International Racing Federation
|International Racing Federation|
|Type||Sports federation for auto racing|
|Legal status||Voluntary association|
|Membership||39 national organizations|
The International Racing Federation (IRF) is a voluntary association that governs both the operation of numerous racing series globally as well as representing the interests of motorists, vehicle manufacturers, and road safety around the globe; though it is much better known publicly for its activities as the former. As an international organization, the IRF maintains offices in 39 countries around the world with a rotating headquarters.
The IRF is best known for the Grand Prix Racing series and Stock Racing series which it administrates, licenses, and arbitrates. In addition to its oversight of racing and advocacy for numerous issues, the IRF also has international administration over the certification of land speed record attempts. The IRF has recognition as a sporting association from a majority of other international sporting associations.
The International Racing Federation (IRF) was founded at the beginning of the 20th century explicitly to govern international automobile races. The beginning of automobile racing ultimately began with the invention of the automobile as even the earliest models of motor vehicles competed for top speeds. Professional motorsports briefly preceded the advent of commercial vehicles and competitions quickly expanded beyond national borders necessitating standardization or at the very least oversight. The IRF would fulfil this role, though it remains and has always been a voluntary federation and no national or international laws mandate the oversight or rulings of the IRF in any particular competition.
The IRF's first role in motorsports was simply to assure the safety of both tracks and vehicles involved in races. It wasn't until the 1920s when the IRF also began to regulate prizes and wins through the control of prize money and the standardization of point attribution for every race. In the early days of motorsports when there were few if any distinctions between stock cars and open-wheeled racecars the IRF counted points from all categories toward a single World Drivers Championship even if the races were in different categories including rally racing, hillclimbing, endurance racing, oval racing, and grand prix circuit racing . In this era, a driver who would compete in every single IRF-governed event would be the exception and events could even coincide. It wouldn't be until 1950 that the IRF would separate categories between stock racing, grand prix racing, and endurance racing each with separate championships, standardized regulations for the series rather than per-race, and set calendars.
In 1999, the IRF acquired and merged the International Motorcycle Racing Federation (IMRF) into its existing organization and began administering the Moto Racing series as the IMRF had since 1949. All existing records and standards in the 50 years before the IRF's acquisition have been maintained by the newer administration.
Grand Prix Racing
|Drivers' champion||Alequé Silva|
|Constructors' champion||Corse Hermès S.A.|
Grand Prix Racing is the name given to the open-wheeled category of races governed by the IRF. First held in 1950, the Grand Prix Series is the oldest continuous racing series. Held annually from March to November, the calendar tours the globe over sixteen events. Races are held on a variety of circuits with varying conditions. This creates diverse experiences and challenges for drivers and fans each race weekend for the duration of each series. One of the fastest series in the world, the open-wheeled cars may be outdone in a straight line by other vehicles, but carry immense speed into corners and can lap a circuit faster than any other. Cars in Grand Prix Racing may reach speeds as fast as 380 km/h (236 mi/h). The series is the highest level of open-wheeled racing and is considered one of the most prestigious sports around the world. With a global audience, thousands of fans attend events in person while others watch television feeds translated into approximately a dozen languages. The cumulative live viewership of the 2030 season surpassed 60 billion.
2031 Technical Specifications
Engine (majors) 2-litre V6 turbocharged engine and two Energy Recovery Systems (ERS) with ~800 hp.
The Stock Series governed by the IRF is a stock car racing series. Stock Series races are held on oval counter-clockwise tracks. These races can prove highly technical and physically demanding on the drivers due to consistent high speeds and the length of the races which demand endurance on the part of the driver and his or her team.
Regulations and standards
Championships for each IRF series are granted both to drivers and constructors. Winning a championship follows a standardized system across all series governed by the IRF. Point are accumulated according to the finishing place of a driver in each race. Constructors accumulate points for both of their drivers while all drivers compete with each other regardless of team relationships. In the event that a race is ended before 75% of the race distance is covered, half points will be awarded according to the places at the time the race was ended. If the race fails to run 50% of the full length, no points will be awarded for that race. Attribution of points has changed several times over the the decades of the IRF's history, but currently follows the pattern below to the right:
Competing in any of the top level racing series governed by the IRF requires the granting of a super licence. Super licences are granted after the accumulation of points through various national and international series recognized by the IRF as feeder series. Currently, the standard to secure a super licence is the accumulation of 50 points within a period of three years. Typically, achieving first, second, or third place within a junior international series will grant a full 50 points and similar results in a junior national series will grant 25 points. Lower place finishes will grant fewer points, but nevertheless count towards a super licence. Regardless of the level or series in which the points were accumulated, a super licence grants a driver the freedom to drive in any event in any IRF racing series so long as they have the support of a team. While exceedingly rare, driver-owned and operated teams are permitted, though potentially extremely cost prohibitive.
A super licence requires a nominal renewal fee of $5,000 annually. In addition, penalty points accumulated on a super licence increase the renewal fee by $2,500 per point. Penalty points may be assigned by IRF race stewards in response to especially egregious on-track violations in addition to other sanctions. Drivers who accumulate 12 penalty points within a year are subject to extreme sanctions, including possibly revocation of the license. Penalty points expire exactly one year from the date they were assigned.
Cars and technology
Specifications for vehicles within each series change frequently. The redrafting of specifications such as weight and size limits generally occur every five years in the Grand Prix Racing series and every seven years in Stock Racing. The IRF Moto Series has never gone through a complete redrafting in its history. Even so, each series will typically see two or three rule modifications every year in order to encourage innovation or to ban certain technologies which take away the reliance on the driver's ability or are unsafe.
Many technologies now common in consumer road cars have been developed in the top-level IRF series. These technologies include modern crumple zones, anti-lock braking system, kinetic energy recovery systems, and traction control, among others.