Not all motorsports are the same; some of them are dirtier than others. People seem to like this though, getting off the beaten track and exploring.
Whatever type of racing you take part in, it’s almost a certainty that you will have a dirty engine. Now that emissions need to be regulated from a car, it is harder to make changes to a vehicle to improve the speed. Something like trying to break a land speed record could prove almost impossible under these rules.
One exception is go-kart racing. This is probably the cleanest form of motorsport, especially the new e-kart races. The e-karts actually go faster than regular go-karts (fast is a relative term) but without the sound of the engine it doesn’t quite seem the same.
General speedway is not at all dirty, except for the occasional crash leading to the odd spilling of blood. Stock car racing is similar in that you keep to a track but with more alterations of the car, leading to greater tendency to get covered with dirt.
Which leads to dirt tracks. These tracks are typically a type of clay though any soil may be used. After the race is over the track is watered and combed in order to keep the track usable. In the US, dirt tracks are oval with a banked edge. Elsewhere on the world grass is often used, meaning you may get grass marks on your clothes in addition to mud. Those dry-cleaning bills are really stacking up! 😉
Perhaps the most dirt is in desert racing. Sand and dirt from other racers hang in the air and an open roll cage cockpit makes it certain that all the dirt lands on you. Also, you’re more likely to repair your own car than general racing and so add grease and oil to the mix, or worse. The heat will affect the tires, so touching them is not a good idea if you can help it. And not all the grime is comping from the outside. (You’re going to sweat).
Some rally racing takes place off road, so here you will have to deal with dirt itself rather than the sand of desert racing. With the presence of rain, this will turn into mud making it even filthier.
Glistening white snow surrounding ice tracks misleads the casual observer into thinking this must be a relatively clean sport. The tendency to be run over by your own motorbike, however, dispels that idea!
For many racers filthiness and dirt goes with the territory. When it comes to treating your leathers, it is not a good idea to use low grade cleaner as it will crack the hide, making your clothes look oily and greasy. Look for specialist cleaners to do the job.
In racing parlance, “A clean race” is one without cheating, or many crashes. While the term doesn’t refer to one where your uniform gets ruined, it’s an interesting thing to ponder. Perhaps, on second thought, most of us watch races secretly hoping things get dirty.