Argentina's Turismo Carretera to Be Put in the Spotlight?

Turismo Carretera Argentina Canapino McLaughlin.jpg
Motorsport fans from Argentina have a reputation for being extremely passionate, and they even proved it on Twitter: After Agustín Canapino announced that he would be returning to Turismo Carretera with Juncos Hollinger Racing, fellow IndyCar driver Scott McLaughlin was intrigued - and may have landed a seat himself just by the hype he sparked when stating his interest. Sim racers cannot experience the series virtually yet, but that should change in the near future.

Image credit: ACTC

Canapino, who made his IndyCar debut in 2023 and is a four-time Turismo Carretera champion (2010, 2017-2019), enjoys an enormous following from his native Argentina, putting together a solid season thus far. Apparently, the Juncos Hollinger driver had been talking about Turismo Carretera to New Zealander McLaughlin, who is no stranger to tin tops as a three-time Australian Supercars champion, before already. The Kiwi wondered about other cars needing a driver in reaction to the announcement - and Argentine racing Twitter went wild.

Fans expressed how they would welcome McLaughlin with open arms, even posting clips of the atmosphere that would await him (which seems incredibly electric). Later, a number of IndyCar colleagues like Romain Grosjean (Andretti Autosport), championship leader Alex Palou (Chip Ganassi Racing) and Rinus Veekay (Ed Carpenter Racing), as well as ex-F1 and CART ace Max Papis showed interest.

More Spotlight Through Sim Racing?​

Could the international spotlight shine on Turismo Carretera soon? Sim racing might help with that even further, as REG Simulations, a trio of Argentine racing drivers, are developing PISTA Motorsport to focus on their home land's racing scene. Appearances of internationally-known drivers and a brand-new sim might go hand in hand for this purpose.

And it would be for good reason: Turismo Carretera is the oldest continuosly running racing series in the world, having had its initial season all the way back in 1937. Currently, the cars that run in the series are basically highly-developed stock car variants of popular Ford, Dodge, IKA and Chevrolet models from the 1970s plus a Toyota Camry-based car, although these are set to be replaced by more modern models from 2024 onwards.

Having run on courses laid out on public roads (Turismo Carretera roughly translates to "road racing") for many years of its existence, the series has transitioned to more purpose-built circuits since the mid-1990s. The cars still look a bit like spiritual successors of the Group 5 cars that used to run in DRM in the early 1980s, like the Zakspeed Ford Capri Turbo.

Spectacular Racing​

The wildly-popular series offers exciting racing, often side-by-side for multiple corners and with spectacular overtaking manoeuvers sending the crowds into a frenzy. As a result, it is hardly surprising that drivers like McLaughlin find the series to be intriguing and want to give it a shot themselves - and maybe, this will get Turismo Carretera more international recognition that it would certainly deserve.

Apparently, Canapino has already arranged for McLaughlin to have a seat available if he wants it - complete with the Kiwi's race number 3. Unfortunately, the series is not very present in sim racing outside of a few mods, but with PISTA Motorsport making progress, it may just be a matter of time until it is possible to get a feel for the series in your own rig.

Your Thoughts​

Was Turismo Carretera already on your radar? What is your impression of the series? And would you like to see international drivers try their hand at Argentina's prime stock car series? Let us know in the comments below!
About author
Yannik Haustein
Lifelong motorsport enthusiast and sim racing aficionado, walking racing history encyclopedia.

Sim racing editor, streamer and one half of the SimRacing Buddies podcast (warning, German!).

Heel & Toe Gang 4 life :D


It is the best category in Argentina, but it is not as seen in the video of the best maneuvers either.
In general, these maneuvers occur in the starts or in a relaunch, then the 1st escapes and the overtaking is scarce in the first places. The good thing in comparison, for example in F1, which a team dominates for 5 years, in the TC in a race a "small" team can surprise. (The essence of the TC was that a mechanic or a car prepared among friends ran, today that is more difficult).
Regarding the world of sim racing: There is only one official game (made on rFactor1) and every time a mod for AC comes out it is denounced by whoever has the rights. Too bad they don't update. Hopefully the people of PISTA Motorsport reach an agreement and have official content. Greetings from Argentina.
I use to find with these less mainstream categories (globally speaking) way more fun than with the popular ones.

It's a mix between balance among the teams and these drivers having more freedom to dare. Can't say for sure, but I like it raw.
I wanted to clarify some points...
yes, the TC is the highest Argentine category... but in terms of overtaking... and "show"... by far the TN ("turismo nacional" a typical turing car racing) is the most "wheel to wheel" race .

Currently... among Argentines there is a STRONG division of thought...those "ultra traditionalists" of current cars (maintaining the models, the sound...etc)...but at the cost of this... We have a very large time gap with respect to current models
So much so, that the new brand that was incorporated into the TC, TOYOTA, is not viewed favorably by some of the fans.

on the other hand there are the fans who welcome new brands, new models... modernize everything... (but for God's sake... keep that glorious sound!!!! ;))... at the cost of having models that we don't see on the street ....
(I mean, the "soul" of the TC was that the cars that competed...are the ones you see on the street, driven by common people (falcon, chevy, torino, dodge)....and these NEW models. ..they hardly exist in Argentina...and only very rich people can only have, if this happens...the TC would "detach" from the people...from the common fans)
something like: keep the F1 V10 of the 2000 era... and directly go to the F1V6 turbo hibryd.

That is the current great discussion in the TC and the fans. (forgot to mention that this current aero package is terribly bad for overtaking...if it wasn't for the safety car...the cars would drift away from each other...just like F1 without DRS.... and that the new car design that is about to arrive in 2024 will help something in overtaking... WE ALL HOPE SO!!!.)
If Scott becomes a regular there I'll be tuning in...

Seems like an epic series worth doing some youtube deep dives on at least...
answering the question in the title...
yes and no... the TC today... (today, and almost certainly next year) is very "national", I don't know how to explain it... it doesn't look like a commercial product to "show to the outside world "... its series format (post-classification, pre-race), live advertisements, circuit safety (there is still a lot to improve in this aspect), public control in the stands during and after the races (and public control in boxes during races!!!! Much better compared to other years... but from time to time people not "qualified" to be in a dangerous place like the pits... are there ), the speakers, live classification tables, podiums... and a long etc... etc...
In addition, during the TC weekend... the TC PISTA (a promotion category... similar to F2 compared to F1....but in TC terms) is raced prior to the main race...
but I think... the main problem is the live transmission... currently it can only be seen live from Argentina through the state channel... and through a paid application
(I think...before the application...the OFFICIAL category itself towards the complete LIVE transmission ON YOUTUBE...those days are unfortunately left behind) (even TN did it)

Anyway... it's still very "national" (I couldn't compare it in terms of BROADCASTING, LIVE INFORMATION, ETC ETC... with the WTCC... the Italian f3, the TCR, the... you know... .some category "moderately" visible worldwide)

(personal opinion)

by the way... there are still MANY... pit girls / grid girls
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Always open to racing from all quarters of the globe. Ever since being introduced to AMS1 I soon realized the South American tracks are as good as anywhere and what I didn't realize that how huge motorsport is on that continent. Bored of F1 and GT3 so am looking forward to something different. I'm guessing Pista Motorsport will cover these series and I "think" I'm right in saying this but if they are using the Unity engine this means single pass stereo rendering for Virtual Reality which is a big boom. If not no problem but I very much hope the developers integrate triple Screen support as a minimum. Just hope it drives good...
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sorry... but more videos of races or overtaking... a video only of natural sound is better... I think this is one of the best videos about the sound of engines...

honestly... few race cars in the world sound like this anymore:

In my opinion this gives a similar feeling to the BTCC: really very loud cars with underwhelming speed. If they were faster I'd definitely be more interested!

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