The 1905 Racing Rules of the Racing Board, American Automobile Association

Here are the Racing Rules in effect during 1905 of the Racing Board of the American Automobile Association:

Racing Rules of the American Automobile Association[1]


  1. Sanctions. A person, association or club (hereinafter designated the Promoter) desiring to hold a race or series of races under the rules of the American Automobile Association, shall first obtain a sanction from the Chairman of the Racing Board. No announcement of such race or races shall be made until such sanction shall have been obtained.
  1. Applications. Application for such sanction shall be made to the Chairman of the Racing Board and shall be accompanied by a fee of fifty dollars for non-members of the American Automobile Association, or ten dollars for members, and shall set forth the name and address of the Promoter; a schedule of the events and distances; the number and value of the prizes; the amount of the entry fees and details of the course. If the event is to be run on a public highway the Board may require evidence of the permission of the proper legal authorities.
  1. Refusal. The Raving Board reserves the right to refuse a sanction without assigning a reason thereof.
  1. Evidence of Precaution. Promoters, before sanctions will be granted, must, if requested by the Racing Board, demonstrate to the Board that every reasonable precaution to save harmless (in so far as possible) the general public and contestants has been taken. This includes the laying dust, patrolling the course, closing highways, etc.
  1. No Changes. After a sanction has been granted no change may be made in any of the details required to be set forth in the application for same, except with the approval of the Racing Board. No change in the itinerary of a road race may be made without the approval of the Racing Board. In the event of such approved change, the promoter must give the widest possible publicity to the change and shall be charged with the duty of advised all those interested, of such change.
  1. Transgression. No sanction shall be granted to a promoter who shall have previously transgressed the racing rules of the American Automobile Association, or permitted their transgression at a meeting under his management, until he shall have been restored to good standing by formal action of the Racing Board.

Duties of Promoters

  1. Entry Blank. On receipt of a sanction the promoter shall prepare an entry blank, which shall show the details set forth in Rule 2; the date of the closing of entries; the address to which entries must be sent; and which shall require the entrant to supply the name of the operator; the machine he will drive; the name of the maker; the motive power; the weight; the number of cylinders; the rated horse-power; the date of the mailing the entry. It shall bear upon its face the words, “Under the rules, and with the sanction of the Racing Board of the American Automobile Association.”
  1. Send Copies. A copy of the entry blank shall, immediately upon its issue, be forwarded to the Chairman of the Racing Board. A copy of these rules shall be sent by the Promoter to every entrant.
  1. Send Rules. Each driver shall be provided with a copy of these rules before competing in an event which may be promoted thereunder.
  1. Send Records. The promoter shall forward to Secretary of the Racing Board within forty-eight hours after the meet, a complete record of the meet, showing the winners of each event and the times made, which record shall be signed by the referee and timers.
  1. Programme Contain. The programme shall bear upon its face the words: “Under the rules and with the sanction of the Racing Board of the American Automobile Association,” and shall set forth the distance of each race; description of prizes and their value; a copy of the rule relative to the classification of automobiles for racing; the manner of starting; a list of the names of the officials strictly in accordance with the rules relating to same; and a list of the entrants and their numbers.


  1. Entries. The acceptance of the entries shall be limited to persons who have not, since the first day of January 1903, taken part in any automobile race or hill climbing test not sanctioned by the Racing Board of the American Automobile Association; and who have never knowingly competed with a person not eligible under the rules and rulings of the Racing Board; who agree, by their signatures to the prescribed entry blank, to recognize the jurisdiction and decisions of the Racing Board of the American Automobile Association in racing matter; and who have not been debarred from competition in events over which the American Automobile Association or the governing bodies of other nations have jurisdiction.

The act of competing in an unsanctioned meeting, or in an unsanctioned event, shall disqualify without action of the Racing Board, and such disqualification shall remain in effect until removed by formal action of the Racing Board.

  1. Car and Operator. An entry shall consist of a combination of operator and car, the latter being described at the time of entry. No change of car shall be permitted after an entry has been filed, nor of operator without the consent of the Referee.
  1. Receipt and Acceptance of Entries. No entry shall be accepted after midnight of the day set for the closing of entries, no entry shall be accepted unless accompanied by the entry fee and all the details required to be set forth in the entry blank. Acceptance of an entry under other conditions shall be a sufficient reason for the refusal of a subsequent sanction to the offending Promoter.
  1. False Entry. Should a false declaration be made intentionally by an entrant, the Racing Board may, in its discretion, disqualify the entry and penalize the entrant.
  1. More than One Car. Entrants declaring more than one car for an event, shall specify in detail each car declared at the time of entry.
  1. Assumed Name. Any person who desires to race under an assumed name must first register such name with the Racing Board, and shall continue to race under the name so registered until withdrawn by permission of the Racing Board.
  1. Amateur, An amateur driver is one who does not race for hire, or who is not actively engaged in the automobile trade, or who does not make his livelihood or any part of it as a result of his racing, or who has never been declared a professional by any sport governing body.


  1. Automobile, Motor Car, Car. An automobile, motor car or car within the meaning of these rules, is a four-wheeled track or road vehicle propelled by self-contained mechanical means, and provided with suitable brakes, a differential gear or its equivalent, and a reverse gear.
  1. Standard Classification. The standard classification of motor cars shall be by weight as follows: (A) Cars from 1432 to 2204 pounds. (B) Cars from 851 to 1432 pounds. (C) Cars from 551 to 851 pounds. (D) Cars from 110 to 551 pounds.
  1. Other Classifications. In races where classifications other than those provided in Rule No. 20, are scheduled, such details and the details of the classification must be submitted to the Racing Board for approval before the announcement of the event.
  1. Two Person to be Carried. In Class “A” and “B” cars must carry at least two persons seated side by side, whose per capita weight shall be not less than 132 pounds. (60 kilos.) By way of exception, in races on tracks and for record making, vehicles seated for two persons will be allowed to be occupied by one person only, bit the necessity for two persons is indispensable in races on roads.
  1. Weigh in Empty. The weight of the cars in the several classes shall be computed in an empty state, i.e., without operators, supplies, (fuels, lubricants, water or batteries), tools, spare parts, luggage, clothing, provisions, lamps, lamp brackets and horns.
  1. Magnetos. Cars supplied with magnetic generator, actuated by the motor, shall be allowed a maximum of 15 pounds (7 kilos).
  1. Motor Exhausts. Motor exhausts shall not be directed toward the ground by reason of the dust created and the consequent danger to following competitors, The direction of the exhaust will be checked and regulated before starting.
  1. Distinguishing Marks. Cars shall not be allowed to carry any distinguishing mark other than the official designations provided by the promoters, which shall consist of a numeral placed on each the right and left side of each car, and where possible, on the front of the bonnet or hood.


  1. Referee. The principal officer of a race meet shall be a Referee, whose duty it shall be to exercise general supervision over the affairs of the meeting and to act as the representative of the Racing Board. He shall, if necessary, assign the judges, timers, umpires, clerk of the course, and starter to their respective positions and instruct them as to the rules. He shall receive all protests and render decisions thereon, subject to appeal to the Racing Board as provided for hereafter in these rules. It shall be his duty to enforce and make a full report to the Chairman of the Racing Board transgressions thereof either by promoters, contestants or officials.
  1. Judges. There shall be three Judges whose position shall be on, or at the edge of the course, two at one end and one at the opposite end of the tape. The numbers of the placed cars shall be taken, one each by the three Judges respectively. The decision of the Judges as to the order of finishing shall be final. The judging of the cars shall be determined by the instant of contact of the tires of the front wheels with the tape.
  1. Timers. There shall be three Timekeepers whose sole duty it shall be to accurately calculate, report and record the elapsed time of placed contestants. The Board may require evidence of the competency of timers.
  1. Starter. It shall be the duty of the Starter, after he has been advised by the Clerk of the Course that the contestants are ready, to ascertain that the Timers are ready and then give the signal by firing a pistol. He shall have absolute control of the competitors from the time they are reported by the Clerk of the Course until the start has taken place. In the event of a moving start, the Starter alone shall have power to decide what is a fair start and may use a flag instead of a pistol as a signal.
  1. Clerk of the Course. There shall be a Clerk of the Course, with as many assistants as may be necessary. It shall be his duty to notify competitors, in due time, of the events in which they are entered; see to the arrival of the competitors at the starting point on time and place them in their respective positions.

32. Umpires. There shall be two or more Umpires, whose duty it shall be to take positions assigned them by the Referee, to note carefully the progress of the race and be prepared to report upon claims of unfair driving by contestants.

  1. Scorer. There shall be an official scorer, whose duty it shall be to keep a proper record of the time of each event, which shall be signed by each of the timekeepers.


  1. Failure to Start. Any entrant to a race who fails to appear or who fails to start in the race, unless excused therefrom by the Referee for a good and sufficient reason, shall be reported to the Racing Board by the Referee, and by the Board subjected to discipline by suspension, disqualification or other penalty in such degree as in its judgment seems best to the Board.
  1. Method of Starting. Starts may be standing, moving or flying, Due notice of the method must be given on the programme, but in the event of failure to state the method a standing start shall prevail.
  1. Standing Start. In a standing start the car must be stationary with its front wheels on the tape until given the word or signal to go. Time will be taken from the word or drop of the flag or the firing of a pistol.
  1. Moving Start. In a moving start cars must start at a point between two hundred and three hundred yards back of the tape. The pace from this point to the tape must be taken from the pole or inside car.
  1. Flying Start. In a flying start a car may start at any distance back of the tape and cross the tape at the highest possible speed. The method of starting may be employed only where a single car is running for a record or in a time trial.
  1. Position. In all races the position of the contestants at the start shall be decided by lot.
  1. Delay. A contestant who fails to respond promptly to the call of the Clerk of the Course shall forfeit his right to his position and shall take the outside. There shall be no delay at the start on account of absentees and no contestant shall be permitted to take a place in the line after the contestants have been reported to the Starter by the Clerk of the Course.
  1. Starting Cars. Starting of cars must be effected only by means of the motor, and without other means, as pushing by hand, lever, etc. This rule applies not only to the start at the beginning of an event, but to resting after any stoppage for any cause whatever, except as provided in Rule 54.
  1. Referee’s Decision. In the event of a protest relative to classification of a car or other matter which shall affect the right of a car to start, the Referee may, unless able to render an immediate decision, allow the car to start and render his decision as soon after the event as may be possible.
  1. Demonstrate Ability. The Referee and the judges may, in their discretion, require the operator of any car to demonstrate his ability to properly handle the car in which he proposes to compete.
  1. Prohibit. The referee shall have absolute power to prohibit any car which he considers unsafe, unsuitable, or of improper construction to start any event.


  1. Heats. The Referee shall, in case there are a larger number of entrants than can safely be started in one race, divide the contestants by lot into two or more heats, each as nearly equal in number as possible, and a final. In case a competitor is not able to start in the heat for which he was drawn, the Referee may transfer him to another heat at his discretion. The positions of the contestants in heats shall be according to the number drawn, the lowest number taking the inside with at least four feet intervening between the hubs.
  1. Final Heat. The winners of each heat and any second car that makes faster time than any heat winner, shall compete in the final trial.
  1. Dead Heat. In the case of a dead heat the event shall be run again, unless the contestants agree, between themselves, as to the disposition of the prizes. In the event of a dead heat being run off, the same car and the same operator shall be obliged to compete in the final heat.
  1. Walkover. In the event of a “walkover” it shall be optional with the Referee whether the contestant be required to go the whole or a part of the distance. The Referee may impose a reasonable time limit.


  1. Timing Start and Finish. The time of the start and finish shall be determined by the instant of contact of the tires of the front wheels with a tape, laid across the course.
  1. Handicap. In a time handicap the time shall be taken from the start of the scratch contestant.
  1. Disagreement of Watches. In the event of disagreement of the watches, two agreeing, their time shall be official. Should all the watches disagree, the middle time shall be official.

Rules of the Course

  1. Course and Stand. No person other than the officials, contestants and one assistant for each contestant shall be allowed upon the course. Contestants and attendants must leave the course as soon as the event in which they are engaged has ended.
  1. Leaving Course. A competitor who leaves the course for any cause, must, if he desires to continue the race, start from the point at which he withdrew. A competitor who leaves the track of road, or unable to continue, in a race run in heats, shall not be allowed to compete in a subsequent heat of the same race.
  1. Cars not to be Pushed. Cars must not be pushed, except by own crews. This rule may be departed from under only the two following conditions: (a) On leaving the enclosure, when approaching the starting line, and (b) When necessary to get out of a bad place, not properly a part of the course, such as fording a stream, ditches, etc.
  1. Foul Driving. Intentional foul driving shall be punished by disqualification for all subsequent events at the meeting, as well as the event in which the foul practice occurs, and may be further penalized by the Racing Board by suspension not exceeding six months for the first offense and permanent suspension for a second offense.
  1. Special Track Rules. (a) Passing. It shall be the duty of the operator of the leading car to hold the inside as nearly as may be practicable. One contestant overtaking and passing, must pass on the outside unless the car in front shall be so far from the inside as to render it safe to pass on the inside. After having passed to the front a competitor shall not take the inside, or cross in front of the competitor passed, unless a lead of a full length of his car has been established, under penalty of disqualification. (b) Rail. All track races shall be run with the left hand of the operator toward the rail. (c) Passengers as Assistants. A competitor may, if he elects, carry one assistant as a passenger. After having been passed by the Clerk of the Course no car shall receive attention at the hands of any person other than the competitor and his assistant.
  1. Special Road Rules. (a) Rules of the Road. Operators must comply with the regulations for road traffic, which include: (1) keep to the right when overtaken. (2) Keep to the left when overtaking. (3) Pass to the right when meeting a vehicle moving in the opposite direction. (b) Give Warning. Cars shall give warning of approach as often as may be necessary, by means of a horn, or trumpet, or other instrument of like character. Bells or gongs may not be substituted. (c) Officials. The usual officials provided for in track racing events, viz., referee, judges, timers, clerk of the course, starter, umpires and scorer, shall obtain in road races, with an exception that the number of timers may be increased with the demands of the event. All officials must be approved by the Racing Board before serving in their various capacities. (d) Umpire’s Duties. Umpires shall be placed at each turn in the course or circuit, It shall be their duty to report to the Referee on all matters which seem to demand the same. It shall be their further duty to know by observation as whether or not an operator is hindering or otherwise willfully obstructing another car, or obstructing the course, contrary to these rules. (e) Checkers’ Duties. In addition to the officials already provided for there shall be appointed a requisite number of officials who shall be known as checkers, They shall be located at points designated by the promoter. In addition to checking cars in their order of passing, it shall be their duty to enforce compliance with these Rules. (f) Time Check Box on Car. To facilitate checking, every car competing shall be equipped with a box of uniform pattern to receive the control vouchers provided. These boxes shall be supplied to each competitor by the promoter, he taking therefor a deposit of $5.00, which sum shall be returned to the competitor upon the return of the box to the promoter. These boxes shall be made securely fast to some part of the car, conveniently available to the timers and checkers. (g) Times at Controls. In passing through controls the time of arrival shall be taken on the instant the front tire shall have stopped at a point of contact with the tape, and the time shall again be taken on the instant of starting from the tape at the exit of such controls. (h) Timers at Controls. The timer at the entrance of the control shall make a note of the instant the tires come to a rest at the tape, making note of the same on the card, deliver this card to the person conducting the contestant through the control, who shall, upon his arrival at the exit, deliver the same to the second timer, who shall thereon make note of the time of departure. This card must be deposited in the competitor’s time check receptacle after the official record shall have been completed. (i) Timer’s Card. The timer or checker at the exit of control shall deposit the voucher in the box in advance of the time of start, noting thereon the instant of start. (j) Pilots through Controls. Contestants shall be preceded through controls either by a person mounted on a bicycle, or shall be accompanied by a person competent to estimate the speed of the car, in order that as nearly as possible the full limit of time set for passing through the control shall be consumed. (k) Follow Pilots. Competitors must conform fully with the regulations established by the pilots mounted on bicycle, or be regulated by the instructions of the official who shall accompany him through controls. Competitors are warned that any deviation from this rule will result in penalizing them in the full time required for the control. (l) Failure to Pass Control. Any competitor who shall fail to pass through a control, either by neglect, or willfully, shall be disqualified from further competition in the event. (m) Two Cars from Control. If two vehicles shall come to the entrance of the control simultaneously, the checker or timer shall send them away together, from the limit of the control. (n) Repairs and Supplies in Controls. While a car is passing through a control no repairs shall be made and no supplies taken on. (o) Reports of Officials to Referee. Immediately upon the close of the event, checkers and timers at all control stations, umpires and checkers along the route of the race, shall at once prepare reports of all that transpired, and immediately transmit the same to the Referee.


  1. Records. No time shall be accepted as an official record unless taken by at least three official Timers.
  1. Surveyor’s Certificate. Claims for records must be accompanied by a surveyor’s certificate as to the correctness of the distance run measured, if on the track, three feet from the pole, and if on the road, at its center, together with evidence that the course is level.
  1. Intermediate Distance. In event of an attempt to lower the record for a given distance the acceptance of records at intermediate distances will not be allowed.
  1. Unofficial Times. Times made in events where classification other than that provided in Rule No. 20 shall obtain, shall not be recognized as official, although awards may be made on their results.

Protests, Complaints and Appeals

  1. Protests and Complaints. Protests or complaints of any kind must be made to the Referee within twenty-four hours after finish of the race involved. The protestant or complainant must accompany his complaint or protest with a fee of $10.00, which shall be forfeited to the promoter if the protest shall not be sustained. A protest, once lodged, may be withdrawn only by consent of the Racing Board.
  1. Contestants’ and Owners’ Protests. Contestants shall be allowed to complain in regard to foul driving, interference, or any other irregularity which shall have interfered with his rights under these Rules during progress of an event. Complaints or protests on other matters, as to classification, eligibility to start, etc., may be made only by the owner or owners of competing car.
  1. Appeal to Racing Board. An appeal from the decision of the Referee may be made to the Racing Board by the owner of the car against which the decision was made. Such an appeal must be forwarded to the Board within ten days after the rendering of the decision and must set forth fully the facts of the case, accompanied by sworn affidavits necessary to substantiate the claim, and a copy thereof sent at the same time to the Referee from whose decision the appeal is taken. A few of $50.00 must be sent with the appeal, which fee will be returned if the decision appealed from be reversed. No member of the Racing Board may sit on the Board when it is considering an appeal from a decision which he has rendered, or in which he is personally interested.


  1. Suits for Damages, Etc. All suits of a civil or penal character, of any kind whatsoever, arising from competition in races held under these Rules, must be borne and resulting judgments satisfied by the competitor responsible for the action.


  1. No Betting Permitted. The making or laying of bets or wagers shall not be permitted, recognized or tolerated.


  1. Disqualify, Disqualification for any infraction of the foregoing rules shall debar the offender from participating in any and all awards for the event in which he competed.

Powers of Racing Board

  1. Powers of Racing Board. The Racing Board reserves the right to veto the appointment of any race official; to assign dates; to inquire into and deal in its judgment with all matters relating to racing, subject to the rules; to disqualify, either temporarily or permanently, persons guilty of infraction of these Rules; to determine who are and who are not eligible to compete to interpret these Rules and decide any issue not covered herein as it may consider advisable.

69. Amendments. The Rules may be amended by the Board of Directors of the American Automobile Association

[1] Sigmund Krausz, Krausz’s A B C of Motoring (Chicago: Laird & Lee, 1906), 171-195.