Open-wheel racing is one of the popular types of motorsport racing. In fact, some of the most popular racing events right now use open-wheel vehicles.
But what exactly does it mean?
What is an open-wheel car?
This type of racing event is characterised by the vehicle that is used to race. An open-wheel car is known by many names – formula car or the single-seater car (for the British). This is a type of vehicle that literally has open wheels. That means the wheels are exposed and outside the main body of the car. Not only that, this type of car only has one seat – which is quite obvious given its British name. This car is different from the other racing vehicles like sports cars, touring cars, street cars, and even stock cars. All of these other cars have their wheels below the main body of the vehicle – usually within the fenders.
Among the other types of racing vehicles, an open-wheel car is specifically created for racing only. It cannot be used outside of it because the single-seat is quite impractical and the quality of the tires and other parts may not be suitable for public roads. Not only that, this type of car uses sophisticated technology to make it run faster and efficiently during races.
Different types of open-wheel racing events
There are three different types of open-wheel racing events today.
This is the most popular type of racing. The race uses a single-seat and open-wheel vehicle that goes around a closed course circuit. The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) governs this race and it is organised by the Formula One Group – which is a privately owned company. The race regulations dictate the rules and include the weight, size, and the power of every vehicle.
This is popular in the United States. It also features the single-seat vehicles that race around a paved track. This event is organised by the IndyCar. The premier race of this event is called the Indianapolis 500.
This is another open-wheel racing event is the Formula E. It is similar to the other two – but it uses electric-powered vehicles. The vehicles use a chassis/battery combination. The manufacturers of the vehicles are allowed to develop the electric-powered engines and electric power-trains. This type of race was conceptualised back in 2012. The first championship took place in Beijing back on September 13, 2014. Although considered as a separate race, it is still sanctioned by the FIA. Despite being the latest event to have been conceived, it is steadily gaining popularity among motorsport followers.