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Home of Motorsport: Part 1

Written by Reece Stannard, Edited by Vyas Ponnuri

As you may know, football came home on Sunday, 31st July, in the shape of England women winning the Euros. But that got me thinking, where is the home of motorsports? There could be many different ways to decide this, such as, where was the first ever race held? Or Who built the first cars in motorsport? There are a few categories we can look at to help us figure out just where the home of motorsport is.

In this series containing the first 'home of', we will discuss the first race and how it can be considered as a home of motorsport.

The first ever 'race' was on 28 April, 1887. Although, the word race is used loosely here, as only one car started and finished the race. The course was 2km (1.2 miles) long, and ran from the Neuilly Bridge to the Bois De Boulogne in Paris. That one driver who took part in the ‘race’ was Georges Bouton of the De Dion-Bouton, a French car company that ran from 1883 to 1953.

On July 22 1894 the first race involving more than one car took place. The course spanned from Paris to Rouen, a 127km distance (79 miles). 69 competitors started the 50km (31miles) qualifying race. Only 25 competitors were allowed to start the main race. Count Jules-Albert De Dion won the race, 3 minutes and 30 seconds ahead of second place Albert Lemaritie, followed by Auguste Doroit at 16 minutes 30 seconds behind, and actual race winner, Rene Panhard. Rene won the race due to the cars being judged, and handling, speed and safety. Also, De Dion ran a car with a stoker, which was not allowed.

The first unorganised, documented motor race was held in 1867, in Manchester, over a distance of eight miles. It was won by the carriage of Isaac Watt Bolton who raced against Daniel Admanson's carriage.

This section can be argued as being Paris. So, this is one of the ways we could decide where the home of motorsport is.


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