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Touring car racing

Touring car racing consists of a group of racing categories based around heavily-modified street cars notably popular in Britain, Germany, and Australia.

While rules vary from country to country, most series require that the competitors start with a standard bodyshell, but virtually every other component is allowed to be heavily modified for racing, including engines, suspension, brakes, wheels and tyres. Wings are usually added to the front and rear of the cars. Regulations are usually designed to limit costs by banning some of the more exotic technologies available (for instance, many series insist on a "control tyre" that all competitors must use) and keep the racing close (sometimes by a "lead trophy" where winning a race requires the winner's car to be heavier for subsequent races). In this, it shares some similarity with the American NASCAR series, but raced exclusively on road courses and street circuits rather than the American series' oval tracks.

Whilst not nearly as fast as Formula One, the similarity of the cars both to each other and to fans' own vehicles makes for entertaining, well-supported racing. The lesser impact of aerodynamics also means that following cars have a much easier time of passing than F1, and the more substantial bodies of the cars makes the occasional nudging for overtaking much more acceptable as part of racing.

As well as short "sprint" races, many touring car series include one or more "endurance" races, which last anything from 3 to 24 hours and are a test of reliability and pit crews as much as car and driver speed.

Notable touring car series include:

  • V8 Supercar (Australia)
  • British Touring Car Championship
  • DTM (Germany)

There is an annual 24 hour touring car race at the famous Nürburgring.

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