The 10 Most Important Prototypes in IMSA History

Jackson Wheeler
1 Min Read


Reason for ranking: The Audi R8 almost single-handedly sustained ticket sales for the American Le Mans Series for six seasons, because fans loved the car’s winning ways, its charismatic drivers and didn’t care about relatively small starting fields.

The Audi factory teams of Team Joest and Champion Racing had little opposition from others during the LMP-1 era fostered by the American Le Mans Series, making the Audi R8 the most efficient prototype to compete regularly when it came to winning.

Like the Porsche 962, the R8 was perfected as a second-generation car. It followed the R8R, which was difficult to drive and baked its drivers thanks to a front-mounted radiator for the V8 twin turbo. After some wizardry by designer Tony Southgate resulted in side-mounted radiators, the R8 and its crew of stellar driving talent steamrolled the opposition regularly.

The redoubtable Panoz LMP1 Roadster S, for example, only beat it twice. As with the Porsche 962, the popularity of the R8 was boosted by its success at Le Mans.

Key stat: Won 63 races from 79 starts.

Notable drivers: Tom Kristensen, Allan McNish, Dindo Capello.

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Jackson Wheeler is a skilled editor at Speedofdaily.com, specializing in automotive content. With a background in Journalism and Automotive Engineering, he combines his passion for cars with his writing expertise to deliver captivating articles. Jackson's deep knowledge of automotive technology and his racing experience make him a valuable asset to the team, providing readers with informative and engaging content.
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