Glossary of Motorsport Terms

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  • Hairpin - A tight 180 degree corner that twists back on itself.
  • Half black, half white flag - This flag, accompanied by a car number, warns of unsportsman-like conduct. It may be followed by a black flag, if the driver does not heed the warning.
  • Handicap - where cars start a race in the reverse order of qualifying, or perceived race pace, usually with timed gaps between cars starting a race. More common in racing's early days than today, the effect was the produce a race result in which all cars would arrive at the race finish together, regardless of the performance of the race vehicle.
  • Hung-out-to-dry - Typically used in context to pack racing; a car that pulls out of the "draft train" to make a pass, but ends up losing many positions. Numerous cars drafting closely together normally drive faster than one car by itself. The lone car hung out to dry sometimes falls all the way to the end of the draft train.
  • Heads-up Racing - where both drivers leave at the same time and is used in all professional ("pro") classes.
  • Heat - A shorter race which decides the participants of the main race and sometimes starting order as well, usually there are more heats in which only a part of the drivers from the entry list take part. Can also mean part of the main race, when it consists of two or more parts.
  • Holeshot - (dirt road course motorcycle racing), the rider who is the first one through the first turn at the start of a race (drag racing) getting a substantial starting line advantage due to a quicker reaction time. The other driver gets "holeshotted" "welded to the line" or "left at the tree." A "holeshot win" is any win in a heads-up class where a slower car beats a faster car because of better reaction time, despite having a slower elapsed time (e.t.).
  • Homologation - Process by which a new vehicle or part of a vehicle is approved by organisers for usage in racing.
  • Hook up - (drag racing) Good traction between tires and track resulting in increased acceleration and reduced slipping or smoking of tires.
  • Hot lap - flying lap.