Touring car racing is a motorsport that is very popular in many countries like Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Britain, Germany, Norway, and Sweden. It is an auto racing competition of advanced racing cars. Cars used in this type of racing are similar to Formula One cars, however, their speed cannot be compared with Formula One. Series of this race consists of one or more endurance races with 2 to 4 hours’ time duration.
Touring car racing events are held on street circuits and road courses. Like any other car racing motorsport, all riders who join touring car racing focus on covering the road track within the shortest time span and be the first to win the game. Riders in this motorsport should be quick and sharp because there can be a margin of less than one-tenth of a second between the first three finishers.
History of Touring Car Racing
In 1958, the British Saloon Car Championship was founded and was renamed as the British Touring Car (BTC) Championship or touring car series in 1987. This car racing event is governed by the TCA and is held every year in the United Kingdom.
As the years pass, the Touring Car Series Championship followed a lot of national and international regulations such as FIA Group 2, FIA Group 1, FIA Super Touring and FIA Super 2000. It was held by the union of different classes that were based on the engine capacity and racing all together.
In 2001, the BTC Championship adopted its own set of rules. Then in 2009, it launched the details and specifications of the Next Generation Touring Car which was introduced in 2011. These regulations were made to be able to maximize the build, design, and running costs of the car engines.
Types of Touring Cars
The Classic Touring Car Championship is classified depending on the age of the cars and how long the car has been in the game. This helps everyone enjoy and participate in the race. Cars are classified in different sections such as those built before 1666, built up to 1983, and built up to 1993. It also includes cars accommodating VW’s and those built before 2003 and 2005. But the most important is the big muscle car that is the Classic thunder along with series for any Blue Oval cars.
In the present time, racing cars used in this race are a combination of 2.0L sedans such as BMW 320si, E90, and hatchback cars like Ford Focus and Honda Civic. These cars follow the Next Generation Touring Car (NGTR) regulations. There were two new work teams added in 2010 which are Chevrolet by RML and Honda by Team Dynamics.
Equipment Used in Touring Car Racing
When you want to try a touring car race, here are some of the basic tools and equipment required.
- Helmet: The helmet used in tour car racing is round-shaped and made of carbon fiber, Kevlar, or fiberglass shell. It is aligned with energy sucking foam and Nomex padding. This type of helmet is precisely designed for automobile racing.
- Head Sock: Before wearing the helmet, it is required to wear a head sock underneath. A head sock is made of Nomex and it is also called a balaclava.
- Gloves: Gloves are important to protect the rider’s hand and ensure proper grip. Gloves that are used in racing are usually made of Nomex and leather.
- Firearm Suit: Racers wear a one-piece uniform that is fire resistant and it’s called a firearm suit. This is essential for the rider to prevent acquiring burns when accidents happen. A firearm suit should have the ability to ensure exposure to direct flame and heat before the driver suffers from second degree burns.
- Driving Shoes: This is important to protect the rider’s feet. The shoes must have a layer of leather or sued from the outside and a layer of Nomex from the inside. It is also essential to wear fireproof socks for more protection.
Touring Car Racing Rules
Touring car racing, just like any other races, follows certain rules. The rules are issued by the Federation Internationale Automobile or FIA. There are no modifications allowed unless they are authorized by the regulations specified by FIA. Here are some of the rules.
- Cars homologated after January 1, 1999 must not be wider than 1800mm with the exception of kit variants and competing rallies.
- The car and all of its parts should not touch the ground when all of its tires on one side are deflated.
- The car must be fitted with a reverse gearbox in working order.
- The use of suspension parts and wheels which are made from composite materials, either partially or entirely are forbidden.
- 40 miles per hour should not be exceeded while driving in the pit lane. Exceeding this speed will result to penalties or drivers may lose their qualifying times.
- Testing is open seven days before the start of the first championship meeting.
Touring Car Racing Champions
There are a lot of well-known champions for touring car racing. Here are some of the touring car racers who became successful in this adventurous motorsport.
- Gordon Shedden: He is an auto racer from Britain belonging in Honda Yuasa Racing Team. He won 5 times in the BTC Championship in 2006, and 4 times in 2007. He also won two races at Croft Circuit in 2010.
- Colin Turkington: He is an Irish auto racer who belongs in Team BMR. In 2009, he won the BTC Championship for Team RAC and for Team eBay Motors in 2014.
- Andrew Jordan: He is a British auto racer who won the BTC Championship in 2013. Aside from this, he won in other championships such as the Winter Junior Rallycross Championship in 2003 and the British Rallycross Supercar class in 2006.
- Alain Menu: He is a Swiss racer who had won BTC Championship twice. Before joining BTC, he was a single racer and he reached the International Formula 3000 in 1991. He took part in many other races of BTC Championship and today, he is now a coach for BMR Team.
Touring car racing is an amazing motorsport that uses heavily modified road-going cars. It is another automobile racing event that is supported and looked forward to by a lot of car enthusiasts.