The Longest Car Races Ever Held

Updated September 29, 2015

Long car races are of five different types: length, duration, type of car, lawlessness and length of race track are: Here are the best in each category.

Distance traveled over conventional roads without official approval

The Sea to Shining Sea Memorial Trophy Dash – 2,863 miles. The Dash was made from the Red Ball Garage in New York City to the Portofino Inn in Redondo Beach, California in the mid-’70’s. Car and Driver magazine sponsored the race in that they wrote about it. It was completely unsanctioned. Each driver was responsible for any traffic tickets acquired during the run. There were no rules. One driver mentioned that the best tactic seemed to be to stay between 80 and 90 mph depending on the traffic and stop only for gas and rest stops. Most of the competitors did the race in around 50 hours. The record was 32 hours and 51 minutes, the prize being a mention in the magazine. The only accident happened to an all-female team when a driver fell asleep. One of the competitors suffered a broken arm.

Total distance covered not on a race track

The 1908 New York to Paris Race – 22,000 miles Six teams started in Times Square and finished 169 days later under the Eifel tower. The route went across the United States from east to west then up to Seattle, across the Pacific by steamer to Japan then to Vladivostok, Siberia. An American team driving a Thomas Flyer won. The teams had to deal with thawing tundra, a lack of roads and cars that weren’t designed for that kind of stress.

The longest race track

The Nurburgring racetrack in Nurburg, Germany measures 17.5 miles and has 187 turns. Famous race driver, Jackie Stewart, called the circuit “The Green Hell”. It’s considered to be the most difficult and demanding racing circuit in the world. Nurburgring is open to the public. Anyone can drive the circuit if he has 26 Euros and a road-worthy car.


The 25 hours of Thunderhill, held on a course close to Willows, California, is the longest race in terms of time elapsed. The race is run by the National Auto Sports Association. Thunderhill Raceway is owned by the Sports Car Club of America. The race features six different classes of cars. The race has been held for ten years and covers a track three miles long with 15 turns.

Distance covered on a closed race course

The Grand Prix of Endurance and Efficiency, held in Le Mans, France, matches very fast cars with a very fast race course. Drivers are able to cover as much as 3,362 miles during the 24 hours of the race. It’s the oldest endurance race in the world, having been run since 1923. The course is 8 miles around with a legendary straightaway. The three mile long Mulsanne straight offered an opportunity for the cars to run at top speed until chicanes were added to reduce speed. Cars often hit 240 mph on this stretch of road.

If you love the drive and feel of racing but are never going to get in a racing car, why not see what Jaguar xf offer or any other fast car and find a race track to test it out on.

Author Bio: Jack has been a mechanic for 10 years and is a complete rev head. He has 5 cars to his name, and his past time hobbies include redoing old cars, travelling, going to car shows and writing blogs about cars.



Chris Riley
About Chris Riley

I have been wrecking cars for as long as I've been driving them but I keep coming back for more. Two wheels or four, I'm all in. gives me a chance to give something back to the automobile community.

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