The 2016 sports car racing season saw standout performances from a number of drivers and teams, but couldn’t have been achieved without the winning car underneath them.
Sportscar365 continues its end-of-year review with a look at the Top 10 cars of 2016:
10. Ligier JS P3 – Sales, and the success of the Onroak Automotive-built entry level prototype have exploded in 2016, with nearly 100 Ligier JS P3s built, and competing in various championships worldwide. United Autosports took the car to the European Le Mans Series LMP3 title, in a class that saw all-Ligiers for the majority of the season.
9. Audi R8 LMS – Class victory in the Rolex 24 at Daytona and overall honors in the Hankook 24 Hours of Dubai highlighted Audi’s successful full season of customer racing with the new-generation R8 LMS, which also included the ADAC GT Masters title.
8. Corvette DP – The final year for the tubeframed prototype was capped off with its third consecutive IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship title by Action Express Racing, despite strong challenges from P2-based machinery throughout the season. The Coyote and Dallara-chassised examples are now headed to retirement, or for historic racing.
7. Ford GT – Despite BoP controversy, the Multimatic-built supercar proved to be one of the most successful cars in international sports car racing, with Ford Chip Ganassi Racing having claimed a historic class victory at Le Mans, and finishing runner-up in both the WEC and IMSA championships with numerous wins.
6. Mercedes-AMG GT3 – The German manufacturer’s new GT3 contender made a splash in 2016, with a 1-2-3-4 sweep at the Nürburgring 24, a controversial outing at the Total 24 Hours of Spa, and propelling HTP Motorsport to the overall Blancpain GT Series teams’ championship. The car also enjoyed success in other championships worldwide, having racked up 18 overall wins and 32 podium finishes.
5. McLaren 650S GT3 – The British supercar had another strong year, with victory in the Bathurst 12 Hour and numerous wins in Pirelli World Challenge and the Blancpain GT Series, en route to drivers’ titles in both, as well as the teams’ and manufacturers crowns in PWC.
4. Oreca 05 – Regularly the quickest LMP2 car in Europe, the French constructor claimed seven out of nine class victories in the WEC, with the Alpine-badged entry having also taken the LMP2 World Championship. Additionally, Oreca 05s earned four out of six wins in ELMS competition, making for a dominant season in numbers.
3. Ligier JS P2 – While not having quite the success as ORECA in the WEC or ELMS, Onroak Automotive achieved the North American trifecta of endurance race victories at the Rolex 24 at Daytona and Twelve Hours of Sebring with Tequila Patron ESM, and Petit Le Mans with Michael Shank Racing. It marked the first constructor to do so since Ferrari with the legendary 333SP in 1998.
2. Corvette C7.R – The Pratt & Miller-built car continued its mark on the GT racing scene this year, with four GTLM class victories, including repeat wins at Daytona and Sebring, as well as claiming Corvette Racing’s 100th win at Lime Rock. It culminated with the WeatherTech Championship title for Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner.
1. Porsche 919 Hybrid – Porsche was again the benchmark in the WEC, with the updated 919 Hybrid claiming six wins out of nine races, including the German manufacturer’s 18th overall Le Mans crown, en route to back-to-back Manufacturers World Championships. Even though the competition had quicker cars at times, reliability issues for the Audi R18 and only occasional flashes from Toyota proved Porsche again had the most well-rounded LMP1 Hybrid in the world.