Touring car

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A touring car is the name given to passenger cars from mass production, which are used in modified form for automobile races. These include notchback - sedans and hatchback sedans with four doors. In addition, depending on the regulations, two-door coupés are sometimes permitted. However, they must be "intended for normal sale to customers" (original text of the ISG ).

BMW Schnitzer CSL 1973
Vauxhall Astra Sport, BTCC 2006

A popular synonym is production car. These are built by the well-known car manufacturers primarily for the mass market and regular use in road traffic in large numbers. With the necessary safety devices (roll cage, fire extinguisher, possibly harness belts, main switch), these cars can be used in motorsport, in some less risky competitions such as automobile slalom and regularity tests (GLP) also in unchanged form.


The most important basis for recognition in the vehicle classes listed below is the ECE homologation documented by the FIA in the FIA ​​regulations.

TC1 touring car
TC2 touring car
TCR touring car

Basic classes

The international vehicle classes are (starting with the next series):

all again divided according to displacement.

In addition, there are national vehicle classes in every country. In Germany they are

The groups F and H are again divided according to cylinder capacity. If changes (tuning measures) have been carried out on a car (and declared in the DMSB vehicle pass!) That exceed those permitted, it can often be rated in the next higher group.

Specific classes

Based on the basic classes, there are also specific classes that can be expanded with an additional kit on the basis of the basic classes. For example, the TC2 ( Super 2000 ) regulations build on the Group A regulations.

For the 2014 season, the FIA ​​introduced new regulations including a new division into classes TC1 , TC2 and TCR . TC stands for the English term touring car . Since the 2018 season, only the TCR regulations have been advertised internationally.

  • Touring cars that met the World Touring Car Championship regulations in force between 2014 and 2017 are referred to as TC1 . From 2015, only TC1 vehicles were permitted for the World Touring Car Championship. The introduction of the regulations was designed in 2011 by Marcello Lotti , the promoter of the World Touring Car Championship. The regulations were valid for 4 years in the WTCC. Then they switched to the cheaper TCR regulations and converted the World Touring Car Championship into the World Touring Car Cup (WTCR).
  • Touring cars that are built according to the Super 2000 regulations valid from 2002 to 2014 in the European touring car and world championships are referred to as TC2 . TC2 vehicles came until 2015 e.g. B. used in the European Touring Car Cup . Thereafter, there was also a change to the TCR regulations until the end of the racing series at the end of 2017 .
  • Touring cars are classified in the TCR class if they are built according to regulations that are relatively close to series production (e.g. one-make cup vehicles) and are leveled using a Balance of Performance (BoP). This is intended to bring all vehicles to a competitive level of performance. The TCR class thus takes up the concept of the GT3 class in touring car racing. The original name of this class was therefore TC3 , but the numbering should not indicate any preconceived hierarchy, which is why the name TCR was chosen. Since 2015 there have been several national TCR racing series as well as an international championship, the TCR International Series . These regulations have been advertised internationally as TCN-2 class by the FIA ​​since 2016 . Between 2016 and 2017 these vehicles were approved for the FIA European Touring Car Cup . After the merger of the World Touring Car Championship and the TCR International Series into the FIA World Touring Car Cup for the 2018 season, only these regulations for touring cars will be announced by the FIA ​​worldwide.

Silhouette prototype

DTM chassis 2012

For marketing reasons, silhouette prototypes are sometimes referred to as touring cars. These are prototypes specially designed for use on the racetrack . These usually have a chassis made of a tubular space frame structure and have an attached silhouette that is only similar to a model from series production for marketing reasons. Since the definition that a touring car is a mass-produced passenger car modified for motorsport does not apply, Article 251 in Appendix J of the FIA's international sports law applies to silhouette prototypes: “Vehicles built individually for competition purposes only”.

A problem with every touring car regulation is the leveling of the individual vehicle concepts. Since touring cars are based on mass-produced vehicles, the motorsport suitability of the vehicles can differ greatly from one another, since mass-produced cars are not designed exclusively with regard to their dynamic driving properties. When developing a mass-produced vehicle, requirements are also placed on the use of space in the interior, on economic efficiency or on production costs. These can have a counterproductive effect for use in motorsport, which can result in considerable differences in performance on the racetrack due to the base vehicle. Since silhouette prototypes are not based on the technical basis of a mass-produced vehicle, motor sport disadvantages can largely be leveled out here. In addition, the greater possibility of using identical parts can reduce development costs and increase equality of opportunity.

Silhouette prototypes are used, among other things, in the Class 1 regulations of the DTM , in the former V8 Star series and in the US NASCAR Cup Series .

International touring car regulations 1990s 2000s 2010s 2020s
0 1 2 3 4th 5 6th 7th 8th 9 0 1 2 3 4th 5 6th 7th 8th 9 0 1 2 3 4th 5 6th 7th 8th 9 0
class 1 DTM ITC DTM DTM / Super GT DTM / Super GT
2nd grade BTCC u. a. ETCC , Touring Car World Cup , Super Touring Car Cup
TC2 u. a. WTCC , ETCC , BTCC , DPM
TCR (TCN-2) including TCR including WTCR , ETCC

██ advertised by the FIA
██ international
██ national

Differentiation from other racing cars

In addition to the touring cars, there are other racing cars that are technically derived from a vehicle from series production and modified for use in motorsport.

  • Gran Turismo : In contrast to touring cars, these GT vehicles are based on sports cars and coupés that have 2 seats and are usually produced in smaller numbers. These vehicles are often designed more specifically for their driving dynamics in their series configuration. It can happen that a coupé as the base vehicle can be built into a racing car according to touring car regulations as well as according to GT regulations. The silhouette prototypes occupy a special position here: vehicles that are built according to the same regulations can be called touring cars or Gran Turismo, depending on the marketing of the racing series. This occurs, for example, in the class 1 regulations, in which the vehicles are referred to as touring cars in the DTM and as Gran Turismo in the Japanese Super GT .
  • Rally vehicle : The difference between touring cars and rally vehicles is essentially due to the specific modifications for use on the circuit or rally course. With the Super 2000 regulations, there are also regulations that are essentially identical for touring cars and rally vehicles, but differ significantly in the areas of chassis and drive train. In general, more compact vehicles are usually suitable for use on the rally track. In some cases, existing rally vehicles are also being converted for use on the circuit, such as for the 24-hour race on the Nürburgring .


The first touring car rally in Germany was organized by Sir Hubert von Herkomer in 1905 . These so-called Herkomer competitions were held until 1907 and were considered reliability tests for automobiles, which made this new sport popular in Germany. The winner of the rally was awarded the Herkomer Prize, which was created by the artist himself and made from pure sterling silver . This 40 kg trophy with the winner's portrait is still considered the most valuable private automobile prize in the world to this day.

Until 1981 the four-seater cars were divided into Group 1 , Group 2 and Group 5 (ascending tuning level) in the FIA ​​regulations .

Starting grid for the 6-hour race on the Nürburgring on July 8, 1973

The really big time of touring car races was in the sixties and seventies of the last century. This was due to the competition between Alfa-Romeo (GTA, GTAm) and BMW ( 1800 TI / SA , 1602, 2002) and Ford (Lotus Cortina, Escort Twin Cam) for cars up to two liters and BMW (CSL) with Ford ( Capri RS) in the larger-displacement vehicles. There was a hotly contested and very popular "European Touring Car Championship", the most spectacular race of which was the 6 hours for touring cars on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife. On August 6, 1966, Hubert Hahne was the first driver in his works BMW 2000 TI to lap the Nordschleife in a touring car in under 10 minutes (09: 58.5 minutes) as part of the supporting program for the German Grand Prix.

Due to the relative proximity to series production compared to today's racing cars, even pure private teams could still participate competitively and thus attracted tens of thousands of polarized fans to the tracks. In addition, at that time the paddock - and the drivers (!) - were mostly more or less accessible. At the Nürburgring on the morning of the 6-hour race, you could sit in the restaurant under the main grandstand at the same table and talk to racing stars.

Hans-Peter Joisten before Hans-Joachim Stuck 1973

In addition, there was the old, very street-like slope of the Nordschleife without any run-off zones (until 1973); and for a driver who got off the track, it was usually "hedge up, hedge closed" and he was gone. But there were also trees along the way, which some became fatal. The proximity to the piste was naturally a strong magnet for the spectators and even days before the race you could see people crouching in the trees at Brünnchen, where they made their “box seats” in the branches.

Various "ring battles" are legendary. Let us remember names such as Hubert Hahne, Eugen Boehringer, Dieter Quester , Sir John Whitmore, Andrea de Adamich , Jacky Ickx , Jochen Mass and Hans-Joachim Stuck . But Peter Lindner (Jaguar Mk II), who had a fatal accident in his Jaguar E-Type in Montlhéry in 1964, will also be remembered. He fought thrilling duels with Eugen Boehringer in a Mercedes 300 SE.

In the 1980s, the DTM or the German Touring Car Championship became popular, in which near-series vehicles such as the BMW M3 , Mercedes 190 , Ford Sierra , Opel Kadett , Audi V8 , etc. were used. These cars had a normal sheet metal body, all changes had to be approved in advance ( homologated according to FIA Group A ).

DTM cars like this Mercedes are incorrectly referred to as touring cars for marketing reasons , but they have tubular space frame chassis over which a plastic cover is slipped

From 1993, however, so-called class 1 vehicles were used in the DTM , which only looked like the production cars. Today's DTM in particular is a thoroughbred racing car with a plastic cover attached. For these, the definition of Article 251 in Appendix J of the FIA's International Sports Act applies : “Vehicles built individually for competition purposes only”. They could also be called touring car prototypes.

From 1990 onwards, similar to Germany, the BTCC developed successor regulations for Group A touring cars. Unlike in Germany, here again a series of regulations for the super touring cars were drawn up , which were announced by the FIA ​​internationally as class 2 regulations from 1994 . Many national championships held their races afterwards. In Super Tourenwagen Cup that regulations were applied in Germany.

Since 2002, the FIA ​​has been writing the Super 2000 regulations, as the successor to the super touring cars , internationally, which were developed for the European Touring Car Championship (ETCC) and in 2005 went into the World Touring Car Championship (WTCC), which is held worldwide.

In popular sport, a large number of touring cars from mass production are used on the Nürburgring - Nordschleife in VLN , RCN and 24h races , as these can be purchased inexpensively as used vehicles.

Touring car championships in Germany

See also

Web links

Commons : Touring Cars  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: touring cars  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. a b c Stefan Ziegler: New category names from 2014: TC1, TC2 and TC3., November 21, 2013, accessed March 22, 2015 .
  2. a b c Markus Lüttgens & Jack Cozens: Change to TCR regulations: WTCC loses World Championship status., December 6, 2017, accessed December 30, 2017 .
  3. Stefan Ziegler: The new WTCC regulations: How it all began., August 8, 2014, accessed March 22, 2015 .
  4. Markus Lüttgens: FIA gives the green light: TC3 becomes TCR., December 7, 2014, accessed March 22, 2015 .
  5. ^ Neil Hudson: FIA confirms TCR cars for TCN-2 and eligibility to compete in ETCC., September 30, 2015, accessed March 24, 2016 .