No site is complete without a top 10 list. This list isn’t necessarily about the best performing cars, or the best looking, or the ones with the most wins. It’s a combination of everything that goes into creating the personality and the following of vehicle. Some cars we love because they win. Some we love because they sound incredible. Some we love because of the history. And some we love and have no idea why.
So let’s have a look at our personal favourite cars of 2017.
#10 – Ginetta P60-LT-P1
That’s right, we’re starting with a car that hasn’t even raced yet. Say what you want about Ginetta, but they get the ball rolling on things. The Ginetta LMP3 is arguably responsible for kick starting the success of the LMP3 class, acting as a starter motor before Ligier arrived with the JSP3.
The P60-LT1 looks like it’ll have the same effect on the privateer LMP1 grid in WEC. Ginetta were first to announce a car for the rejuvenated LMP1 grid, and even got Mecachrome onboard early to make the transition as easy as possible for teams. Dallara followed Ginetta with the announcements, and ORECA jumped onboard with Rebellion late on.
Bonus point for ByKolles for sticking around when nobody else did.
#9 – Callaway C7 GT3-R
The Callaway C7 GT3-R was treated like some sort of half cousin that GM never wanted to let into the family dinner. There’s possibly nothing more American than a Corvette, and yet it wasn’t allowed to race in the United States.
Fortunately, this privately built car found a home in the ADAC GT Masters in the hands of Jules Gounon. The Frenchman sealed the title with a win at Hockenheim. His reward was a works Bentley drive, replacing the outgoing Oliver Jarvis.
The reward for the car came in the form of the end of the Cadillac Pirelli World Challenge team. With the Caddy gone, the route to America was opened to the C7 GT3-R. The car will race in the United States in 2018.
#8 – Porsche 911 RSR GTE
Porsche introduced the mid-engined 911 RSR for 2017, in both IMSA and the WEC. Unfortunately the car struggled in both series, managing only a single win in the whole year – IMSA at Lime Rock.
But whilst other manufacturers moved to turbos, Porsche remained with a naturally aspirated engine. And it sounded wonderful. It sounded incredible on day 1, testing at Sebring. But then came Le Mans and the new exhaust and it was glorious. We may have lost the Ferrari 458 wail to the turbo charged 488, but the 911 sounds better than ever.
#7 – Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus SCG 003
Built by James Glickenhaus, the half prototype, half GT monster is an old school privateer effort. But when it came to the Nurburgring, they weren’t hanging around. The SCG 003C took pole for the 24 Hours of the Nurburgring. It was a truly giant killing act.
We hope to see more of the SCG 003C, maybe even in other series in the future.
#6 – Audi RS3 TCR
Audi Sport Customer Racing are currently doing what they do best – selling a lot of cars to a lot of customers. The RS3 TCR is no exception. By July last year, over 100 were in the hands of customers.
Audi have embraced the Porsche model of building customer cars, ramped it up to 100 and made a success of it. There are well over 200 R8 GT3s in the wild, over 100 RS3 TCRs, and R8 GT4s have already been reaching customers in time for the 2018 season.
At the time of writing, there are 8 Audi TCR entries into the IMSA Continental Tire Sportscar Challenge, and 4 entered into the 24 Hours of Dubai.
#5 – Porsche 919 Hybrid
2017 was Toyota’s big chance of the Le Mans victory. For the first time they brought 3 cars, they had run reliably, and they were fast – setting an astonishing pole position time for the big event. What could go wrong?
Plenty, apparently. Accidents, incidents, reliability and more. The 919 came through to take the victory. It may not have been the fastest car, but it won Le Mans in a very old-school way – it was repaired quickly and was back on track before Toyota could turn around the TS050.
After Le Mans, the 919 won in Mexico and COTA, which was enough to take a clean sweep of the WEC titles. Drivers, Manufacturers and Le Mans victory.
#4 – Norma M30
Who saw this little thing coming? In a sea of Ligier JSP3s, the Norma M30 was often the one thing which kept the LMP3 classes from being spec classes.
The first victory for the M30 came at Monza, in ELMS. Y.Racing YMR found that the car ran extremely well in low downforce specification and won the race. In the Michelin Le Mans Cup the car dominated, taking 5 victories in the hands of DKR Engineering. The most significant of which was the second Road to Le Mans race. The car was so good at Le Mans that the Ligier runs were granted dispensation to modify the rear aero on the JSP3s.
The strong performances led to Norma being acquired by Duqueine Engineering. Watch the LMP3 classes throughout the world to see more of this car – it’s a tidy little thing.
#3 – Audi R8 LMS GT3
The R8 may be getting a bit old as far as race cars go, but that hasn’t stopped it winning. The R8 GT3 took victories at the 24 Hours of the Nurburgring, 24 Hours of Spa, California 8 Hours, Petit Le Mans. The car sealed the IGTC title, and took a race win in almost every series it participated in.
It might be old, but it’s not done yet.
#2 – ORECA 07
The ORECA 07 has defined the new LMP2 regulations. It was, largely, the only LMP2 represented in the WEC. It took titles in WEC, ELMS and the LMP2 Le Mans win. It was almost more than that too – it ran P1 overall for a few hours at Le Mans whilst a repaired 919 had to play catch up.
Over in the US the car ran in the hands of JDC-Miller Motorsports. The Banana Boat was an instant fan favourite, as the distinctive yellow machine continually punched above its weight. The Banana Boat is joined by the Red Dragon for 2018, which will only aid its popularity.
The ORECA 07 also becomes the base for the Acura AXR-05 DPi, which will make its debut at the Daytona 24 hours.
#1 – Cadillac DPi.VR
This list may not be about the best performing car, but it’s hard to look past the dominant performance of the Caddy DPi. The car absolutely dominated Daytona, and despite IMSAs best BoP efforts, it won the first 7 races of the season. Even incidents and accidents for the championship winning Wayne Taylor Racing team couldn’t keep the Cadillac off the top spot. When WTR faltered, Action Express were right there with another 2 DPi.VRs.
For 2018 there is a fourth Cadillac DPi on the grid, as Spirit of Daytona finally get a DPi. It’ll be tough to keep up a 70% winning record with Joest and Penske on the scene though.
Everybody has different ideas when it comes to favourites and best cars. Let us know your personal favourites in the comments.