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Road bike racing around Phillip Island

Road racing is a form of motor racing held on paved, purpose-built race tracks (i.e. "road courses"), though racing done on airport runways and temporarily closed-off public roads (such as street circuits) is often included in the definition.

Road racing is also occasionally conducted using the infield and oval portions of tracks making a "roval", such as the 24 Hours of Daytona.

Global road courses

Global road-racing series such as Formula One and MotoGP are almost always conducted on dedicated race tracks, such as Suzukamarker, Monzamarker, and Silverstonemarker. Recent expansion of these series has resulted in dedicated tracks being built in Qatarmarker in the Middle East, Sepangmarker in Malaysiamarker, and Shanghaimarker in Chinamarker.

Notable examples of temporary circuits include the Circuit de Monacomarker and the Guia Circuitmarker, located on the streets of Monacomarker and Macaumarker respectively, whereas the Mille Miglia, Targa Floriomarker and Isle of Man TT are held on public roads.

North American road courses

There was a long tradition of road racing on real streets in North America. However the term's definition has shifted over time, with the increasing dominance of Oval racing. The term road course is now often used as a catch-all phrase for any racetrack that is not an Oval, with even combined circuits (or Rovals as they are sometimes called) like the 24 Hour sports car version of Daytona being referred to as a road course. The most famous American "true" road courses are all actually purpose-built, but some where the original tradition evolved include: Riverside International Racewaymarker at Riverside, Californiamarker (now closed), Watkins Glen Internationalmarker at Watkins Glen, New Yorkmarker, Road Americamarker at Elkhart Lake, Wisconsinmarker, and Infineon Racewaymarker at Sonoma, Californiamarker.


After a few decades of such events three sons of Barron Collier—Barron, Miles, and Samuel—founded the Automobile Racing Club of America in 1933. That organization became the Sports Car Club of America in 1944. Throughout its history, American race car drivers such as Briggs Cunningham, Lake Underwood, Carroll Shelby, and Mark Donohue were among the contestants at these road racing events.

American purpose-built road courses include: Barber Motorsports Parkmarker, Miller Motorsports Parkmarker, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Lime Rock Parkmarker, Mazda Raceway Laguna Secamarker, Road Atlantamarker, Portland International Racewaymarker, and Virginia International Racewaymarker.

Additionally, racing over public streets is making something of a comeback; the most famous race of this sort currently held is the Long Beach Grand Prixmarker, hosted annually in Long Beach, Californiamarker. Other famous street circuits in North America include events held in St. Petersburg, Floridamarker, Montreal, Québecmarker, Vancouver, British Columbia (no longer held), and Toronto, Ontariomarker.

Airport runways figure into several part-time road courses in North America: Burke Lakefront Airportmarker in Cleveland, Ohiomarker hosted a Champ Car race through 2007, the St. Petersburgmarker course uses the runway of Albert Whitted Airportmarker as its main straight, and Sebring International Racewaymarker, home of the prestigious 12-hour race in March, was formerly a military airfield in Sebring, Floridamarker. More recently, the Edmonton Indymarker is held on the runways of Edmonton City Centre Airport in Edmonton, Albertamarker.

See also

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