Street racing is a form of unsanctioned and illegal auto racing which takes place on public roads. Street racing can either be spontaneous or well-planned and coordinated. Spontaneous races usually occur at intersections where two cars stop at a red light before they begin racing. Well coordinated races, in comparison, are planned in advance and often have people communicating via 2-way radio/citizens' band radio and using police scanners and GPS units to mark locations of local police hot spots. Street racing is reported to have originated prior to the 1930s due to alcohol prohibition in some parts of the United States. At the time smugglers of unrefined and illegal alcohol would try to find ways to make more power and achieve better handling from their engine and suspension. Aside from being the basis of stock car racing, this became common after the war, and as a result, it is credited as being the origin of drag racing as well.Opponents to street racing cite a lack of safety relative to sanctioned racing events, as well as legal repercussions arising from incidents, among street racing's drawbacks. Most duels are drag races.
Illegal Street Racing Videos
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Types of racing encountered on the street
Drag Racing is a race which involves two or more competitors who drive in a straight line for a predetermined distance (usually a 1/4 mile). The driver that covers the most distance between the two cars and flashes their emergency lights (hazard lights) or reaches the end first is the winner. Speeds can reach upwards of 150 mph. Fundamental skills in drag racing are the ability to launch with minimal wheelspin and quick shifting skills. Reaching the engine's redline happens in almost every race to get the full power out of the car's engine, but depending on the types of cars racing, the shift points may vary, as certain engines do not achieve full power at that point. This imposes the risk of critical engine damage if a redline misshift occurs.
A more common form of racing, in which two or more cars compete until one party is the clear winner. This differs from the abovementioned drag race, in which a set distance on a straight road is traversed. Drivers typically line up while moving under the posted speed limit. Once all the cars are ready, one car will sound its horn three times; the third time is the final signal to start the run. A car simply outruns the other vehicles by a considerable margin in order to win. If the winner cannot be determined, it is usually decided upon a mutual agreement, or having another race. Another way to signal a race is by flashing the vehicle's high-beams. This is typically run by high horsepower cars. Drivers are forced to race in a competition of power-to-Weight ratios rather than an actual competition of skill. Also know as "Roll Racing".
The export of drifting and touge racing from (primarily) Japan has led to its acceptance in other parts of the world. Touge (pronounced "toe-gay") generally refers to racing, one car at a time, or in a chase format through mountain passes (the definition of which varies per locale and racing organization). Examples of such roads include Del Dios Highway in Escondido, California, and Mount Haruna, on the island of Honshū, in Japan. However, street racing competition can lead to more people racing on a given road than would ordinarily be permitted (hence leading to the reputation of danger inherent). Touge races are typically run in a best out of three format. Opponent A starts the first race with Opponent B directly behind. The winner is determined by the time difference between the cars at the finish line. For instance, if Opponent A has pulled away from Opponent B at the finish line, he is determined the winner. If Opponent B has managed to stay on Opponent A's tail, he is determined the winner. For the second race, Opponent B starts off in front and the winner is determined using the same method.
"Cannonball Runs" are illegal point-to-point road rallies that involve a handful of racers. They hearken back to the authorized European races at the end of the 19th century. The races died away when the chaotic 1903 Paris - Madrid race was canceled at Bordeaux for safety reasons after numerous fatalities involving drivers and pedestrians. Point-to-point runs reappeared in the United States in the mid 1910s when Erwin George Baker who drove cross-country on record breaking runs that stood for years, being legal at the time, and the term "Cannonball" was penned for him in honor of his runs. Nowadays drivers will race from one part of a town or country to the other side; whoever makes the fastest overall time is the winner. A perfect example of an illegal road race was the 1970s original Cannonball Baker Sea-To-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash, aka "The Cannonball Run", that long-time automotive journalist Brock Yates founded. The exploits spawned numerous films, the best known being The Cannonball Run. Several years after the notorious "Cannonball", Yates created the family-friendly and somewhat legal version One Lap of America where speeding occurs in race circuits and is still running to this day. While nowadays it is difficult or impossible to organize an illegal and extremely dangerous road race, there are still a few events which may be considered racing, such as the Gumball 3000, Gumball Rally, and Players Run races. These "races", better known as rallies for legality's sake, are mostly comprised of wealthy individuals racing sports cars across the country for fun. The AKA Rally however, is designed for individuals with a smaller budget (approximately $3000). Entrance fees to these events are usually all inclusive (hotels, food, and events). Participants 'rally' together from a start point to predetermined locations until they arrive at the finish line. The AKA Rally in particular has organized driver oriented events e.g., autocross or drag strip races, away from public roads to minimize the risk of drivers getting too enthusiastic on public roads. The latter racing community has even spawned numerous TV and video series including the Mischief film series and Bullrun reality TV Show.The Cannonball run type race also spawned numerous games of its type, most famously Sega's OutRun arcade game.
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