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Introduction

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Motorsport or motor sport is a global term used to encompass the group of competitive sporting events which primarily involve the use of motorised vehicles, whether for racing or non-racing competition. The terminology can also be used to describe forms of competition of two-wheeled motorised vehicles under the banner of motorcycle racing, and includes off-road racing such as motocross.

Four- (or more) wheeled motorsport competition is globally governed by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA); and the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) governs two-wheeled competition. Likewise, the Union Internationale Motonautique (UIM) governs powerboat racing while the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) governs air sports; including airplane racing.

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Fittipaldi FD-01 with Wilson 2007.jpg

Fittipaldi Automotive, sometimes called Copersucar after its first major sponsor, was the only Formula One motor racing team and constructor ever to be based in Brazil. It was formed during 1974 by racing driver Wilson Fittipaldi and his younger brother, double world champion Emerson, with money from the Brazilian sugar and alcohol cooperative Copersucar. In 1976 Emerson surprised the motor racing world by leaving the title-winning McLaren team to drive for the unsuccessful family outfit. Future world champion Keke Rosberg took his first podium finish in Formula One with the team.

The team was based in São Paulo, almost 6,000 miles (10,000 km) away from the centre of the world motor racing industry in the UK, before moving to Reading, UK during 1974. It participated in 119 grands prix between 1975 and 1982, entering a total of 156 cars. It achieved 3 podiums and scored 44 championship points.

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Thomas Maldwyn Pryce (June 11, 1949 – March 5, 1977) was a British Formula One racing driver from Wales. He was famous for winning the Brands Hatch Race of Champions in 1975 and for the circumstances surrounding his death. Pryce is also the only Welshman to lead a Formula One Grand Prix: two laps of the 1975 British Grand Prix.

Pryce started his career in Formula One with the small Token team, making his only start for them at the 1974 Belgian Grand Prix. Shortly after an impressive performance at the Formula Three support race for the 1974 Monaco Grand Prix, Pryce joined the Shadow team and scored his first points in Germany in only his fourth race. Pryce later claimed two podium finishes, his first in Austria in 1975 and the second in Brazil a year later. Pryce was considered by his team as a great wet weather driver. During the practice session for the 1977 South African GP, run in wet conditions, Pryce was faster than everyone, including world champion drivers Niki Lauda and James Hunt. Pryce's third full season at Shadow was cut short by his fatal accident at the 1977 South African Grand Prix, where he collided at high speed with track marshal Jansen Van Vuuren.

In 2007, it was announced that a statue of Pryce would be erected in his home town of Ruthin by the local council to mark the 30th anniversary of his death.

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Quotes

  • "The first time I fired up a car, felt the engine shudder and the wheel come to life in my hands, I was hooked. It was a feeling I can't describe. I still get it every time I get into a race car." – Mario Andretti.
  • "You do things, you f**k people, it's racing." – Niki Lauda.
  • "It doesn't matter if you're in a wheelchair or have healthy legs. If you have the will to do something, you can get it done. I race the same as anyone else does; I just don't use my feet. And, I never give up." - Evan Evans, the first paraplegic competitor to win a professional off-road racing title.

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Racing disciplines

  • Formula racing refers to various forms of racing that use open wheeled single seaters, from Formula One to Formula Ford. Wherever there is motor racing, there will often be some form of formula racing. Some formulae use a single design of chassis and engine, while others allow a lot of technical freedom.
  • Stock cars race primarily on oval circuits and are very popular in the United States, where the major championships are run by NASCAR. The cars are built to very strict regulations with "silhouette" body shells that resemble production road car models. Major events include the Daytona 500.
  • Touring cars fall into two main categories of machinery based on production road cars. Some classes – such as the World Touring Car Championship – are heavily production-based with limited modifications, while others – like the DTM – use racing chassis and components with bodywork that mimics the equivalent road cars.
  • Sports car racing is synonymous with endurance racing, in which two or more drivers share each car during the course of a long race. Races in a series typically last around three to four hours, but there are many one-off events that can last for 12 or even 24 hours or cover a set distance such as 1000km. There are two distinct types of sports cars that often share events (each type being divided into classes). Sports prototypes have mid-engined chassis that are fully enclosed in aerodynamically efficient bodywork. Their cockpits can be open or enclosed in a canopy. Sports prototypes are most closely associated with the 24 Hours of Le Mans and notable examples include the Audi R10 and Porsche 962. GT cars (grand tourers) are production-based sports cars that may be mid-, rear- or front-engined. Notable examples include the Viper GTS-R, the 911 GT2 and the Maserati MC12.
  • Kart racing is the first step on the career ladder for most young aspiring drivers. They are constructed with a small, flat chassis, small wheels, a single seat and almost no bodywork. They are powered by small two-stroke engines. Most karting formulae permit entrants as young as seven or eight years old, who will hope to graduate into entry-level single-seater formula racing in their late teens.
  • Rallying takes place on closed roads of asphalt, gravel, mud, or snow. The vehicles are usually modified road cars or production-derived, often with 4WD. Events comprise a series of point-to-point time trials in which competitors begin each timed "stage" at intervals. The highest level is the World Rally Championship; notable events include the Dakar Rally.
  • Drifting is a relatively recent form of motorsport that originated in Japan. Competitors have to induce a controlled rear-wheel slide during their competition runs and are judged according to a number of criteria. Depending on the nature of the competition, the drivers may perform on track individually or compete together in a form of "race".
  • Drag racing is a performance contest between two competitors in similar or identical machinery on a straight dragstrip measuring from 660-1320 ft (201-402 m) in length, on which they accelerate from a standing start. The leading category is Top Fuel, whose engines run on an alcohol-based mixture to produce over 8,000 bhp (6,000 kW). They can cover 1000 ft (305 m) in under 4 seconds with a peak speed exceeding 320 mph (515 kph).

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