In British English, the term is usually used for short circuit events held at purpose-built facilities typically of one to three miles in length, often with scenic, landscaped surroundings resembling parkland. Many older facilities were based on disused former-airfields after World War II and have fallen into disrepair and been re-purposed and built-over, and, although some have endured for closed-to-club and British national events, only Silverstone, having benefitted from a massive redevelopment, is of international standard.
Some officially sanctioned races are held on public roads (street circuits), that are closed for the duration of the event. This form of racing was banned in Great Britain in 1925 due to a spectator accident at the Kop Hill Climb, Buckinghamshire.
The 37-mile lap of the Isle of Man TT motorcycle races is probably the best known of these, together with the similar Manx Grand Prix, a 'learning stage' for the TT races, both held on the Snaefell Mountain Course, and the much-shorter Southern 100 event held on country roads in the Isle of Man.
The North West 200 and Ulster Grand Prix races are popular and well-attended in Northern Ireland. The ban in Great Britain does not extend to the Isle of Man and Northern Ireland. Sometimes the term "real road racing" is used to distinguish this form of racing from that which takes place on purpose-built paved circuits.
Events for many types of motorized vehicles are held at road racing tracks. Hosting a road racing tradition since 1926 at Phillip Island, Victoria, Australia, the photograph at right shows motorcycle racing at a new track, called the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, which opened in 1989 with the World Motorcycle Championships.
The world's most famous road race is the Isle of Man TT held for two weeks, normally the last week in May and the first week in June, when over 10,000 motorbikes and many more visitors flood the island for the festivities.