Race cars come and go, but some are destined for the history books from their first shakedown. These ten are the best of the best of 2015, as chosen by Jalopnik readers.
No matter how you look at it, winning a race like Petit Le Mans from a GT class is an incredible feat. Reader Nimrodical can explain:
Rain, mechanical grip instead of aero, rear engine, great drivers, amazing car and tires from Michelin . Daytona Prototypes are not that great of a race car. It all adds up to winner winner chicken dinner!
Anyone can build a car that can race for 90 minutes, try racing for 10 to 24 hours, now that takes an engineering work of art.
Suggested By: Nimrodical, Photo Credit: Porsche
The Nissan GT-R LM may not have been the most successful race car competing in the World Endurance Challenge this year, but it is one that the top teams will no doubt have their eyes on next year.
Thanks to the GT-R LM’s clutch issues, brake-wear issues, gearbox catching on fire issues, a front-wheel drive layout completely out of left field, and a barely competitive hybrid system, the Nismo team has their work cut out for them if they want to return as a serious contender next year in WEC.
When the Beast of Turin was awakened from its 100+ year slumber to run the hill at Goodwood, it was like a god had arisen to show all the so-called race cars of today what it’s actually all about. This 28.5-liter racing machine may not have recently seen much serious competition, but it is arguably the most historic of all the historic racers that have seen track time this year.
Throughout the whole 2015 season, the VT15R rally car destroyed rally stage after rally stage with privateer open-class rally teams almost nowhere in its mirrors. Thanks to the car’s incredible performance capabilities, David Higgins and Craig Drew’s foot to the floor driving styles, and the Vermont Sportscar team’s make it or break it attitude, Subaru annihilated the 2015 Rally America season and Higgins once again came out on top as Rally America champion. But not just any rally champion. A champion with a perfect season.
Give it up for that Subie!
For years Spec Miatas and MX-5 Cup cars have controlled the world of grassroots racing. A new king has arrived, and it is the new Mazda MX-5 Global Cup Car. Reader Patrick Frawley can share some insight:
In a world that needs affordable easy-to-run racers, the Miata remains an essential part of the competition ecosystem. Having a full factory turnkey racer and a supported series with global reach just underlines and reinforces the idea.
It didn’t even race this year but given the significance and meaning of this program, this is one of the year’s high points.
Between the massive jumps, brutal race car to race car contact, and relentless race-starting launches, seeing what comes out on top at the end of a Global Rallycross season is a great way to measure a top level race car. With Scott Speed and his No. 41 car finishing as 2015 Champions, our answer is here.
In fact, the Beetle GRC cars were so good, people think they were cheating!
Suggested By: BABeamer, Photo Credit: VW
Year after year the Pratt & Miller racing team pump out furiously bad ass Corvette racing monsters that set out to dominate the world’s best road race tracks in the most ‘Merica way possible. Even if a C7.R isn’t at the top of a podium, which may be rare, they succeed at every race by putting smiles on the faces of fans everywhere. No one can resist the sound of that race car glorious V8.
Unlike Rally America where Subaru is the only factory-backed rally team, the World Rally Championship is filled with seriously well-funded competition from teams like Citroën, Hyundai, and M-Sport. To say that VW Motorsport and their Polo R WRC rally car completely controlled the 2015 WRC season would almost be an understatement.
When it becomes a surprise if the race car doesn’t win every single Grand Prix in the season, that’s when you know it’s a damn good race car with a damn good driver. Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton, no matter how cocky or childish either of them might be, rightfully earned their paychecks this season by taking 15 Grand Prix wins from the other competitors.
You can’t beat a Le Mans champion like Audi, a team that had won 13 out of the past 15 24 Hours of Le Mans races, and not be completely stoked about it.
After a rough start in the 2014 World Endurance Championship season, Porsche came back with its sister team Audi in its sights. With three cars and three sets of race-ready drivers, Porsche gave Audi a run for their money and stole both the 2015 Le Mans and season LMP1 wins right from under them.
Now if only they could figure out how to dial-in their wet-track performance.
Suggested By: Clay_T, Photo Credit: Porsche
Welcome back to Answers of the Day - our daily Jalopnik feature where we take the best ten responses from the previous day’s Question of the Day and shine it up to show off. It’s by you and for you, the Jalopnik readers. Enjoy!
Top Photo Credit: Subaru via YouTube