Should Race Cars Look Like Real Cars?

Automobile L'Ouest, the sanctioning body for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, has announced that by 2010 all cars in the top prototype LMP1 class must feature both a closed cockpit and bodywork resembling actual production cars. The thinking is that the LMP1 cars are "dream cars" and that fans should not be able to tell Peugeots apart from Pescarolos. On the one hand we are totally for this move, as win on Sunday, sell on Monday is one of our favorite mantras. Also, despite knowing all about the bleeding-edge tech that goes into the top cars, we find the GT1 class so much more interesting. But on the other hand, have you looked at the top Le Mans racers lately? They're gorgeous. From Bentley's beautiful yet butt-whooping Speed-8 to Audi's devil in the diesel back to back Le Mans champ R10, these cars look fantastic. And as Automobile's Robert Cumberford argued a few months back, passenger car designers should be looking to the future (Le Mans prototypes) instead of slavishly clinging to the past (ala J Mays style retroism). What sayeth you?

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