Did you ever wonder how auto racing began? The first auto race was held in France on July 22, 1894. The race began in Paris and ended in Rouen, a total of 31 miles. Pierre Giffard organized the event to publicise his newspaper and to stimulate an interest in motoring. He was the editor of Le Petit Journal. The paper announced prizes for first through fifth place, but the main prize was for the first eligible vehicle that crossed the finish line. 21 cars were qualified in the race out of the 102 people that entered. The winner made it to Rouen in 5 hours and 40 minutes.