are many different forms of drag racing around the world, and different classes of drag car. Some are purpose-built or heavily modified to increase straight-line speed. The National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) governs drag racing in North America.

    Historic racing

    A very popular type of racing among motor racing enthusiasts and amateur drivers, as well as professionals. Historic racing focuses on classic, antique and vintage cars. Races are usually held at professional race circuits or public racetracks. This type of racing is regulated based on certain types of car, or cars from a certain era. Not only are events fun, but they also allow spectators the chance to see classic race cars from bygone eras. An example of historical racing is the Goodwood Festival of Speed, held annually in the UK.

    Go Karting

    Perhaps the most popular type of racing in the world. Go karting is enjoyed by many, from young children to adults. Amateur karting takes place regionally, nationally and internationally. Races are staged on go kart tracks, both indoor and outdoor. The sport also has professional ranks. Go karting is one of the cheapest forms of motor racing, while the growth of rental karting has proved popular. Electric karting is beginning to make its mark on the industry, too. Many professional race car drivers started their career in this type of racing, including Lewis Hamilton, Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso.

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