The FIA (Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile) is the organization that controls international auto racing. Like all many new things pre-WWII, the French established international committees for many things that were new and groundbreaking. FIBA, for instance, was established in 1932 to govern international Basketball. It's not suprising to look at FIBAs "Hall of Fame" that doesn't include the three athletes who are the most responsible for the international growth of the game- Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, and Magic Johnson, who all had impressive international careers. They also did the same thing for Ice Hockey(It's why the rink is much wider in international hockey then the original North American variety), I know the hockey thing isn't French, but it's part of the larger theme that is present here. The changes in both international basketball and hockey is for one purpose, which is to maintain European competitiveness in those sports. With the FIA, looking at the historical record, there is also a similar theme. Every time a non-European marque is successful in the sport, they change the rules. (F1 is a beast I will only lightly touch on._
1.) The change in displacement limit in Le Mans in 1967. The limitation of displacement to 5.0 liters effectively sidelined the works GT MK II and MK IV. The GT40s won the next two years, but the Porsche 917s were faster under the new rules. This ended American factory support for international endurance racing for some time.
2.) The change in regulations for endurance racing in 1993. The change in how Rotaries displacement was counted ended the competitive streak of the rotary engine and the premature retirement of the 787B. Until very recently, the Japanese car manufacturers have had very little to do with the top ranks of endurance racing, keeping their efforts to production based racing.
3.) The change from Group A to "World Rally Car" as a standard for the WRC. This and the end of the homologation requirement ended Japanese dominance in world rally. When you don't actually have to make a quality, fun to drive road car to back up your racing program, it's not hard to build a car that has very little to do with the production model that it is based on. I also think that this really hurt the cause of world rally, because I think that they have a vested interest in F1 being the "top" series. From 1993 to 1999, no European manufacturer won the title, and from the introduction of the World Rally Car, no non-European company has won.
To me, it seems that every time someone else has a winning formula, the rules gets changed. If Toyota instead of Audi was racing the R10, there would be rules banning Diesels in endurance racing. Now for a bit of conspiracy theory.... If Senna's and Prost's ethnicity where switched, I think that we'd be talking about Senna the four time champ, and Prost the three time champ.