The FIA World Touring Car Championship makes its maiden voyage to the United States in 2012, and what better place than Sonoma. Buckle your seat-belts for a great weekend of fender-to-fender racing on the twisting road course, Sept. 21-23.

What is the FIA World Touring Car Championship, you ask? Well, the best way to describe it is to think of NASCAR, with global flare. There will be plenty of beatin' and bangin' between these full-bodied race-cars in two 13-lap sprint races, both on Sunday. Drivers subscribe to the "rubbin' is racin'" theme, so expect tempers to flare and intensity to be at an all-time high. Sonoma is Round 9 of the 12-race global series, which also features stops in exotic locales like Italy, Brazil, Portugal, Morocco and Macau.

Race speeds will be in excess of 100 mph in these 1.6L turbo engine machines from Chevrolet, Ford, BMW, Volvo and SEAT. Yvan Muller (France) has won three of the last four drivers' titles and is the reigning champion of the series piloting a Chevrolet Cruze. Chevrolet had a tremendous run in 2011 with 21 wins in 24 events. It will be tested in 2012 by the Ford Focus, which enters the series after a nice run in the British Touring Car Championship.

"It's been very exciting to see the development of this new car," said Ford test driver Tom Chilton. "Of course we're already familiar with the Focus, having won races with it in 2011, but there are certain elements which make the WTCC version a different challenge. … It's great to have a new challenge."

The best way to tackle the event in Sonoma is with our WTCC Total Access Package, which includes your race-day ticket (Sept. 23), Garage/Pre-Race Pass plus access to an exclusive Q&A with the series' top drivers. Call 800-870-RACE (7223) to purchase your Total Access Package. Visit www.fiawtcc.com for details on the 2012 race series.