Placing a series of turns or bends in the steep roads that provide access to and from the high elevations of the mountains was intended to be a safety measure, usually to prevent commuters from reaching unstable speeds or creating excessive wear on the vehicles associated with them. It is therefore ironic that these same passes have become popular with street racers and motorsport enthusiasts in the last two decades, providing a dangerous and therefore challenging course where nightly competitions are not unheard of.
The lead car wins if the space between the cars increases considerably, while the following car wins if the gap between them stays the same, decreases from start to finish or the following car overtakes the lead car. If any car spins out or crashes, the other one wins the race.
This method is used when the road area isn't wide enough to allow passing, but if the car in front does indeed somehow get passed, the overtaken car automatically loses.
If the road is wide enough, this method comes into use. Instead of the lead and chase type of start, the cars are lined up next to each other. If there is a handicap in horsepower, a rolling start would be used up until the 1st turn. Whoever is in front at the end of the "touge" road, is the winner.
A challenge is communicated through the use of the hazard lights. Then according to the road, use of one of the 2 prior types of battle.
Another common mistake is the association of drifting with touge, implying at times that the words share a common definition. While drift is considered a style or form of driving, touge does not necessarily have any binding relationship to motorsports. Drifting can be used on the touge to prevent the chaser from his line or to mess up his line. For example if there was a chaser and one were to drift the drifter has now eliminated about 60 percent of the chaser's possible lines forcing him to choose lines that can be predicted. Also in doing this one can cause the chaser to slow down in order not to crash into the drifting car in front, which might cause complications due to keeping rpm's high and traction and all other variables to consider in slowing down for a corner.
Touge racing's notoriety outside of Japan can be attributed partially to entertainment media such as Initial D (originally manga, and later anime, and in 2005, live action under the Chinese title Tou Wen Zi D(頭文字 D) ) and, to a lesser extent, the recent American film The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift.
The racing video game Need For Speed Carbon has the "Canyon Duel" which is for all intents and purposes a touge race, except that both stages are done downhill, and a system of "points" is used for clarification.
Touge racing is also popularized in many DVD magazines in Japan and America, now that "drifting" has become accepted by the mainstream, though there may or may not be drifting involved.
The racing video game Need For Speed: Pro Street has a drift team that is called TougeUnion team, in the game that is considered to the best of the best in drift type racing. If you win at enough of their events you will get to challenge the drift king to see who is the best in the world in drifting.
In Codemasters newest game, _GRID, players can compete in two different types of touge. In Pro Touge, which is the lesser common of the two, the players follow the Cat and Mouse style, and physical contact is a penalty. The player begins in front of their opponent on a downhill race to the bottom of the course, blocked off from civilians. The second race is the same course, simply uphill, with the player chasing their opponent. It is the responsibility of the player not to make contact with the other driver, or they receive the time penalty. The players are scored based on what time they finish the course, leaving room for a driver who lost the first race to win by beating the margin.
The second touge type in GRID is the Midnight Touge, which is the more glorified and common type. The players drive Straight Up, first one to the bottom wins. However, Midnight Touge races are not blocked off to the public, assuring there to be others driving on the road, however they only drive uphill for conflict purposes.
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