V8 Supercars

Talk to most car fans about V8 supercars and they'll probably start talking Ferrari and Corvette. But to Australians, V8 Supercars is a racing series – one of the most popular touring car series in the world, and one that is only gaining popularity.

The championship pits race-spec Ford Falcons and Holden Commodores against each other on road courses around Australia and New Zealand, but has been known to travel abroad as well. This year's calendar kicked off in Abu Dhabi, after previous seasons included trips to Bahrain and China. But coming years could see the Aussie series making the trans-Pacific voyage to North America.

Recent developments have given the predominantly Australian championship a more international profile. For one, the FIA has promoted it to international status, as opposed to a national series. For another, a steady stream of world-renowned racing drivers (like multiple Indy 500 winners Dario Franchitti and Helio Castroneves, four-time Champ Car champ Sebastien Bourdais, multiple touring car champions Andy Priaulx and Yvan Muller, and former F1 world champ Jacques Villeneuve) have been flying Down Under to take a crack at it. Speed's coverage of some of the series' marquee events hasn't hurt either, and the series' new owners – a private equity firm who bought it from a consortium of promoters and teams – may be eager to capitalize on their investment.

While the series' organizers have previously rejected the notion of coming to North America, with all these factors aligned, they're suddenly singing a different tune. General Motors is apparently keen on the idea, which could come to fruition as early as the 2013 season if all the stars line up just right. Just where such a race might take place remains to be seen, but a West Coast venue would be the smart bet. Organizers could, meanwhile, opt to hold a race as part of a stand-alone three-day weekend event like its home races in Australia, or pair it with an existing spectacle such as an IndyCar or ALMS race.