A street circuit is a motorsport racing circuit composed of temporarily closed-off public roads of a city, town or village, used in motor races. Facilities such as the paddock, pit boxes, fences and grandstands are usually placed temporarily and removed soon after the race is over but in modern times the pits, race control and main grandstands are sometimes permanently constructed in the area.
Since the track surface is originally planned for normal speeds, race drivers often find street circuits bumpy and lacking grip. Run-off areas may be non-existent, which makes driving mistakes more expensive than in purpose-built circuits with wider run-off areas.
This kind of race is extremely interesting. Such events are provided in very few locations around the world. Some of the most emblematic street circuit races are the F1 in Monaco, Singapore and Baku. There are events on public roads in Australia – V8 Supercars Championship.
In Bulgaria there are street course races in Burgas, Stara Zagora, Haskovo, Ruse, and some time ago there were such events in Sofia, Varna, Veliko Tarnovo and Albena.
The total length of this type of races is between 28 and 30 kilometers in all categories. The participants are divided into three series – “Sport”, “Touring” and “Maxi”, which are divided into separate categories. The starter grid is up to 25 racing cars.
Each race takes place on two consecutive days – on Saturday is the qualification, and the race is held on Sunday.
Racing on a street circuit is also called “legal street racing”.
Local governments sometimes support races held in street circuits to promote tourism, and such events are very popular in Bulgaria.
Hill climbing (also known as hill climbing, speed hillclimbing or speed hill climbing) is a branch of motorsport in which drivers compete against the clock to complete an uphill course.
A Hill Climb is a Competition in which each automobile takes the start individually to cover the same course ending with a Finish Line usually situated at a higher altitude than the Start Line. The time taken to cover the distance between the Start and Finish Lines is the determining factor for establishing the classifications.
It is one of the oldest forms of motorsport, since the first known hill climb at La Turbie near Nice, France took place as long ago as 31 January 1897. The hill climb held at Shelsley Walsh, in Worcestershire, England is the world’s oldest continuously staged motorsport event still staged on its original course, having been first run in 1905.
The motorsport has a long tradition in the U.S. and has been popular in France and Austria since the 1980s. The Austrian event in Rachau focused on crowd entertainment, and inspired many similar events.
First events in Bulgaria start in the beginning of the 70’s. The tracks were up to Shipka /Kazanlak/ and up the slopes of Vitosha mountain, over the capital city – Sofia.
In Bulgaria there are almost 10 different places where such events are provided: Shipka-Damascena /Kazanlak/, Bulgarka /Sliven/, Valeri Velikov /Shumen/, Osogovo /Kjustendil/, Gotse Delchev / Gotse Delchev/, Rahovets-Lyaskovets /Lyaskovets/, Varna /Varna/, Blagoevgrad /Blagoevgrad/. The championship begins in early April and ends September.
The track goes through a living environment which changes in each stage. The speed of the cars has to be carefully monitored according to the obstacles of the stage concerned. In addition, there are spectators throughout the stage and it is crucial that they remain in safe areas at all times.
Bulgarian national hill climbing races have the following categories:
- HC 5 – non-homologated race cars up to 1400 cc;
- RC 5 – homologated race cars up to 1400 cc;
- HC 4 – non-homologated race cars from 1400 cc up to 1600 cc;
- RC 4 – homologated race cars from 1600 cc up to 2000 cc;
- НС 3 – non-homologated race cars from 1600 cc to 2000 cc;
- RC 3– homologated race cars from 1600 cc to 2000 cc; Super 1600 category;
- НС 2 – non-homologated race cars 2000 cc – 3500 cc;
- RС 2 – category R5, Super 2000, gr. N over 2000 cc;
- HC 1 – non-homologated race cars over 3500 cc;
- RC 1 – WRC.
The minimum length of a competition of this type is 10 km and the minimum displacement must be 5%. Most routes in Bulgaria are just over 3.5km long, so one race consists of 3 climbs. Qualifications are held day before the race. The training sessions are in 3 rounds.
That is the championship which attracts the largest number of pilots and best known among fans.
Rally is a form of motorsport that takes place on public or private roads with modified production or specially built road-legal cars. It is distinguished by running not on a circuit, but instead in a point-to-point format in which participants and their co-drivers drive between set control points (special stages), leaving at regular intervals from one or more start points. Rallies may be won by pure speed within the stages or alternatively by driving to a predetermined ideal journey time within the stages.
There are two main forms: stage rallies and road rallies. Since the 1960s, stage rallies have been the professional branch of the sport. They are based on straightforward speed over stretches of road closed to other traffic. These may vary from asphalt mountain passes to rough forest tracks, from ice and snow to desert sand, each chosen to provide an enjoyable challenge for the crew and a test of the car’s performance and reliability.
The entertaining and unpredictable nature of the stages, and the fact that the vehicles are in some cases closely related to road cars, means that the bigger events draw massive spectator interest, especially in Europe.
Rallying is also unique in its choice of where and when to race. Rallies take place on all surfaces and in all conditions: asphalt (tarmac), gravel, or snow and ice, sometimes more than one in a single rally, depending on the course and event. Rallies are also run every month of the year, in every climate from bitter cold to monsoonal rain. As a result of the drivers not knowing exactly what lies ahead, the lower traction available on dirt roads, and the driving characteristics of small cars, the drivers are much less visibly smooth than circuit racers, regularly sending the car literally flying over bumps, and sliding the cars out of corners.
A typical rally course consists of a sequence of relatively short (up to about 50 km (31 mi)), timed “special stages” where the actual competition takes place, and untimed “transport stages” where the rally cars must be driven under their own power to the next competitive stage within a generous time limit. Rally cars are thus unlike virtually any other top-line racing cars in that they retain the ability to run at normal driving speeds, and indeed are registered for street travel. Some events contain “super special stages” where two competing cars set off on two parallel tracks (often small enough to fit in a football stadium), giving the illusion they are circuit racing head to head. Run over a day, a weekend, or more, the winner of the event has the lowest combined special and super special stage times. Given the short distances of super special stages compared to the regular special stages and consequent near-identical times for the frontrunning cars, it is very rare for these spectator-oriented stages to decide rally results, though it is a well-known axiom that a team cannot win the rally at the super special, but they can certainly lose it.
The term “rally”, as a branch of motorsport, probably dates from the first Monte Carlo Rally of January 1911. Until the late 1920s, few if any other events used the term. Rallying itself can be traced back to the 1894 Paris–Rouen Horseless Carriage Competition (Concours des Voitures sans Chevaux), sponsored by a Paris newspaper, Le Petit Journal, which attracted considerable public interest and entries from leading manufacturers. Prizes were awarded to the vehicles by a jury based on the reports of the observers who rode in each car; the official winner was Albert Lemaître driving a 3 hp Peugeot, although the Comte de Dion had finished first but his steam powered vehicle was ineligible for the official competition. This event led directly to a period of city-to-city road races in France and other European countries, which introduced many of the features found in later rallies: individual start times with cars running against the clock rather than head to head; time controls at the entry and exit points of towns along the way; road books and route notes; and driving over long distances on ordinary, mainly gravel, roads, facing hazards such as dust, traffic, pedestrians and farm animals.
The first of these great races was the Paris–Bordeaux–Paris race of June 1895, won by Paul Koechlin in a Peugeot, despite arriving 11 hours after Émile Levassor in a Panhard et Levassor. Levassor’s time for the 1,178 km (732 mi) course, running virtually without a break, was 48 hours and 48 minutes, an average speed of 24 km/h (15 mph).
From 24 September-3 October 1895, the Automobile Club de France sponsored the longest race to date, a 1,710 km (1,060 mi) event, from Bordeaux to Agen and back. Because it was held in ten stages, it can be considered the first rally.
One of the first official rally events in Bulgaria is “Zlatni Piasatsi” /1970/ (rally “Albena), which is now called “Bulgaria, and is about to make jubilee with its 50th edition. Other historical rally, which is held today is “Stari Stolici” /1969/ – also with 50th edition jubilee in 2019.
In general, all the races from Rally Sprint championship are no different from rallying.
The particular case is that these competitions are more compact than a regular rally, and this contributes to their easier organization and the smaller budget that is needed by the organizers and participants.
A typical Rally sprint course consists of a sequence of relatively short (up to about 10 kilometers), timed “special stages” where the actual competition takes place, and untimed “transport stages” where the rally cars must be driven under their own power to the next competitive stage within a generous time limit.
The total length of the special stages in this type of racing are between 30 and 50 km, which is much shorter than the Rally requirements, namely: from 80 up to 230 kilometers.
Endurance racing is a form of motorsport racing which is meant to test the durability of equipment and endurance of participants. Teams of multiple drivers attempt to cover a large distance in a single event, with participants given a break with the ability to change during the race. Endurance races can be run either to cover a set distance in laps as quickly as possible, or to cover as much distance as possible over a preset amount of time.
One of the more common lengths of endurance races has been running for 1,000 kilometers (620 mi), or roughly six hours. Longer races can run for 1,000 miles (1,600 km), 12 hours, or even 24 hours. Teams can consist of anywhere from two to four drivers per event, which is dependent on the driver’s endurance abilities, length of the race, or even the rules for each event.
Some of the most famous endurance events are 24 hours of Le Mans, 24 Hours of Daytona, 12 Hours of Sebring and 24 Hours Nürburgring.
The Bulgarian Endurance championship is a racing championship for durability of legal street and specially modified racing tourist cars – team participation of several athletes with a single car in a race with 1 or 2 hours duration.
Such competitions take place in Bulgarian motorsport life for the first time in 2011, on “Dragon” track, Kaloyanovo, Plovdiv, and on “Serres racing circuit” in northern Greece. From the very beginning the interest is quite serious for this type of races, and along with many amateur enthusiasts, a large part of the professional athletes are also taking part in the events.
The championship is greatly appreciated by all participants, as it allows you to ride a long run at a racing pace – a unique feature that is not seen in any other automotive discipline in Bulgaria. Besides, pursuing the best possible lap time is not the most important for good performance, nor does it mean that cars are brought to the limits of their capabilities. In order to achieve good results in such competitions, a good selection of pilots that can keep at the same pace is needed.
Creating the right strategy and minimizing the time for each pit stop – refueling, changing tires and switching the pilot, is essential.
Moderate riding during the race is also one of the decisive factors for success – this gives a chance to many participants, even those who are far from the skills of the professionals and the significantly more serious capabilities of their cars.
Drag racing is a type of motor racing in which automobiles or motorcycles (usually specially prepared for the purpose) compete, usually two at a time, to be first to cross a set finish line. The race follows a short, straight course from a standing start over a measured distance, most commonly 1⁄4 mi (1,320 ft; 402 m), with a shorter (1,000 ft (305 m)) becoming increasingly popular, as it has become the standard for Top Fuel dragsters and funny cars, where some major bracket races and other sanctioning bodies have adopted it as the standard, while the 1⁄8 mi (660 ft; 201 m) is also popular in some circles. Electronic timing and speed sensing systems have been used to record race results since the 1960s.
The history of automobiles and motorcycles being used for drag racing is nearly as long as the history of motorized vehicles themselves, and has taken the form of both illegal street racing, and as an organized and regulated motorsport.
Before each race (commonly known as a pass), each driver is allowed to perform a burnout, which heats the driving tires and lays rubber down at the beginning of the track, improving traction. The cars run through a “water box” (formerly a “bleach box”, before bleach was replaced by flammable traction compound, which produced spectacular, and dangerous, flame burnouts; the hazard led NHRA to mandate use of water in the 1970s).
Modern races are started electronically by a system known as a Christmas tree, which consists of a column of lights for each driver/lane, and two light beam sensors per lane on the track at the starting line. Current NHRA trees, for example, feature one blue light (split into halves), then three amber, one green, and one red. When the first light beam is broken by a vehicle’s front tire(s), the vehicle is “pre-staged” (approximately 7 inches (180 mm) from the starting line), and the pre-stage indicator on the tree is lit. When the second light beam is broken, the vehicle is “staged”, and the stage indicator on the tree is lit. Vehicles may then leave the pre-stage beam, but must remain in the stage beam until the race starts.
Once the competitor is staged, their opponent has a set amount of time to stage or they will be instantly disqualified, indicated by a red light on the tree. Otherwise, once both drivers are staged, the system chooses a short delay at random (to prevent a driver being able to anticipate the start), then starts the race.
Several measurements are taken for each race: reaction time, elapsed time, and speed. Reaction time is the period from the green light illuminating to the vehicle leaving the starting line. Elapsed time is the period from the vehicle leaving the starting line to crossing the finish line. Speed is measured through a speed trap covering the final 66 feet (20 m) to the finish line, indicating average speed of the vehicle in that distance.
Except where a breakout rule is in place, the winner is the first vehicle to cross the finish line, and therefore the driver with the lowest combined reaction time and elapsed time. Because these times are measured separately, a driver with a slower elapsed time can actually win if that driver’s advantage in reaction time exceeds the elapsed time difference. In heads-up racing, this is known as a holeshot win.
Most race events use a traditional bracket system, where the losing car and driver are eliminated from the event while the winner advances to the next round, until a champion is crowned.
The Bulgarian national record is held by Heed Auto team, participants with Volkswagen Sirocco, with ¼ mile time 7.654 sec. and 289.15 km/h top speed. This is the fastest car on Balkan Peninsula and with this results it takes 4th place in Europe.
Drifting is a driving technique where the driver intentionally oversteers, with loss of traction in the rear wheels or all tires, while maintaining control and driving the car through the entirety of a corner. Car drifting is caused when the rear slip angle is greater than the front slip angle, to such an extent that often the front wheels are pointing in the opposite direction to the turn (e.g. car is turning left, wheels are pointed right or vice versa, also known as opposite lock or counter-steering).
As a motoring discipline, drifting competitions were first popularized in 1970s Japan. In 1998, for the first time, a drift race was organized outside of his homeland – in California. Since then it has become officially a motorsport championship and has started a number of races in North America, Australia, Asia and Europe.
In 2008, with the establishment of the Bulgarian Drifting Association, “drifting” was introduced to Bulgarian stage. The results are not late – the Bulgarian Todor Dunev (from team “Dunev Motorsport”) won the title “Drift King” for Europe in 2010.
Today such races are held worldwide and are judged according to the speed, angle, showmanship and line taken through a corner or set of corners. The desired line is usually dictated by the judge or judges, who describe their desired line as well as highlight areas of importance, such as clipping zones, clipping points and touch and go areas.
The show factor is based on many things, such as the amount of smoke, how close the car is to the wall or designated clipping point, giving the crowd’s reaction. Angle is the angle of a car and more importantly the turned wheels in a drift, speed is the speed entering a turn, the speed through a turn, and the speed exiting the turn; faster is better. Style is scored on a combination of a rate-to-angle during the initiation, how fluid the car looks through the course, and how committed the driver is through the course.