Car racing as a form of sport started to develop after the historical Paris – Bordeaux – Paris race in 1895. Since then, racing has always played an integral role and managed to keep much of the attention of the automotive industry.

Car racing has evolved far beyond the scope of just racing which can be seen clearly from the technological perspective.  Aesthetic build, cutting-edge tech, blazing speed – are some of the areas, to begin with. So, without waiting let’s take a look at the different type of car races.

A Breakdown of 12 Type of Car Races

A brief discussion on different types of car races is following.

1. Formula 1 Racing

Formula 1 Racing

Formula 1 racing is the most famous auto racing in the world. The F1 cars are ultra-lightweight, blazing fast speed, single-seater cars specially designed for the racer only.  These cars are especially distinguishable because of their tires placed outside of the body.  F1 cars have complicated and vastly expensive engines, smoothest aerodynamics, softest tires, and smooth handling.  These features are what make a Formula 1 car different from all other cars in the automotive industry.

F1 cars are driven in specialized arched tracks where the cars are serially placed after one another. The race is held for a certain number of laps like 50 or 100 and the winner of the race is determined by the order in which the race was completed.  The most notable F1 race is the Grand Prix which in North America is known as Indy Car Racing.

2. Formula E Racing

Formula E Racing

Formula E racing is also much like Formula 1 racing but with all-electric vehicles.  The rules of the competitions are the same as any other Formula 1 race.

Formula E races are short and typically go for about 1 hour. That’s because most modern EVs are still incapable of racing for a long time owing to the battery efficiency of an electric vehicle. And so, all parts of a Formula E race – trial run, qualifier, and the real race all happened on the same day. Formula E races require a small budget to organize the races. The average budget for car building is roughly 12 million a year.

3. Sports Car Racing

Sports Car Racing

Sports racing cars are 2-seater vehicles with enclosed wheels and a powerful engine.  These cars look fairly different from the F1s as they have a more closed body with average-sized wheels and less powerful engines than the Formula 1 car.

Two types of cars are used in Sports Car Racing – the Grand Tourers (GT), and the prototype cars designed to compete in closed circuits. The biggest competition in this genre is the FIA World Endurance Championship and the FIA GT1 World Championship. There is also the Le Mans race that takes place for 24 hours at a stretch.

4. Stock Car Racing

Stock Car Racing

Racing with production cars is how stock car racing originated. It is one of the most popular forms of racing around the world. One of the main competitions of stock car racing is arranged by the National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) which is also the biggest governing body of stock car races around the world. Sprint Series, Daytona 500, Southern 500, and others – these are some of the famous examples of stock car racing.

Stock car racing does not involve your typical stock cars straight from the manufacturer as they have some customized specifications based on the NASCAR standards to be fit for the competition. The race is conducted in a short oval circuit consisting of 200 laps or more. The winner is determined by who finishes first among all the competitors.

5. Drag Racing

Drag Racing

Drag race calls for power – horsepower. And this is the reason for the specifically different kind of build. Drag car engines are packed with monster power and acceleration. For example – an 11,000 HP engine is enough to complete a drag strip in 3.7 seconds at 330mph. The races are conducted in short race tracks preferably between a quarter of a mile to half a mile i.e., between 200m to 500m.

Drag car racing is one of the most common types of race and is very famous across North America, and some European countries. The main governing body for hosting the official drag racing competitions is the National Hot Rod Association, with divisions for different kinds of cars such as – Super Stock, Super Street, Top Sportsman, and Top Dragster.

6. Rallying


Rally car racing is a very popular sport in Northern America and different countries across Europe because of its versatile racing tracks. The race is conducted on closed public roads, or off-road areas in different kinds of terrain or weather, varying obstacles, and different roads mixed within the same track. The courses are made of gravel, asphalt, snow, and ice. The race is similar to other races being conducted within a closed circuit for a fixed number of laps.

Rally cars involve production-ready cars for racing. And the official regulatory body holding these races is the World Rally Championship.

7. Off-road Racing

Off-road Racing

Off-road racing is one of the most intense forms of racing that takes place in sandy, muddy, watery, rocky, snowy, riverbed, and other natural environments. The vehicles used in this kind of racing belong to various classes such as – cars, trucks, SUVs, and motorcycles. One of the most famous off-road races, Baja 1000 is held every year in Mexico.

8. Touring Car Racing

Touring Car Racing

Touring race cars are production-ready race cars derived from different companies but having the same specifications.  Different companies like – Porsche, Audi, Chevrolet, Mitsubishi, Toyota, Nissan, and other branded cars enter this highly popular competition.  The races are held in special race tracks having arched roads specially designed for this type of racing.  Touring car racing is famous in the UK, Europe, and Australia.

9. One-make Racing

One-make Racing

One-make racing also known as single-marque racing involves racing with the same type of cars from a single manufacturer company. The car’s build and model remain the same however, the car parts such as – the spoilers, rims, body kits, and paint can be different.

Some common examples of single-marque racing are the Mini 7 Championship, the John Cooper Mini Challenge, Porsche Supercup, Formula Renault, and Formula BMW.

10. Production Car Racing

Production Car Racing

Production car racing is where completely unmodified cars, fresh out of the industry, are used to compete with other similar cars. Different companies such as – Toyota, Nissan, Porsche, Maserati, Mitsubishi, and other branded cars compete in the competition for the ultimate prize.

Japan’s Taikyu, Firehawk Series arranged by the International Motor Sports Association, competitions held by Audi and Porsche, and some of the famous Production car racing tournaments. It is one of the most economical types of racing because of the strict regulation in car specifications.

11. Monster Truck Racing

Monster Truck Racing

Monster truck racing is a race arranged for entertainment purposes and is usually conducted in an arena with tracks. The Monster Jam is the most popular monster truck racing tournament held in North America. These races are officially governed by the United States Hot Rod Association.

12. Simulation Racing

Simulation Racing

Simulation racing or VR racing has been around for a long time but it recently took turns into a serious form of the sport due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Professional gamers and game enthusiasts can try the simulation racing from home and still get the feel of driving a super sports car and taking part in a competition.

Simulation racing is the cheapest and also the safest form of racing competition ever. Drivers do not require any driving license to compete and there is no chance of accidents.

In Conclusion

Each type of car races have its own specialty. But that does not account for carelessness when you are participating in these competitions. As a racer and a spectator, you must abide by the rules and keep a safe distance just to stay away from fatal accidents. This message goes for all car racing fans out there because – one accident can be the reason for woes of a lifetime.