Presumably, man has always had the need to compete with others in. Evidence has existed for thousands of years. The Minoans have been competing in spectacular artistic jumps over wild bulls since at least 2700 BC. The Olympic Games of antiquity were held in Greece from 776 BC onwards. From 680 B.C. On there were also Chariot racing with horses instead of. Well-known arenas for first "circuit races" were the "Circus Maximus" in Rome and the "Hippodrome" in Constantinople. Like many inventions, the fast chariot was first used in military conflicts. The constructions were designed by the 3. Millennium v.Chr. To the battles of the Hittites and Egyptians ( z.B.: 1274 v.Chr.) ever more graceful and fast.
The first car race
The first ever motorsport event is the "races for horseless chariots" from Paris to Rouen on 22. July 1894. In the competition called by the newspaper "Le petit Journal", a De Dion-Bouton steam car crossed the finish line first with an average speed of about 19 km/h. While electric cars won the "Horseless Carriage Race" in Providence (USA) in 1896, the 3. Drive "Paris Rouen" 1896 for the first time "horse-less" with internal combustion engines system Benz through. At first there were still big problems with the necessary infrastructure. At first, fuel could only be obtained in the form of stain remover in small bottles from pharmacists or drugstores. The roads were mostly only in the form of dusty, stony or muddy dirt roads, where horses panicked, cows fled into the field and old women, crossing themselves, fled into the ditch. Great Britain and Ireland, a man with red flags had to run in front of the cars. This "Red Flag Act" was repealed in 1896, the maximum speed was raised to 5 and 12 miles per hour. On 14. November 1896 saw the start of the first British motor race London – Brigton.
The first of these competitions took place as city-to-city races on public roads, even though many of them were not paved. A turning point was marked by the race Paris – Madrid in 1903 with several fatal accidents. Since then more and more events took place on shorter distances. The Le Mans circuit became one of the first permanent circuits in 1906. There were also hill climbs, six-day races and long-distance races.
The British six-day rides for motorcycles led to motorcycle off-road racing.
The longest race is considered to be the drive New York – Paris in 1908, at which a German car from the Berlin Protos-Werke which 2. Place occupied. After the previous year's race led from Beijing to Paris, the crews now, starting in February, had to cross the USA to the Pacific and, after crossing by ship, China and Siberia. The grueling race then led from St. Petersburg to Paris. Another event that eventually led to the development of rallying was a "Sternfahrt", which was first attended by Prince Albert I in 1911. Invited to Monaco.
The first Grand Prix races
The first car races had above all the character of a reliability race, in which at first production cars and slightly modified cars competed. At the first Grand Prix in France in 1906, the 106 km long closed-off circuit of Le Mans in two days each 6 times through. The Renault of the winner Ferenc Szisz had an average speed of 101 kilometers per hour. Wich with its 90 HP already strongly deviates from the series makes. If there were until 1906 different races with different announcements so the Gordon Bennet Cup, which allowed only three starters per nation, motor racing now became more international and attempts were made to establish a rotation of Grand Prix events, with the Italian Coppa Florio, the French Grand Prix, the Moscow – Petersburg race and the Vanderbilt Cup in Long Island, America, became permanent fixtures. Other races took place only once or a few times.