Tacking place in Downtown Macau, the Race of Macau is the last leg of the FIA World Touring Car Championship. The race distance is 2 x 9 laps, with each lap being 6,117 m. The lap record for the event was set by Tiago Monteiro in November 2009 at 2:32.076/144.87 kph.
Dates: 20 November 2011
Venue: Downtown Macau
Country: People’s Republic of China
The term “Touring cars” may seem odd to American ears, since it is a term used mainly in Europe describing race cars that use the body shells from production 4-door sedans. Just about everything else in, or on, the touring car is either heavily modified or is designed for high-speed road and circuit racing. Wings are often added to touring cars. As you can imagine, the resulting car looks strange – sort of a family sedan on steroids! Certain technologies have been banned to limit the costs to builders and keep racing closed. The concept goes down well with European race fans that drive their own family sedans to the track to watch their race-bred counterparts duel it out on the track. Touring car racing is especially popular in Britain, Scandinavia, Germany and Australia.
Touring cars are raced on road courses and street circuits. The types of races run by touring cars include sprints and endurance races that can be 3 to 24 hours in length. The British Touring Car Championship and the World Touring Car Championship are just two examples of touring car races. The British Touring Car Championship traces its origin to 1958, and a variety of cars from different categories race together. The World Touring Car Championship began in 1987 and follows FIA (Federation Internationale de l’Automobile) regulations. Perhaps the top European touring car series is the Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft. In this series, high tech racing machines are clothed in workday sedan bodies, with some parts such as transmissions and brakes coming right out of the production car parts bin. In the interest of fairness and safety, engines are limited to 470 horsepower – tame perhaps for a race car but not too shabby for a “family sedan”!
Being the global corporation that it is, General Motors has been a regular competitor in the World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) for quite a few years already. Up until now, their competing car was based on the Chevrolet Lacetti (built by Daewoo). But now it seems that is all about to change.
Chevrolet Europe recently gave fans a glimpse of the 2009 World Touring Car Championship contender. The vehicle was premiered at the Paris Motor Show and no doubt turned quite a few heads. The new Chevrolet Cruze will replace the Lacetti, which has already won twelve world championship races. Fans are ecstatic but critics are sceptical – perhaps unsure if the new contender will be able to keep up with the reputation of the old marque. That is something that only time will tell, but in the meantime the new WTCC Cruze is already being tested as it gets ready to make is debut next spring in Brazil. It is interesting to note that the new vehicle has been developed, built and run by the same team that was involved with its predecessor. It is also being driven by the same team. Everyone involved in the project is currently very busy with the testing which will continue right through until the vehicles first race in Curitiba, Brazil, in 2009. The vehicle will then go on to visit all twelve tracks involved in the WTCC, in South America, Central America, the Far-East, Africa and Europe. Oddly enough, the WTCC has never really caught on in the US where NASCAR sees a much bigger following by and large.
According to Wayne Brannon, motorsport is deeply embedded in the DNA of Chevrolet. It would seem then that the new Cruze World Touring Car is simply the next logical step in a long tradition of winning both on and off the track. Brannon also drew parallels between Chevrolet’s winning performance on the racetrack and in the sales room, remarking that sales were up by 23 percent within the first six months of this year. Clearly customers are choosing Chevrolet in record numbers. No doubt the new Chevrolet Cruze will prove to be yet another vehicle that the company can be proud of. Motoring enthusiasts look forward to seeing it perform in the 2009 WTCC season.
The Nürburgring race track in Germany needs no introduction to most auto racing enthusiasts. This legendary track has been in existence since the 1920s and combines a challenging and entertaining circuit with absolutely breathtaking scenery. This is the setting for the popular 24 Hours Nürburgring racing event. Inspired by the 24 Hour Le Mans and Spa 24 Hour, the 24 Hours Nürburgring is a GT and touring car endurance race.
The 24 Hours Nürburgring was introduced by the ADAC in 1970 as a cheaper alternative to the 1000 km Nürburgring. While the 1000 km race was for professional drivers, the 24 Hours Nürburgring is targeted at amateur drivers who mainly use relatively cheap production cars. Despite the fact that the 1000 km race was later moved to the shorter GP track that was built in 1984, the 24 Hours Nürburgring remains a regular feature on the original Nürburgring track. The main reason for this is the fact that drivers simply love the challenging northern loop of the track. However the lower costs involved in the race also means that some 220 cars organized into three groups regularly take off from the starting grid and a large track is needed to accommodate all the traffic.
The overall length of the track is approximately 26 km (16.2 miles). As many as 230 cars are allowed in the practice sessions, but only 220 of these are able to qualify for the race. The race is made even more accessible by the rule that permits as many as four drivers to share one car. Thus there may be as many as 800 drivers participating in the race each year. A driver is permitted to drive 150 minutes nonstop before having to observe the two hour rest time before taking his next turn behind the wheel. A driver may also enter on two different cars so he can get plenty of time in behind the wheel. The race is probably one of the biggest – if not the biggest – in the world, with more than 150 000 spectators watching the 220 cars as they navigate their way around the track for a full 24 hours. This year’s 24 Hour Nürburgring is set to take place between May 22 and 25. So make sure that you get your ticket and get in on the action, because you can be sure that there isn’t another race quite like this one anywhere else in the world!
The 2008 Australian racing season will see big changes in the industry. The AMRS (Australian Motor Racing Series) has undergone a complete redevelopment and a number of exciting new events have been established at grassroots level. The change comes after three years of steady, motor racing growth in the country.
The Australian Motor Racing Series is the most affordable racing series in Australia and so it is very popular with aspiring drivers and auto racing fans. Thus it was only natural that this racing series should be developed more fully. Starting 2008, the newly titled Australian Motor Racing Championships (AMC) will not only cater for racing, but also touring, GT cars and Sports cars. Races will be held at five different circuits during the course of the year. The new racing season started on the 1st of March. The 2008 series is just the start of it. The new racing plan has been set up offer the course of five years, with the ultimate goal of making this auto racing competition the most affordable in the country.
This year’s series will be made up of nine meetings that will be held at Calder Park, Winton Motor Raceway, Queensland Raceway, Wakefield Park and Adelaide International Raceway. The racing will be sanctioned by the Australian Auto Sport Alliance (AASA). The fact that races will take place across the Eastern seaboard means that competitors and sponsors will reach a far larger market than they normally would. The races will also be nationally televised so that fans unable to make it to the race will be able to enjoy all the action from the comfort of their living rooms.
The main events in the new series will be the AASA Australian Production Car Championship and the AASA Australian Touring Car Championship. The Touring Car Championship will see the inclusion of categories such as V8 Giants and 3-litre Turbo Giant Killers. The races will also be longer, with less or no handicaps. A special feature of the racing calendar includes the ‘Thundersports’ category. Vehicles in this class have motorcycle engines and a fiberglass body. This makes them extremely low cost and super fast. The Production Touring Car Championship is open to any street legal sedan that has been fitted with all the necessary safety equipment, while the Classic Touring Cars remains a popular event.