Although we may never know when the first ever motor race was held over 100 years ago, it is believed that some form of motor test (race) between two or more machines started to exist shortly after automobile was invented. According to available record, the first successfully held motor race event was a reliability trial run from Paris to Rouen in 1894 over a distance of 126 km. A newspaper, Le Petite Journal, organized the race and the winning "horseless carriage" was a steam driven tractor striking an exhilarating average speed of 17km/h!
Thanks to the technical advancement brought about by the Industrial revolution, numerous automobile manufacturers sprung up in Europe and all of them were trying to find every opportunity to prove the worth of their products. Thus, races held by the large number of auto clubs in Europe were never short of competition. But at the same time the difference in rules and regulations between clubs and countries had led to many disagreements and disputes while safety in motor racing had also become a concern as a result of a number of fatal accidents both drivers and spectators.
Knowing that an International governing body of motor sports had to be established to unify the rule and regulations and to help the development of the sport, several powerful auto clubs in Europe decided to come together in 1904 and formed The Federation Internationale de l'Autombile (The FIA). From then on, the FIA has flourished and spreaded its influence among its member countries not only in international motorsport, but on international motorists interests including road safety and car construction standards, environmental protection, consumer protection and information.
Today, the FIA has a total membership of 157 clubs and national sporting authorities in over 118 countries all over the world. In the past 100 years, the FIA might have done a great deal for the world's motorists but still it's name is best known by the world for its relation to motorsport. Its tremendous success in sanctioning and maintaining the Formula One World Championship, has rendered it one of the most popular sporting event in the world.
Since its inception in 1918, HKAA has strived to represent and look after motorists' interests in Hong Kong. Becoming a member of the FIA in 1974 further strengthened this commitment. HKAA also became the ASN (National Sporting Authority) of Hong Kong, the only sanctioning body in Hong Kong governing all kind of motorsport activities and responsible for issuing various kind of competition licenses for Hong Kong residents. Over the years HKAA has been providing assistance in International motorsport events held in the neighboring territories with both technical and advisory support. The Macau GP and the Hong Kong -Beijing rally are the prime examples.
If you are interested in motorsport, or if you have any questions regarding the sport you may write to us or stay tuned in this column.
FIA Approved Test Houses