Glossary of Motorsport Terms

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
  • Gasser - bodied drag racer running on gasoline.
  • Graining - When small grains of rubber start coming off a tyre.
  • Gravel trap - A lane of gravel on the outside of corners which is designed to stop cars when they misjudge a corner or spin off. Sometimes drivers are able to rejoin the race after spinning into the gravel trap.
  • Grand marshal - Ceremonial marshaling role at a race meeting. Largely held by celebrities or retired notable drivers with no actual duties or responsibilities beyond the waving of a flag to commence activity or to announce the traditional start your engines prior to some races.
  • Green-white-checker finish - When a full-course caution comes out right before the end of a race, the race is extended beyond its scheduled distance. Depending on sanctioning body, there may be either one or multiple attempts at a restart, between one and five laps, before the race is declared officially over. NASCAR's national series will have a maximum of three attempts if the penultimate lap only under caution, while some short track races have unlimited attempts at a span between one and five consecutive green-flag laps. In British Superbike Championship motorcycle racing, if a caution is called in the final third of the race, three additional laps will be added on the ensuing restart in a green-white-checker style finish.
  • Green flag - A green flag gives the all clear. When a driver has passed a danger point on the track and prohibitions imposed by yellow flags have been lifted.
  • Grenade - wreck an engine (the engine "grenaded") due to internal failure. Distinct from "popping a blower". A hand-grenade engine is a usually derogatory engine of tuned to maximise engine power at the cost of low mechanical reliability.
  • Grid - The starting formation of a race, generally in rows of two for cars and four for bikes.
  • Groove - Also called The Groove. A term used in drag racing about the center portion of the lane, where the cars can gain traction quicker, and run faster times.
  • Ground effect - A method of creating downforce by the shape of the car's body, notably by shaping the underside of the car in combination with the car's lateral edges in order the trap and dramatically slow the airflow running underneath the car, effectively turning the entire car into a wing.
  • Gurney, Gurney flap - A small lip placed at the trailing edge of a race car's aerodynamic wing. Despite its relative size, often only millimetres tall, it can double the downforce achieved by the wing, although at the premium of increasing drag, hence the small size. Named for the man commonly attributed to its proliferation, Formula One driver and constructor, Dan Gurney. Also known as a wickerbill.