Turismo Carretera

Turismo Carretera (Road racing, lit., Road Touring) is a popular touring car racing series in Argentina, and the oldest car racing series still active in the world.

The first TC competition took place in 1937 with 12 races, each in a different province. Future Formula One star Juan Manuel Fangio (Chevrolet) won the 1940 and 1941 editions of the TC. It was during this time that the series' Chevrolet-Ford rivalry began, with Ford acquiring most of its historical victories.

Until the 1960s the races were held on temporarily closed roads, hence the series' name. These improvised circuits would often present a combination of dirt and asphalt surfaces unlike those of dedicated race tracks.

During the 1960s the category began employing high-end technologies, with local manufacturers investing heavily for prestige. The Ford Motor Company of Argentina and Chevrolet were main contenders, with Dodge to a lesser degree. The European marque Renault, which had merged with Industrias Kaiser Argentina and thus inherited the Rambler range, was also a contender.

In the 1970s, the Sport Prototipo (modified cars in the Gran Turismo vein) category was spun off TC to allow TC to return to its stock-car roots which made it immensely popular with small-town audiences. The spin-off withered away slowly. A second spin-off was TC 2000 Championship in the 1980s which allowed the showcasing of the smaller cars most Argentines were driving, thus including Peugeot, Renault, Fiat and Volkswagen, and later, Japanese brands as well. TC 2000 soon became as popular as TC itself.

In later years, and to preserve its main draw, TC has been clinging to the larger models that have mostly gone out of use in Argentine roads, and incorporated imported engines.

Brands in TC still have huge fan bases, with Ford being the largest. General Motors decided to end manufacturing Chevy Coupé SS (Chevrolet Nova) in Argentina in 1977. Chevrolet reputedly draws the second largest fan base in later years. Dodge and IKA-Torino are the other two participants with wins in TC.

Read more about Turismo Carretera:  Circuits, Cars

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Ángel Lo Valvo
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Gastón Perkins
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José Luis Di Palma - Racing Career - Return To South America
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