They have been described by the men who drive them as the Formula One of tin-top racing.  Amazingly complicated and engineered to do very much with very little.  It’s amazing how fast the just 1.6L four cylinder turbocharged engine can propel these WTCC cars around the track.  High-revving, quick shifting, door and bumper banging for the length of the race.  If rubbing is, indeed, racing, then these guys have it down to a science.  The elevation changes and scenic views of the venue chosen for the United States round of the globe trotting series, Race Sonoma, make the action all that more interesting to watch.

Here are some for my favorite photos from the 2013 US Round of the FIA WTCC.  As always, the full gallery is presented at the end of the post.

James Thompson in the Lada.
Robb Huff and teammate Marc Bassneg in a pair of Seat Leon.
Alex Macdowall in the Chevrolet Cruze
The super hi-tech WTCC racing engine.
The comfy confines of the Seat Leon.
The mad dash through turn one at Race Sonoma. Many fenders and bumpers are dented and bruised at this point.
Former WTCC champion and winner this weekend of race 2, Gabriele Tarquini. Tarquini also wrapped up the Manufacturers cup for Honda with this win.
Moved into the hot pit before the start of the second race.
Nope, it’s not a rally car. A little off track excursion in turn 2.
A blown left front tire forces Tom Boardman off track in turn 2.
Darryl O’Young leads Alex Macdowall through turn 3A at Race Sonoma.
The mechanical grip of these WTCC tin tops is unreal, as evidenced here. Hard stick on the outside tires, while barely skimming the surface with the inside.
Tom Chilton in his Chevy Cruze rises over the crest at the exit of turn 3A.
Curb hopping is not a crime in WTCC. Here Fredy Barth gets his BMW acting more like a motorcycle in Turn 3A.
Fredy Barth makes a habit of getting his BMW up on two wheels. Just the next lap, taking the turn exactly as he did the lap before. Consistency may not be key to winning, but it certainly is king.
It’s amazing to watch these cars get up on two wheels. The grip is enormous, but they do still slide to the outside a bit when they get elevated like this. A proper dance while balancing the slim edge between racing and wrecking.
Charles Ng making his way through turn 3A. Charles will be heading back to Formula drift in 2014. Charles is one of the rare few who has mastered both grip and slip driving.
Stefano D’asti gets his BMW up on two wheels. This Italian driver went all out to get the American fans to look his way with a special American flag paint job on the car, and his Uncle Sam American flag driving suit.
Former WTCC Champion Rob Huff was looking fast in his Seat Leon. Rob would help lead his Rotek Racing team to Victory at the 25 hours of Thunderhill in December.

Here is the rest of the photos from the US round of the FIA WTCC at Race Sonoma.

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