Motor Racing on the World Stage

American race fans generally prefer domestic disciplines of motorsport over international ones. Thanks to media such as the Internet and satellite television, news can spread quickly. To find out more, please click/tap “Continue Reading” below.

Governing Body

The FIA, which stands for Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (English: International Automobile Federation), is the world’s governing body for the automotive industry. (As mentioned in previous posts, the FIA operates under its French-language name and acronym. The same goes for many Olympic sports’ respective world governing bodies.) Although motor racing is the FIA’s most visible aspect, the FIA also has global jurisdiction over motoring in general. Motorcycling, however, has its own international organization: Fédération Internationale de Motorcyclisme (FIM; English: Federation of International Motorcycling). (Again, it utilizes the French-language name and acronym.)

The leagues enumerated below are deemed “World Championships” by the FIA.


Stars and Stripes vs. The World

Did you know that NASCAR, NHRA (National Hot Rod Association), IMSA, and IndyCar each have membership with the Automobile Competition Committee for the United States (ACCUS)? As the National Sporting Authority (ASN) of the USA, it is responsible for handling the duties defined by the International Sporting Code (ISC; referred to as simply “the Code” in motorsport parlance). Nonetheless, the domestic organizations enumerated above are not subject to compliance with the Code because they have no sanctioning from the FIA. The document itself, along with all appendices, outline the FIA’s standards relevant to officials, driver conduct, and so on.

In the future, American drivers might be able to compete with their European counterparts in Formula One. If a driver from the land of Stars and Stripes ever wins a Grand Prix, he/she will be hearing the American national anthem on the podium afterward.

International Flag System 101

As you probably know, NASCAR and IndyCar utilize their own flag systems. In FIA-sanctioned motorsport, some flags’ meanings differ from what American race fans are used to. The international sanctioning body also has a few flag patterns that are not used in NASCAR. For instance, the international blue flag is a solid color; there is no diagonal yellow stripe. Please click or tap the link above for further information relevant to flags, each of which is fully explained in the International Sporting Code.


In the United States, the domestic motorsport championships are usually more popular than their international counterparts.



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