These are the race cars that destroyed their competition and redefined their sport.
The C5 was a return to form for the Corvette and America in international racing. The C5-R was the GT car to beat in early 2000s endurance racing. During its run the C5-R racked up 31 ALMS victories including an overall victory at the 2001 24 Hours of Daytona.
Corvettes also had three class victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, becoming everyone’s favorite team in the process.
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Hudson’s Hornet was dominant in the early days of NASCAR, back when the term stock car actually meant what it said.
Its light weight and low center of gravity meant that the Hornet could out-handle and out-accelerate the competition. The Hornet won 80 races between 1951-1955, and three championships between 1951-1953.
They’re not so well remembered now, but the Midget cars made by Frank Kurtis were ubiquitous in post-war American open wheel racing.
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Why is the Skyline GT-R called Godzilla? The Group A R32 GT-R is the reason.
It won the 1991 24 Hours of Spa, destroyed the competition in Australian Touring Cars (getting banned in the process), and went undefeated in four seasons (!) of the All Japan Touring Car Championship.
The only reason the Audi R8 didn’t win Le Mans every year between 2000-2005 is because Audi decided to lob a victory to corporate stablemate Bentley in 2003.
This was the car that showed the world that Audi was serious about endurance racing, and began their streak of dominance that continues to this day. Besides victories at Le Mans, the R8 also took home two European Le Mans Series titles, and seven American Le Mans Series titles.
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This car is why you care about BMW Motorsport. When the original M3 raced between 1987-1993, it dominated. Multiple Touring Car championships in countries all over Europe, multiple 24 Hours of Nurburgring and Spa wins, and even a couple rally victories.
There’s a good reason why the E30 M3 is a legend.
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Winning Le Mans in your debut year is a damn impressive feat. The Porsche 956/962 twins did that, but they also won their last entry at Le Mans twelve years later in 1994.
This car dominated at Le Mans, dominated in America and Japan, and to this day holds the lap record at the Nurburgring. Its dominance was astounding.
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The Group A years were some of the toughest, most competitive years in the history of the World Rally Championship. Manufactures like Ford, Renault, Mazda, BMW and more threw lots of money at trying to be the best.
None, however, could beat the Lancia Delta. It won the WRC Constructor’s Championship 6 times in a row between 1987-1992, creating a legend in the process.
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From its inception the Porsche 911 has been entered in, and won nearly every kind of race imaginable.
911s in various guises have won the Monte Carlo rally, the Paris-Dakar, the Targa Florio, the 24 Hours of Daytona, the 12 Hours of Sebring, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and numerous rally and GT championships.
It’s hard to imagine any one car that has won a more diverse number of prestigious races than the mighty 911 and its evolutions like the 934, 935, and 959.
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Over 1,000 races. An exact figure would be impossible to determine, but the Type 35 won over 1,000 races.
Everything from amateur hill climbs to professional Grands Prix, this Bugatti won it all.
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Top Photo Credit: Porsche