In case you missed it, Australia's V8 Supercars racing series - think of it as a cross between ALMS GT and NASCAR - roared through Texas this past weekend providing entertainment for more than 68,000 fans who were in attendance at the Austin 400 held at the impressive Circuit of the Americas venue. The three-day Championship event included four qualifying sessions and four 100 kilometer sprint races, all run nearly flat-out.

The series' inaugural event on U.S. soil didn't disappoint.

The cars are based on production Ford Falcon, Holden Commodore, Nissan Altima and Mercedes-Benz E-Class models, each fitted with a thunderous 5.0-liter V8 (rated at roughly 650 horsepower) sending power to the rear wheels through a sequential gearbox. The drivers sit on the right, protected by a sturdy tube-frame chassis and plenty of honeycomb crush space - good thing, as car-to-car contact and jumping curbs is the rule of the game (check out the gallery for a closer look at the carnage).

The series' inaugural event on U.S. soil didn't disappoint. Fans, Americans joined by a large contingent of Aussies who made the long trek over the Pacific, jumped to their feet for each standing start as dozens of roaring V8 Supercars peeled off to be first up COTA's tricky Turn 1 (the cars have no traction control or ABS). Each sprint lasted less than an hour, with one mandatory pit for tires, so the field was constantly changing position.

As all of the foreign drivers were new to the circuit (the Aussies nicknamed the tall white observation tower, with red trailing pipes, "The Mullet"), it took some time for each team to acclimate to its challenges and develop strategy. More than once, a car fell back in the pack when it followed the wrong line through Turns 3-6, and it was wedged out of position at the exit (of course, being V8 Supercars, the tall curbs hardly seemed to deter).

Holden's Jamie Whincup, racing under the Red Bull label, took three of the races, while the one remaining event was won by Fabian Coulthard, also driving a Holden, for the Lockwood Racing team. We were embedded with the teams from Nissan. Their Altima sedans, unveiled just months ago, fared well with several top-ten finishes - impressive results for a new team competing in this well-established series. The next event is at Hidden Valley Raceway, in Darwin, from June 14-16... and, based on the overwhelmingly positive response from the fans, the series already has plans to come back to the States in 2014.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 46 Comments
      John
      • 1 Year Ago
      Who's the genius that posted all the Nissan photographs?
      LJSearles
      • 1 Year Ago
      "the series already has plans to come back to the States in 2014." Umm.. they'll be coming back for 4 more years. They signed a 5 year deal.
      AutoBlahed
      • 1 Year Ago
      Race cars with rear-wheel drive, tube cage, crush zones in the doors, no ABS or traction control, big V8 engines and only a superficial resemblance to the models they represent. Sounds like a big American race series that gets lots of crap here (that also runs a few road course races) but this one gets all sorts of love. Double-standard anyone?
        Phil T
        • 1 Year Ago
        @AutoBlahed
        Doors that open, lights and wipers that work. They race wet or dry, hot or cold...
        ImpulseGTO
        • 1 Year Ago
        @AutoBlahed
        There's pretty good differences between the two. V8 Supercars are only 5.0 liters. They use production bodies besides the front bumper covers. They retain the actual doors. Working lights etc.
        Mr E
        • 1 Year Ago
        @AutoBlahed
        "runs a FEW road course races" is a big part of the problem -- at least it's not all ovals anymore, but it's still hard for a lot of people to get into left-only races. not to mention the over-coverage, and all the soap opera drama that seems to be part of the series
          burkevillebum
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Mr E
          Indeed they need to learn that less is more. The excessive coverage creates a deep animosity for people that tune into the Speed Channel looking for other forms of motorsports. This animosity roots is self deeply in any and all motorsports forums. It's become a hobby to bash Nascar but they've put it on themselves for the reasons you stated.
        xspeedy
        • 1 Year Ago
        @AutoBlahed
        These turn left.
      MAX
      • 1 Year Ago
      Why are you showing a Nissan when the Holdens dominated?
        Michael Harley
        • 1 Year Ago
        @MAX
        I was there with Nissan, as mentioned in the story. Yes, the Holdens SERIOUSLY dominated. - Mike
      sp33dklz
      • 1 Year Ago
      This could SO easily replace NASCAR...
      bubba_roe
      • 1 Year Ago
      Nissan needs to make the Maxima rwd and v8. But thatll never happen.
        Jim R
        • 1 Year Ago
        @bubba_roe
        Funny thing, the Maxima used to be RWD back in the early 80s.
          Sir Duke
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Jim R
          For how long? one generation maybe, then it went fwd.
      Josh
      • 1 Year Ago
      Too bad The Falcon will just be a memory soon... m
      collabplan
      • 1 Year Ago
      Would it have killed you to post this article sometime before Friday of the following week? Just sayin'....
        Michael Harley
        • 1 Year Ago
        @collabplan
        First, we take a lot of heat for spoilers if we post right after a race. Yes, five days is a bit long... but I was out at other events so this one had to wait a few days. No regurgitated content. - Mike
          collabplan
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Michael Harley
          Mike, appreciate the response but removing my comment that you are responding to is lame.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @collabplan
        [blocked]
          • 1 Year Ago
          [blocked]
          ImpulseGTO
          • 1 Year Ago
          So today they post a Nissan commercial in the form of week old v8 supercar news...
          collabplan
          • 1 Year Ago
          Or another Autoblog favorite: Jalopnik retreads.
        ImpulseGTO
        • 1 Year Ago
        @collabplan
        Yea I was kinda bummed that autoblog didn't say anything about it during the entire even or the following Monday.
      Rob Rudorf
      • 1 Year Ago
      Who won, the Nissan or the Nissan?
      throwback
      • 1 Year Ago
      They should add a second US race, perhaps at Road Atlanta or Laguna Seca
      msg
      • 1 Year Ago
      need better girls
      ImpulseGTO
      • 1 Year Ago
      They put on a good show! I went on Sunday. Love the sound of those cars!! It was all really fan friendly. So glad they come to Texas!!
        Hal20xx
        • 1 Year Ago
        @ImpulseGTO
        I caught it on TV only by accident and was glued to the entire race. It was really cool to hear how much all of the drivers really like the US and the course.
        Phil T
        • 1 Year Ago
        @ImpulseGTO
        You have to love the sound of the Benz V8. Its running a flat plane crank that makes it sound so different to the others.
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