The Ten Least Successful Racing Programs Of All Time

Maintaining a successful racing program requires skill, devotion, and most of all, money. But even then things don’t even work out.

10.) Cadillac Northstar LMP


In the early 2000’s Cadillac devoted time and money to their LMP program in an effort to beat the Europeans at their own game. The game of the World Endurance Championship and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. At this game, Cadillac was unsuccesful. After re-engineering the LMP cars multiple times, not only were they unable to reach the top of the podium, they wasted a lot of money in the process. But hey, kudos to Cadillac for the strong attempt.

Suggested By: Mercutio879, Photo Credit: David Merrett via Wikipedia

9.) Citroën Group B

Citroën was only able to field their BX 4TC rally car three times before Group B as a whole was canned. Because of the rush to get everything together, the car never saw thorough testing and as a result, Citroën was unable to finish above 6th place in the few rallies that they were a part of.

Suggested By: Michael Banovsky, Photo Credit: via

8.) CTA Arsenal


A project co-funded by the French Government and spearheaded by an experienced sports car racing team, there was no reason why the CTA Arsenal should have faced all the issues that it did. The team DNF’d at their first race, on the Arsenal’s first lap. After planning to return to the same race the following year, the team withdrew both cars they had entered. The team later returned in 1949 and saw similarly poor results, which led to the project being disbanded disbanded.

Suggested By: MultiplaOrgams , Photo Credit: gtdreams via Wikipedia

7.) Coloni-Subaru F1


Coloni-Subaru raced in 1990, or I as should probably say, attempted to race. With their unique flat-12 motor, the team’s cars were down nearly 100HP from what most other teams were running with in F1 at the time. Also, it’s a Subaru flat-12, the motor was just as reliable as you would guess it would be, not reliable at all. This led to the team swapping out the flat-12 for a V8 sourced from Cosworth.

The engine wasn’t the only source of Coloni-Subaru’s poor results. The team was poorly organized and had no real sign of direction for the future. At one of their races, they somehow decided it would be okay to assemble their whole car at the race in the paddock. After which they found out that the car was overweight and handled worse than nearly all of the car others cars on track.


Suggested By: The Crazie Kanuck, Photo Credit: via

6.) Porsche Indycar


You might think Porsche has one of the deepest direct connections to motorsports in the automotive industry, but when they dipped their toes into Indycar, they had some serious trouble. At least they did when they attempted to change the game with a carbon-fiber chassis. CART didn’t like the sound of that and banned it before the car could compete. Porsche’s revised car that eventually did race was a disappointment to say the least.

Suggested By: Racer-Ex, Photo Credit: RWD Cars via Wikipedia

5.) MasterCard-Lola F1


The MasterCard-Lola F1 Team is a great example of a team that probably didn’t know the meaning of the word “testing”. Reader tromoly can explain:

They were planning to join F1 in 1998, MasterCard wanted them to start in 1997, so they joined a year early. Chassis never saw a wind tunnel, barely had any on-track tests, failed to qualify for its only race at over 11 seconds off pace (outside of the 107% rule), and withdrew before the second round due to massive debt and technical issues.


Suggested By: tromoly, Photo Credit: via F1Fanatic

4.) Life F1 Team


We saw above how the Coloni-Subaru team faired their flat-12 motor they had originally used in their F1 cars, but how about the Life F1 team’s W12 motor? Not so great either, especially after they dropped it in one of the worst F1 chassis imaginable. My colleague Michael Ballaban went in detail in a recent article he wrote.


Suggested By: Michael Ballaban , Photo Credit: Getty Images via Jalopnik

3.) Red Bull Racing Nascar


Red Bull calls it “an end to an era”, I say good riddance. Between race results often displaying DNFs and multiple driver changing and switching, the Red Bull Team was a rather large mess. Compared to what Red Bull has proven capable of putting out in their other motorsport ventures, their time in NASCAR is nothing less than embarrassing.

Suggested By: For Sweden, Photo Credit: Freewheeling Daredevil via Wikipedia

2.) US F1 Team


See that car up there? Notice how it’s not real? That would be because USF1 never got off the ground, never existed, nothing was ever raced, and no cars were ever built.

Suggested By: SidewaysOnDirt, Photo Credit: USF1

1.) Jaguar Racing F1


In the four years that Jaguar Racing’s F1 Team was active, not only had they not won any races, but they had never even came close. The cars were never on pole and they never set the fastest lap. The “most successful” thing the team had ever done was burn a ton of money.

Lest we not forget my favorite and possibly one of the most notable happenings regarding the Jaguar Racing F1 team, when back in 2004 they had been hired to help promote the soon to be released Ocean’s Twelve film. This promotion of course involved tacking a real $300,000 diamond on the nose of two of their F1 cars during a real race, and basically praying for the best. Could you guess how that ended?


Suggested By: Equana, Photo Credit: ludovic via Flickr

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: Getty Images

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