Owning a car is flashy in itself. Owning and driving a race car is on another level. The motorsports industry is almost a fancy sport that only a few can get into. Yet, it does not prevent people from being fascinated and getting curious about the sport. For some who got lucky in entering the sport, the payoff was high.
This article delves deep into the car industry, answering some questions that you may have regarding motorsports.
The National Museum of American History has published an article discussing the history of American automobile racing. Its states that it has a century-long history rooted in the American-European rivalry.
During the 1930s, races were held on open roads in Europe. Cars traveled through public roads and city streets. Contrary to Americans, Europeans considered it a fun sport rather than an enterprise. Racers paid for the engineering of their own cars, and there were still no sponsors involved at the time. Since races are held public, spectators watched the sport for free. Until the 1950s, Europeans dominated the sport.
According to the National Museum of American History, the first race that happened in the US was a city-to-city round trip race. It was 1895 when American racers traveled between Chicago and Evanston, Illinois. During this race, a road wagon won.
Since the US considered motor racing as an enterprise more than a sport, most races were held in oval tracks. This allowed for paying crowds to gather and see the action happen from a distance. As the years pass, the motor industry evolved with the influence of marketing and consumerism. Sponsored professional racing teams became a trend, and racing athletes were born.
Car Racing Athletes
An athlete requires physical agility, stamina, and strength to perform and be successful in a sport. When people think of athletes, they usually think of those who play basketball, football, or baseball. Yet, many kinds of sports exist in the world. Car racing is one of them, and it requires professionals to do it.
Some may not consider a car racer as an athlete; for these people, drivers sit in the car and requires little to less effort. Yet, car racing involves consistent practice and a high level of endurance. Driving at 200 miles per hour in a cramped space is not easy. To be an exceptional race car driver, several years of training are required.
A NASCAR driver has a routine. They go to the track, practice, race, and repeat the entire process. This rigorous training and schedule are comparable to professional players in other sports.
Being a race car driver does not only give you fame; it also enables an exceptional driver to gather a considerable amount of wealth. In 2018, Forbes published that the highest-paid Nascar driver is Dale Earnhardt Jr. For 2017, Earnhardt gathered a total earning of 22 million dollars. He is followed by Jimmie Johnson, who got 19.2 million dollars worth of earnings in the same year.
A racecar driver’s earnings can come from several sources. This includes salary, bonuses when winning a race, as well as sponsorship deals.
Race Cars and Technological Innovations
For optimum car performance, the weight and center of gravity of a car are considered. Hence, portable vehicle scales are essential. Aside from these, there are plenty of innovations that have been discovered through the motor racing industry. Some of these innovations may now be part of the regular car you are currently driving.
Most automakers use motorsports to test innovations. Some of these innovations include all-wheel drive and the use of carbon fiber.
An all-wheel drive allows your cars to drive through slippery roads. Now, this technology is used by all cars to adapt to all kinds of roads. This technology was designed by Audi to bag the World Rally Championship. An all-wheel drive’s extra traction is engineered to help the car race in different rally course conditions, including snow-covered ones. It was a successful move by Audi as they bagged both the 1983 and 1984 championships.
The use of carbon fiber in automotive is discovered by designer John Barnard. Looking for an alternative to standard aluminum to create a smaller chassis, he discovered carbon fiber. The idea came from his contacts at the British Aerospace.
Carbon fiber has the strength and stiffness Barnard was looking for to create a strong and reliable chassis. Now, most race car parts are made out of the material for their ability to withstand high energy forces; this is essential in high-speed races. The material is also now used in some road cars. However, it’s usually incorporated in supercars.
These two innovations are just some of the many innovations discover through the motorsport industry. Hence, we can say that the industry is more than just a race. It’s crucial in creating new technology that can be used in our daily lives.