Breaking down the major types of car racing


Car racing is undeniably one of the most high-octane and exciting areas for sporting entertainment, with drivers consistently pushing the boundaries of what’s possible across various disciplines. Whether it’s the chaos of UTV dirt racing or the hair-raising thrill of Formula One, every type of car racing comes with its own astonishing highlights. 

Throughout this article, we’ll break down the major types of car racing prevalent in the 21st century. Keep reading for the lowdown. 

Formula One


Formula One is often hailed as the pinnacle of motorsport, featuring the fastest cars on the planet and some of the world’s most skilled drivers. With the first races being held in 1950, Formula One has grown into a global phenomenon characterized by intense speed, huge commercial partnerships and documentaries like the celebrated Netflix series Drive to Survive. 

Formula One cars use advanced aerodynamics and engine power advancements to reach dizzying speeds of more than 200mph. Some of the most celebrated drivers throughout history include Lewis Hamilton, Michael Schumacher and Ayrton Senna. Honorable mention also goes to the Williams driver Nicholas Latifi, who may have completed his final race in the sport. 



Rally racing takes the excitement off-road, involving a broad selection of terrain from dirt tracks to snow and even ice. The World Rally Championship is the sport’s flagship entity, testing drivers’ skills across several countries, each with its own distinctive tracks and difficulties. While Formula One’s main objective is speed, rally cars must be equipped with advanced suspension, brakes and steering to help drivers negotiate the tricky stages. 

Rally racing is also notable for having co-drivers. These individuals are tasked with mapping out each rally stage and helping the driver prepare for oncoming corners and other obstacles. This thrilling type of motor racing is incredibly unpredictable and requires an impressive level of adaptability and understanding between car and crew. 


NASCAR is America’s most popular racing car competition, with the tracks designed to create maximum excitement and speed. Officially known as the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, NASCAR races take place on the iconic oval tracks dotted across various states. Some of the most popular races include the Daytona 500 and Talladega Superspeedway events. 

NASCAR cars are similar to civilian vehicles, although they are often modded with enhanced engines, steering and other characteristics. Due to the lack of twists and turns, there is much more emphasis on tactical pit stops and drafting. Some of the most famous NASCAR drivers throughout history include Richard Petty, Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt. The sport has also been replicated in popular culture with films such as Talladega Nights.


UTV dirt racing

If you’re looking for motor racing events that push the boundaries further than you ever thought possible, look no further than UTV dirt racing. These events feature elaborate vehicles designed to be able to navigate incredibly difficult terrain that normal cars simply would not be able to deal with. One of the best events from recent years is the King of the Hammers Toyo Desert Challenge. 

Although UTV dirt racing is one of the more niche motorsports, it’s quickly gaining new fans due to the sport’s exciting nature. We highly recommend checking it out.


Endurance racing


Endurance racing is best characterized by the legendary Le Mans 24 race, where drivers must compete over an entire day. Each team has several drivers who swap in and out during the race, with the cars showcasing the creme-de-la-creme of durability and reliability. The format also requires meticulous tactical planning to ensure the optimal number of pit stops and driver changes. 

Endurance racing’s allure comes from the combination of speed and resilience, with drivers often pushed to the very limits of their abilities. The marathon races have created numerous historically famous narratives, not least the tussle between Ford and Ferrari in the 1960s, as epitomized by the recent blockbuster movie Ford v Ferrari.


Drag racing 

If sheer speed is your desire, look no further than drag racing. Born as a semi-illegal activity on makeshift strips in California during the 1950s, it has endured a tumultuous history often at odds with traditional forms of motor racing. There is just one objective: get to the end of the straight line sprint faster than the competitors. As a result, drag race cars often eschew things like steering in favor of brute, unadulterated propulsion. Notable figures in the sport include Don Garlits and Shirley Muldowney. 

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