To notice and appreciate racing cars, you need to get behind the wheel, turn on the engine, give a stroke of throttle and understand the power range of the performance. It will be enough then to go a little way to notice the exclusive peculiarities of this kind of vehicle. Even more evident in racing “single-seaters”. But what makes a normal car, a racing sports car? The characteristics that differentiate them from ordinary cars are not simple tuning variations. However, technical and mechanical modifications peculiar to each type of race.

Racing Cars and Car Competitions

So there are different race cars for every kind of competition. To be exact, there are different fittings and different engines for the various sports specialties. The term “motor racing competitions” refers to those recognized by the FIA, Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile, which is the body that organizes speed races and lays down their regulations, also providing for the homologation of participating racing cars. It is known that the recognized world championships are:

  • Formula 1
  • Rally
  • Endurance
  • Tourism

There are also minor series such as:

  • Formula 3000
  • GP2
  • Formula 3
  • Formula E

The term “Formula” indicates a regulation on the structure of racing cars, which for closed circuit competition have weight and displacement limitations.

Formula 1 Cars

They have a mid-rear engine (a V8 aspirated green petrol engine), a carbon fiber composite bodywork and the overall mass, including the driver, must not be less than 640 kg. The lubricating oil of the engine is similar to water. The top speed reaches 400 km/h and in truth, no single-seater has ever managed to reach and exceed this limit. The tires of Formula 1 racing cars are different, depending on the race requirements: from the hyper-soft to the harder compounds, to the wet ones.

Rally and Touring Cars

These cars are the closest to production vehicles. In fact, as these must be registered, they also have to travel on public roads. In addition, rally cars have engines that can reach 300 horsepower and reach up to ten thousand revolutions per minute, as well as mechanical sequential gearboxes with six-speed frontal couplings. Recovery and acceleration are fast, they have 18 on gravel or 15 on-road tires and have a specific set-up for the most inaccessible roads. Even the cars that race in the touring car championship is similar to the common ones. They are in fact standard production cars, approved for four seats. Before 2012 “touring” racing cars could not exceed 2000 cubic centimeters of displacement, from 2012 if they are “turbo”, they cannot exceed 1600 cubic centimeters. On these special cars, the FIA regulations do not provide for driver assistance systems such as ESP and ABS and they are not all-wheel drive.


Endurance cars are close to Formula 1 cars and are largely Sports Prototypes, they can even exceed a thousand horsepower with aspirated or turbocharged V6 engines. Their overall mass ranges from 650 to 850 kilograms and in speed they exceed 200 km/h

Formula E

Formula E completes the categories of racing cars: even Formula E cars are similar to Formula 1 single-seaters. However, they are electric and quiet, weigh at least 900 kilograms over a third of which are batteries and are longer than 5 meters.