I am a bit confused about the various auto racing events that are held, and was wondering if someone could give a rundown of what they are. For instance, you have the NASCAR races that are all held on a banked, oval track, and seems to be mainly an American thing. Then you have the regular, fast tracks like Lime rock, ..(Sears point, Laguna Seca?) where you have mostly a combination of straights and sharp, non-banked curves. What are the various non-NASCAR races that are held on tracks like these? Is there a "Wimbledon" (as in tennis grand slam) of these races? Are the INDY 500/Daytona etc of the NASCAR variety, or do others compete as well? What are the races where BMWs and Porsches compete in? What are these GT1, GT2, GT3 classes; are they based on some power/weight ratio? Are the cars that compete in these classes heavily modified, or are they mostly stock? Over the weekend, I saw a Speedvision cup race where a Z3 or M coupe seemed to come in 5th according to these results (although I thought that the bimmer that took 5th was an M3 coupe):
Speedvision cup May 24th results
Anyway, I was a bit confused with this race, since clearly no bimmer can take on a Viper. Was this race also divided into GT1, GT2 etc., or what does it mean to have a much more powerful car compete with much less powerful ones?
Finally, I am a bit confused with the term "GT". One often hears this term thrown around in the endless debates about whether something is a "sports car" or not. Yet, the "real" racing circuits where the big boys like the Porsche twin turbos, Vipers, Ferraris compete are all called "GTxx" championships if I am not mistaken, and this is as "sports" the sport of driving gets. I have usually taken the "GT" designation for a car, over "sports car", as a bit of a slam. Is this accurate, or is something being called "GT" a higher accolade than something being called "sports car"?
Thanks, and sorry for the length,