Buckle your seat-belts for a great weekend of fender-to-fender racing on the twisting road course with the FIA World Touring Car Series, Sept. 21-23, in Sonoma. Below are some quick facts about the series. 

  • The series debuted in 2005 and will feature a 12-race global series in 2012 with stops in North America, Europe, South America, North Africa and Asia. Sonoma marks the series' first stop in North America.
  • Manufacturers featured in the series include Chevrolet, Ford, BMW, Volvo and SEAT. Honda will make its debut late in the 2012 season (after Sonoma). Race-cars are full-fendered, feature 1.6L turbo engines, Yokohama tires and will exceed 100 mph on the Sonoma Valley road course.
  • Thirty-eight drivers competed in the series in 2011 and another full field is expected in 2012, led by France's Yvan Muller, who is the reigning champion and a three-time champion overall of the series. Other top contenders include Great Britain's Rob Huff, voted Best Driver in 2011 by race fans, and Switzerland's Alain Menu.
  • New to the series for 2012 will be the Ford Focus, which has enjoyed success in the Great Britain Touring Car Championship. The team has undergone quite a bit of preseason testing and the driver lineup was not available at press time. Expectations are for Ford to feature at least one American driver. 
  • Sunday, Sept. 23, will feature a double-header of two 30-minute sprint races. The short race time encourages plenty of beatin' and bangin' and high intensity levels amongst the drivers. Think NASCAR with a global flare.

For tickets or more information, visit www.racesonoma.com/wtcc or call 800-870-RACE (7223). For more information on the series, visit www.fiawtcc.com