Automobile Racing.

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Aperçu du corrigé : Automobile Racing.



Publié le : 14/5/2013 -Format: Document en format HTML protégé

Automobile Racing.
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Automobile Racing.
I

INTRODUCTION

Automobile Racing, sport in which drivers race specially designed automobiles over tracks or courses of differing lengths, designs, and constructions. The competition
tests the skills of the drivers, the speed capabilities of the vehicles, and the endurance of both. Originally consisting of occasional challenges among wealthy individuals
in the United States and continental Europe, automobile racing has evolved into an international year-round professional sport that is one of the most popular spectator
attractions in the world.

II

AUTOMOBILE RACING BASICS

There are three basic types of race courses in automobile racing: (1) the oval track, (2) the road course, and (3) the straight-line course. Oval tracks, which can be dirt,
asphalt, or concrete, range in length from 0.16 to 2.5 mi (0.27 to 4 km). Some oval tracks, longer than 1 mi (1.6 km) and highly banked (angled toward the ground),
are called superspeedways. Road courses have either of two forms: courses that are created by temporarily closing city streets, and courses specially designed to
duplicate the twists and turns of country roads but used only for racing. Road courses of both types are generally 1.5 to 4 mi (2.4 to 6.4 km) long in the United States,
sometimes longer in other countries. Straight-line courses consist of a simple strip of asphalt or concrete used for drag races between two vehicles. Straight-line courses
are generally 0.25 mi (0.4 km) long, but they can be 0.125 mi (0.2 km) long as well.
There are five basic components of an automobile racing team: (1) the ownership, (2) the team manager, (3) the driver, (4) the support crew, and (5) the sponsors.
The ownership of the car is in charge of the team but usually employs a manager to run operations on a day-to-day basis. The driver is always an independent
contractor. Drivers usually compete in a variety of different cars for different owners throughout their careers. The support crew maintains the car before, during, and
after races. The driver and support crew work together during races to handle needed repairs, tire changes, and fuel refills (done during brief service breaks known as
pit stops). Finally, sponsors, usually corporations, provide money to the racing team in exchange for promotional ties. The most obvious examples of this relationship are
company and product logos, which are commonly seen on the outside of vehicles during races.
Although there are many categories of automobile racing--and many types and levels of competition within each category--the major forms of the sport differ in the
United States and abroad. In most parts of the world, the premier race series are those for Formula One (F1) vehicles and for sports cars. These competitions receive
less attention in the United States, where the most important race series are those for Indianapolis (Indy) cars and for stock cars. Some drivers and teams move
between American and overseas forms of racing, but this is uncommon.
The coordinating committee for automobile racing in the United States is the Automobile Competition Committee for the United States (ACCUS), which serves as the U.S.
representative on the Fédération International de l'Automobile (FIA; International Automobile Federation), the worldwide governing body of the sport. ACCUS
coordinates activities between FIA and six major sanctioning bodies for automobile racing in the United States--addressing rules, regulations, automotive specifications,
safety, and related matters. The eight organizational members of ACCUS are Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART), National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing
(NASCAR), Indy Racing League (IRL), Grand American Road Racing Association (GRAND-AM), Professional Sports Car Racing (PSC), the Sports Car Club of America
(SCCA), the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA), and the United States Auto Club (USAC).

III

RACING CARS

In the late 19th century racing cars were motorized versions of horse-drawn carriages and wagons. These soon gave way to slightly more advanced vehicles as the
conditions of roads improved. As the speeds of cars increased a need for more sophistication and specialization developed, and cars were designed expressly to be
raced.
Racing cars now fall into two broad categories: open-wheeled vehicles and closed-wheeled vehicles. Open-wheeled vehicles refers to cars in which the wheels are not
enclosed beneath fenders. These cars have open cockpits, although (according to type) there can be a roll bar or cage over the driver for protection in case of a crash.
The cars are streamlined for speed and are single-seated, meaning that only one person can be in the vehicle. They come in varieties ranging from modest karts (small
motorized vehicles) to extremely complex F1 and Indy cars. Closed-wheeled vehicles have an enclosed cockpit and so somewhat resemble standard street cars. These
automobiles, sometimes called stock cars, are in reality racing vehicles with only the bodywork of a street car. Because they are purpose-built for racing, stock cars are
not suited for driving on public streets.

A

Formula One

Formula racing, or single-seat automobile racing in which car specifications are strictly regulated, is governed by FIA. Periodically, FIA sets technical regulations for
building, maintaining, and racing many different classes of cars. The sophisticated vehicles used in Formula One (F1) racing are the most technologically advanced in
racing. Their design causes air to flow over and under the car (aided by body features known as wings), creating a downward force that holds the car close to the
ground even at high speeds. Designed for road racing, F1 cars can accelerate and brake quickly. FIA also regulates slower and less advanced single-seat cars competing
in such categories as Formula Two (F2), Formula Three (F3), and the GP2 series, which was called Formula 3000 (F3000) prior to 2005.
For many years FIA had sole authority over F1 racing, but beginning in the early 1970s other governing bodies began to emerge. The Formula One Constructors
Association (FOCA), based in London, England, led the challenge. FOCA is made up of the companies that manufacture the cars used in F1 racing. According to an
agreement first drafted in 1982 between FIA and FOCA, the latter group controls the distribution of funds generated by F1 racing, making sure that each competing
team has sufficient money to race in the next competition.
For much of automobile racing history there were no restrictions on technological development, so F1 cars became the most technologically advanced racing vehicles
possible. Beginning in the early 1990s, however, FIA began slowing the introduction of new materials, systems, and electronics to F1. A principal reason for these
restrictions was FIA's desire to limit the car operations controlled by computers. Even systems that are standard in many street cars, such as antilock brakes (a
computerized system that decreases the chances of skidding while braking), are prohibited in F1 racing. Another factor is the desire to hold down the high costs of
innovation that favor large, heavily financed racing teams over smaller, poorer ones. Despite these regulations, F1 cars are still considered to be the ultimate in singleseat racing car construction, and F1 races are often called the most glamorous automobile racing events in the world. Accomplished F1 drivers have included Jackie
Stewart, Nigel Mansell, and Damon Hill of the United Kingdom; Alain Prost of France; Michael Schumacher of Germany; Mika Hakkinen of Finland; Ayrton Senna of
Brazil; and Dan Gurney and Italian-born Mario Andretti of the United States.

A1

Grand Prix

The term Grand Prix (GP), which means "grand prize" and is commonly associated with F1 racing, was originally incorporated into the names of many auto races. But

beginning in 1906 at Le Mans it came to refer to the principal F1 auto race in a given nation, except in the United States, where the term continues to be used less
discriminately. After the end of World War I in 1918, when automobile racing blossomed internationally, a series of GP races in several nations became reserved for F1
competition, and an annual GP calendar was developed consisting of national races, such as the French Grand Prix and the British Grand Prix. An annual award called
the World Championship of Drivers began in 1950, with the winner determined from F1 results each year. In 1958 an F1 Constructors' Championship competed with the
World Manufacturers' Championship, a competition associated with sports-car racing (see below). These championships are based on race results but reward the
companies that build the race cars, rather than the drivers.

B

Indy Car Racing

One reason F1 racing lacks the same popularity in America that it holds in the rest of the world is the presence of Indy car racing, a rival form of single-seat racing. Indy
cars were developed after the establishment in 1911 of the Indianapolis 500, perhaps the world's best-known automobile race and one of the most popular American
sports events. The event is not just a single day of racing, but rather a three-week ritual of testing, practicing, and qualifying. Indy cars run not only at Indianapolis but
also at a series of races around the United States and occasionally in other countries.
Modern Indy cars, sometimes known as championship cars, are similar to F1 automobiles: open-wheeled with open cockpits. For much of th...


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