Motorsport is a massive business these days, helped out by the popularity of Formula 1, the Indy 500 races, and the increased media interest in high-profile winners as celebrities. Motorsport is a mixture of speed and thrills with solo and team strategy, and takes high levels of concentration, physical strength and agility, not to mention nerves of steel. Out of all the millions of drivers in the world, and all the young drivers who want to race, there are just a handful that make it to the very top.
Of course getting to the top takes time, and there is a learning curve before you get behind the controls of a high speed racecar. Most people start off with an alternative such as:
This is where many a professional drive started out, as it is a motor sport for all ages and abilities. It is a great way to get used to driving on a track and is challenging and fun at the same time. All ages are welcome to drive karts, and youngster as young as 8 can get behind the wheel. Bothe outdoor and indoor tracks are available in most areas and lessons are available before starting to drive.
This is probably the most popular way people join in with motor sport is circuit racing. There are so many different types and levels of competitions around the world. Circuit racing pits drivers against other drivers on a race track in a competitive race where the winner takes all. There are a whole host of different types of competitions available for drivers to compete in.
Rallying is another popular motor sport that is not always around a racetrack. Stock and converted cars compete in multiple stages against the clock. Both a driver and navigator work together as a team to bring in the lowest overall time score for all timed stages, allowing for penalty points.
And only a few graduate to the majors!
The Indy 500 is perhaps the most famous automobile race which is held annually at the Indianapolis motor speedway over Memorial weekend at the end of May. It used to be part of the Triple Crown of Motorsport which was an unofficial motorsport achievement by winning the three top motor races (The Indianapolis 500, 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Monaco Grand Prix).
The Indianapolis 500 is held on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend since 1911. The track is an oval shape with length of two and a half miles, and with 500 laps in the race makes a total of 500 miles. Qualification and practice goes on for the two weeks preceding race day. There are 33 drivers with specialized Indy Cars. The cars are similar to Formula 1, being single seat, open wheel and open cockpits. The cars are required to use 2.2 L V6 twin-turbocharged engines, producing a range of 550 to 700 horsepower. The race is one of the oldest and prestigious motor races, and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has the largest capacity in the world of motor sport, and has been running the race since 1911.
Formula One (Formula 1) or also known as F1 racing is the most international of motor racing sports. Races called Grand Prix are held all around the world on both purpose built F1 racetracks and even on public roads. The formula in the name refers to the guidelines or rules that the cars and drivers have to follow to qualify to race. Purpose built circuits, or race tracks have been build specifically for racing and include such famous names as Silverstone, Nurburgring and Monza. Even more exciting are the races on public roads around major cities like Montreal, Singapore, and the most famous Grand Prix of Monaco.
The winners and top drivers in each race get a series of points, and the driver and team with the highest point tally at the end of the season is declared world champion. Due to the high profile and worldwide coverage, the Formula One championship is the most prestigious and widely followed motor racing event.
The Formula 1 cars are the fastest cornering racing cars in the world, on course with tight corners and hairpin bends. The cars reach speeds of 220 mph with engines tuned to 15,000 RPM maximum. Massive investment is required to compete at the highest level of Formula One, and the championships are dominated by a small number of racing teams, each of which spend over $125 million each year to keep on the edge of racing technology.