Sunday, September 23, 2012

WTCC Sonoma 2012 photos

Before this weekend, I knew nothing about the WTCC (World Touring Car Championship) series.  So if any of you (Europeans) can shed light on this, please share!

For the first time, WTCC came to America.  Specifically, Sonoma.

Here's a shocker: The Chevy Cruze is kicking ass.  They are the equivalent of F1's Red Bull in the last few years.  For financial reasons, Chevy is leaving the sport at the end of this season.  Apparently, winning on Sundays did not translate to sales on Mondays in Europa.

There was a concurrent Maserati Granturismo spec series this weekend.  Here is the Safety Car.

The ticket prices were very reasonable ($26 for admission, free parking, $10 for paddock pass).  Everyone was friendly and it was not too crowded.

These WTCC cars are pretty cool.  I was hoping to see the Lada, but I don't think it made it to America.

Here is Yvan Muller, who is a three-time champion and current points co-leader.  My companion Bob was fearless and struck up a nice conversation with the guy.  Did I mention everyone-- the crew, the drivers, the grid girls-- were all very friendly?

There was a CHP display at the track so I took these two shots of the Crown Vic's interior.

These Audis can be driven on the track on off-days.  I want the RS5 so badly.

There was also a little known series called USTCC.  It's very grassroots and there were quite a few interesting cars.

A lot of the WTCC equipment came in these shipping containers.  According to the bill of lading sticker on the exterior, this is headed to Suzuka, the next race.

This fun group came from Hungary.  Their guy finished 3rd and 2nd in the two races today.  They were happy.  Chevy won both races.

This was the raddest car in the parking lot.

Wrecked BMW.

This Synchro van was parked next to the Popemobile.

I ended the day by dropping off Bob.  He showed me his prized possession, this Chevelle.  He's a Chevy guy.


mtc said...

I did not peg you as an Audi RS5 man.

Viva Chile! said...

A Seat! The whole WTCC is so European I'm surprised to see it has a US leg. Pity about the missing Ladas!

(those captcha things are more difficult by the day!)

Maxichamp said...

@Viva: I think they were only expecting 5,000 people. I estimate 10,000 showed up and the lines for food were long! The race people apologized, and everybody was happy.

I turned off the captcha thing, but get ready for lots of spam from India and Pakistan about car parts.