No comments | Monday, April 15, 2013
Formula One:
The Formula One World Championship normally lasts from March until October. In 2006 there were 19 races. The winner in each race receives ten points and runners-up get eight to one points. The driver with the most points at the end of the season is the Champion. There is also a manufacturers championship.

German Michael Schumacher is the world's most successful Formula One driver. He has won a record seven world titles (1994, 1995, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004) and also has the most race wins in a season- 13 in 2004.

The youngest ever Formula One race Winners are Fernando Alonso (Spain), Troy Ruttman (USA) and Bruce McLaren (New Zealand). In 2005 Fernando Alonso became the youngest-ever winner of the Formula One World Driver's Championship at 24 years, 2 months. In 1952 Ruttman won the Indianapolis 500 (at that time part of the Formula One World Championship) at 22 years, 3 months. McLaren was the same age when he won the US Grand Prix in 1959.

The youngest Formula One World Champions are Emerson Fittipadi (Brazil) who was 25 years, 9 months when he won in 1972; Michael Schumacher (Germany) who won in 1994 at the age of 25 years 10 months; Jacques Villeneuve (Canada), champion in 1997 aged 26 years, 5 months; and Niki Lauda (Austria), 1975 champion at 26 years, 6 months.

Mountain biking:
Mountain biking, or off-road biking, was started in 1974 by a group of Californian enthusiasts, who modified their bikes. By 1977, there was so much interest in the sport that manufacturers started to produce mountain bikes and in 1983 the National Off-Road Bicycle Association (NORBA) was formed. There are two types of mountain bike competitions- downhill riding and cross country and the first world championships were held in 1990. Cross-country mountain biking was first held at the Olympics in 1996. Competitors ride over a hilly, sometimes mountainous, natural course. Men race 40 to 50km and women 30 to 40km. 

bike racing
The top riders, male and female are both French. Francois Gachet won the men's downhill world titles six times between 1994 and 1999. Anne-Caroline Chausson (France) has won 16 World Championships titles. She won the downhill event every year from 1996 to 2003 and again in 2005.

Motorcycle racing:
Grand Prix bikes used to come in engine sizes 50cc, 90cc, 125cc, 250cc, 350cc and 500cc. Now there are Grand Prix Championships only in 125cc, 250cc and Moto GP (which replaced the old 500cc event). Grand Prix bikes are made in small numbers just for racing. Superbikes are made in larger quantities and can be used on the road.
Top manufacturers-
  • An Aprilla machine first won at 250cc in 1987, and the make is now dominant in both the 125 and 250cc classes. They enjoyed their first superbike success in 2000.
  • Ducati have been in Grand Prix racing since the 1950s. They are now by far the most successful manufacturer in Superbike history.
  • Kawasaki bikes won their first world title (125cc) in 1969. They have now won in nine world titles in three classes as well as producing the 1993 Superbike world champion.
  • Honda are the most successful manufacturer in motor cycle racing. They have now won 46 Grand Prix world titles and they have had 599 race wins. They are now also making a name for themselves in Superbike racing.
  • Suzuki began life as clothing makers before starting to make motor cycles. They won their first Grand Prix in 1962 and in the same year won the first ever 50cc title.
  • The Yamaha company started in 1887 as musical instrument manufacturers and made their first motor cycle in 1955. They first entered a bike in the 1961 French Grand Prix, but did not compete regularly until 1964, when they won the world 250cc title.
Indianapolis 500:
The biggest event in American motor racing is the Indianapolis 500, which is not just a race but a day-long carnival. The auto race is part of the Memorial Day celebrations at the end of May and crowds of 250,000 flock to the Indianapolis Raceway from all over the USA. The course, which opened in 1909, is known as the Brickyard because the original circuit was made out of thousands of bricks. The first Indy 500 was held in 1911 and was won by Ray Harroun in his Marmon Wasp. Contestants race over 200 laps of the 4km oval circuit.

Indy 500
One of the great Indy 500 drivers was A.J. Foyt, the first of only three men to win the race four times. He had his first success in 1961 and followed it up with wins in 1964, 1967 and 1977. He drove a record 11,875 miles in 34 Indy 500 races. Foyt started racing in 1953. He is the only man to win the Indy 500, the Daytona 500 and the Le Mans 24 Hour races. 

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