Sports car racing

Sports car racing is a form of motor racing with race cars, which are mainly characterized by room for two seats and the fenders and wheel arches clad wheels.

Sports car races are held with vehicles that have been specially designed for or are related to street-legal sports car. Take an intermediate position between the single-seater racing, with its uncompromising seaters and touring car racing with its near-series vehicles. Race for the World Sportscar Championship were usually discharged as a long-distance race over a longer distance, for example, 1000 km, or 6 -, 12 - or 24 - hour race.

The prestige of brands such as Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, Audi, Ferrari, Ford, Jaguar, Maserati, Mercedes -Benz, Porsche and especially in part on their success in sports car racing. Production vehicles that were sold by these manufacturers and are the vehicles used in these races are in technology and appearance sometimes similar. Often, however, the same name for racing cars and road vehicle is used only for advertising purposes.


The history of sports car racing is closely linked with the 24- hour race at Le Mans, one of the oldest still held motorsport events. In the 1920s, the technical distinction between single-seater racing and sports car racing that took into account the different requirements began. In addition to race on fixed racetracks sports car races were run on closed roads. 1953 called on the FIA World Sportscar Championship in life, which together hold several events with a Formula 1 -like points system. This World Cup was held in 1992 for the last time. Were there earlier drivers who drove through up to 24 hours alone, so teams are required from at least three drivers, for example in Le Mans today.

Sports car classes

Sports car races are held in two classes of vehicles, are the prototypes and the Gran Turismo vehicles, both types usually go at the same time and evaluated differently.

  • Prototypes are considered the highest class of sports car racing. There are pure racing cars, with few restrictions on chassis, engine and wheels. There are open sports cars and those with closed cockpits. In addition to the classical Otto engine, more recently, diesel engines in the vehicles Audi R10 TDI and Peugeot 908 HDi FAP can be used. Although hydrogen prototypes exist ( cf. BMW H2R ), but are not designed for direct vehicle competition.
  • Gran Turismo (GT ) cars are the more common form and can be found worldwide at national and international race series. These vehicles must have a certain similarity with close vehicles.

Racing series

Current series:

  • The Intercontinental Le Mans Cup ( ILMC ) consists of selected races in the ALMS, LMS and the Asian Le Mans Series. From it emerged the 2012 FIA World Endurance Championship.
  • The American Le Mans Series (ALMS ) is a discharged North American Championship.
  • 2004, the Le Mans Endurance Series ( LMES ) was established as a European equivalent of the ALMS in life. Since 2006 Le Mans Series ( LMS) and since 2012 the European Le Mans Series ( ELMS ) welcomes you.
  • The FIA ​​GT Championship was announced since 1997 for Gran Turismo vehicles. From their 2010 FIA GT1 World Championship as Sprint series and the Blancpain Endurance Series was created as a long-distance championship.
  • The Grand-Am Sports Car Series will also be held in North America, the most important race is the 24 - hour race at Daytona.

Earlier series ( a selection):

  • The World Sportscar Championship was sanctioned by the FIA ​​, and existed from 1953 until 1992.
  • The Canadian - American Challenge Cup ( CanAm ) was in the late 1960s and early 1970s and has also attracted many Formula 1 drivers; its European counterpart called Inter Series. The chassis were partly daring designs, but often discharges from the sports cars of that time. It is also known racing teams involved as McLaren or BRM at the races.

Famous Single Race

Unlike Formula 1, some individual races enjoy higher prestige than winning the championship. Some races have been over the years, not part of a championship, such as the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

  • Today discharged race ( selection): 24 - hour race at Le Mans
  • 12 - hour race at Sebring
  • 24 - hour race at Daytona
  • 24 -hour race in Spa- Francorchamps

Famous sports car

Flag characters

The flags are used to communicate between the marshals respectively the race organizers and the riders to this example in time to indicate a hazardous situation.