7 Enduring Myths About Professional Car Racing
Motorsports are not just about high speeds and roaring engines. It is a contest of man vs. machine on obstacle courses that cover everything from dirt tracks to racecourses that resemble speedways. Tested to their limit, these races require not only working with the driver’s car but planning a route and executing high speeds and powerful turns to get through obstacles.
Despite the popularity of Motorsports, many myths and facts about it still persist. We now provide updated information to clear out several things on why people still believe in these racing myths.
Myth #1: All Racecar Drivers Require a License to Race
Racecar drivers do not need to hold a special license for racing. However, drivers who wish to compete in professional, Formula One, or Formula 3000 races are required to obtain a racing license from the FIA.
Some countries have also established their own regulations for racing and drivers. For example, in the UK, drivers must obtain a racing license from the British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC) or the MSA. In the U.S., the NSRA issues licenses to drivers.
For amateur drivers, acquiring a racing license is not necessary.
Myth #2: Racecar Drivers are Prohibited from Using Safety Belts
It is a common belief that racecar drivers are prohibited from using safety belts during competitions. This is not true as racecar drivers are required to use a 5-point racing harness belt during competitions.
During warm-ups and practice, however, racecar drivers may use a normal seatbelt.
Myth #3: Every Racecar Driver Uses an Automatic Shift
It is also a common myth that all racecar drivers use an automatic shift for their cars. In fact, only some teams use them. In the US, F2000 uses an automatic shifter while other championships, such as the NASCAR, use manual shifters.
Myth #4: The Fastest Car Always Wins
It is a common belief that the fastest car always wins. This is not true. In fact, the outcome of a race is determined by real-life factors such as the weather, race track, and the driver’s ability.
There are also other factors that affect a driver’s performance. For example, the driver’s height, weight, physical characteristics, age, and experience all affect the performance of a car.
Myth #5: Driver Simulation Games Train People to Drive Racecars
Many people believe that driver simulation games (such as Formula One Racing) are not only entertaining but are also an excellent way to train a racecar driver.
While these games can help a person develop the skill and reflexes of a racer, they cannot completely prepare a person for the real thing. These simulators, however, serve as a good pre-game warm-up, allowing drivers to practice their timing and precision.
Myth #6: Racetracks are Built Near Cities to Increase Popularity
It is a common belief that racetracks were built near cities to increase their popularity. This is not true. In fact, tracks are located in the countryside because of the lack of commercial developments and obstructions.
The building of the tracks also requires a lot of space. This is the reason why racetracks are usually located at least a kilometre from the nearest roadway.
Myth #7: Race Car Drivers Cannot Be Called Athletes
Many people believe that racing car drivers do not deserve to be called athletes. This is not true as racecar drivers are athletes, just like any other.
The training, discipline, and long hours of practice are all necessary for drivers to perform well. Some drivers also work on improving their health through diet and using sports supplements.
Racecar drivers also have to be physically fit – not just cardiovascularly but also strength-wise and mentally.