With the term motorsport we include competitive events which primarily involve the use of motorized vehicles, be they motorcycles, automobiles, boats or planes. SCALA has images and video clips spanning more than a century and from all angles of the sport: from photos of sponsors or owners as famous as Enzo Ferrari or Hank Williams, to drivers from the early days of Ascari to Nigel Mansell to Schumacker, to vehicle preparation, to shots of the action and at times the racetrack accidents. Check just a few examples in the gallery below.
The first formally organized motor race appears to have been organized by the French newspaper Le Petit Journal in 1894 and was an automobile reliability race between Paris and Rouen. Soon afterwards, in 1906, the French Grand Prix was run on public roads near le Mans. Since then the name le Mans has become indelibly associated with motorsport and imbued in prestige. Until the 1950s many similar races on public roads (not always closed off) were regularly carried out. Le Mille Miglia, Targa Florio, Vanderbilt Cup, The Gordon Bennett Cup to name just a few. Unfortunately a series of accidents led to the abandonment of this type of racing.
Following WWI dirt track racing became popular in the United States while in the European countries the preferences was for organised off street Grand Prix races. The first closed motor racing circuit built was Brooklands Motor racing circuit in 1907; while the famous Monza Race track was built in 1922. Grand prix races continued to be the preferred races in Europe even after WWII, when in fact they became formally organized with rules set by global organization (FIA). At that same time in the United States the focus had shifted to stock car racing and drag racing, as often depicted in many american movies.
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