Highest governing body
April 28, 1887
Auto racing (also known as automobile ra-
cing, motor racing or car racing) is a mo-
torsport involving racing cars. It is one of the
world’s most watched television sports.
The beginning of racing
Racing began soon after the construction of
the first successful petrol-fueled autos; be-
fore that time people raced in other vehicles
such as horse-drawn buggies. The first race
ever organized, by the chief editor of Paris
publication Le Vélocipède, Monsieur Fossier,
was on April 28 1887 and ran 2 kilometers
from Neuilly Bridge to the Bois de Boulogne.
It was won by Georges Bouton, in a car he
had constructed with Albert, the Comte de
Dion, but as he was the only competitor to
show up it is rather pointless to call it a race.
On July 22 1894, the first real contest was or-
ganized by Paris magazine Le Petit Journal,
as a reliability test. The Comte de Dion was
first to arrive in Rouen on his steam car, but
a Panhard et Levassor was judged to be the
In 1895, one year later, the first real race
Bordeaux. First over the line was Émile
Levassor but he was disqualified because his
car was not a required four-seater.
The first regular auto racing venue was
Nice, France, run in late March 1897 as a
"Speed Week." To fill out the schedule, most
types of racing event were invented here, in-
cluding the first hill climb (Nice - La Turbie)
and a sprint that was, in spirit, the first drag
An international competition, between na-
tions rather than individuals, began with the
Gordon Bennett Cup in auto racing.
The first auto race in the United States
took place in Evanston, Illinois on November
28, 1895 over an 87.48-km (54.36 mile)
course, with Frank Duryea winning in 10
hours and 23 minutes, beating three petrol-
fueled and two electric cars. The first
trophy awarded was the Vanderbilt Cup.
City to city racing
Fernand Gabriel driving a Mors i