Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The British Touring Car Championship and DTM

John Marine | 12/08/2009 03:41:00 PM |
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I was very pleased to learn that the BTCC and DTM will return to Speed Channel this month with one-hour highlight shows of all the action. I sometimes think there are too many of the "good old boys" (and maybe some good old girls) who are either scared of other international racing series or don't care much for other international series. Like the only racing worth watching on TV is NASCAR, dirt oval racing, and drag racing. Gets monotonous only liking these kinds of racing, doesn't it? So when you want to try something different, why not series like the BTCC and DTM? If you've seen my YouTube Channel, you may have seen that I did two "Why Should You Care?" videos about the British Touring Car Championship and DTM. Think of this as a text version of "Why Should You Care?"

--- The British Touring Car Championship ---
The first time I've heard of and seen the BTCC on TV, it was either 2000 or 2001. If you're a NASCAR fan and never heard of the BTCC, let me explain as much as I can about this series. The British Touring Car Championship has been around for some 50 or so years. BTCC cars highly resemble their road-going counterparts and don't have templates like what you'd see in NASCAR. Makes represented include the likes of Vauxhall, BMW, SEAT, and more. You have race events featuring about 2 or 3 races in one day. And if you think this is boring competition, think again. There is plenty of action that takes place. You might see bold moves, roughing up, and even... some hard-hitting crashes. Tracks that are raced on include (but are not limited to) Brands Hatch, Snettetron, Thruxton, Silverstone, and tracks like that. These cars are not afraid to race in the rain either.

What do I love most about this series? The BTCC is all about intense racing action. But unlike NASCAR, it's not manufactured Hollywood drama or a lot of whining about certain racing incidents. It's not exactly "survive than win," but you have to be ready for almost anything on any given race day or race weekend. It takes great courage to want to survive in a series like this. Races in the series are very entertaining and exciting. If you haven't seen a BTCC race on TV or something, you need to check out the BTCC. It's outstanding racing.

For my own commentary, please see my video: Why Should You Care - British Touring Car Championship.

--- The Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters ---
From intense racing with cars highly resembling their road-going counterparts... to intense racing with cars somewhat resembling their road-going cars, but with extra downforce. DTM racing entails great racing in Germany and in various other places. Common stops include the Hockenheimring, the Nürburgring (not the 13+ mile course), the Lausitzring, the Norisring, and points like that. This series even races outside of Germany. They've had stops at places like Brands Hatch (England), Adria (Italy), Catalunya (Spain), Dijon-Prenois (France), and Zandvoort (The Netherlands) among others. The makes that compete in this series today are Mercedes-Benz and Audi. There used to be German coupes that compete in this series. These days, sedans are raced. Doesn't mean the racing takes a hit. These are perhaps the most sophsticated touring cars in the world with all the technology and aerodynamics they pack.

It's just beautiful watching these cars go around the race track. The cars are tuned for incredible performance and know how to put on a show. Some of the purists likely miss the old days of DTM, whereas DTM cars were every bit as equipped and appointed as a Formula One race car (especially in the early-mid 1990s under the Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft days).

For my own commentary, please see my video: Why Should You Care - DTM.

I'm very glad to see this racing return to Speed Channel for the Winter months. And if you're a racing fan, you should be too.
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