Auto racing (also known as automobile racing or car racing) is a motorsport involving the racing of cars for competition. It is one of the world's most watched televised sports.
Racing began soon after the construction of the first successful gasoline-fueled automobiles. The first race ever organized was on April 28, 1887 by the chief editor of Paris publication Le Vélocipède, Monsieur Fossier. It ran 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) from Neuilly Bridge to the Bois de Boulogne. It was won by Georges Bouton of the De Dion-Bouton Company, in a car he had constructed with Albert, the Comte de Dion, but as he was the only competitor to show up it is rather difficult to call it a race.
On July 22, 1894, the Parisian magazine Le Petit Journal organized what is considered to be the world's first motoring competition from Paris to Rouen. Sporting events were a tried and tested form of publicity stunt and circulation booster. Pierre Giffard, the paper's editor, promoted it as a Competition for Horseless Carriages (Concours des Voitures sans Chevaux) that were not dangerous, easy to drive, and cheap during the journey. Thus it blurred the distinctions between a reliability trial, a general event and a race. One hundred two competitors paid the 10 franc entrance fee.
Sixty-nine cars started the 50 km (31 mi) selection event that would show which entrants would be allowed to start the main event, the 127 km (79 mi) race from Paris to Rouen. The entrants ranged from serious manufacturers like Peugeot, Panhard or De Dion to amateur owners, and only 25 were selected for the main race.