Open Wheel or Tin Top - Which is Your Favorite?

McLaren MP4-12 720S GT4 BMW M4 GT4 Red Bull Ring Automobilista 2.jpg

Which type of car is your favorite to race in?

  • Open Wheel

    Votes: 166 31.6%
  • GT

    Votes: 155 29.5%
  • Touring Car

    Votes: 86 16.3%
  • Prototype

    Votes: 62 11.8%
  • Stock Car

    Votes: 13 2.5%
  • Rally

    Votes: 25 4.8%
  • Other (please comment)

    Votes: 19 3.6%

  • Total voters
The great variety in motorsport and, as a result, in sim racing, offers plenty of choice for fans and virtual racers – not just when it comes to circuits. While the most popular form of racing in the world uses open wheel cars in Formula 1, GT and Touring Car racing also enjoy large followings, and sim racers seem to gravitate to tin tops more and more. And where do Prototypse rank in this?

Not only do the two types of cars look fundamentally different, they also present entirely different challenges to their drivers: While open wheelers are light, nimble, and relatively powerful, especially in the bigger series, GT cars tend to be heavier, not as fast, but suited to more drivers due to their ease of access. Meanwhile, Touring Cars are quite different yet again, as they often feature front-wheel drive as well as low power and require a lot of commitment to throw them around a circuit quickly.

Another popular class in sim racing also has enclosed wheels and a roof, but does not hande like anything else out there on road courses – and that is because they are mainly at home on ovals: Stock Cars, as raced by NASCAR, are heavy beasts, but their enormous V8 engines can extract a lot of speed out of these all-American machines that require a very particular set of skills to get the most out of them.

Prototypes - Intense Tin Tops?​

Somewhere in between open wheelers and GT cars, prototypes like the current LMH and LMDh Hypercars can be found: Designed for endurance racing, these vehicles have enormous downforce and tons of power at their disposal, meaning they are closer to a formula-style car than to a GT vehicle when it comes to driving them. Keeping this intensity up for longer periods of time presents its own challenge.

Arguably the most challenging type of racing does not even necessarily take place on paved roads: Rally drivers and their co-drivers face quick-fire action like no other racers, flying through forests on gravel roads, tarmac country roads or even sliding on snow and ice – no matter if it is raining or the sun is out. Even night stages are on the calendar, ramping up the intensity even more. Meanwhile, Rallycross takes place on closed circuits, but is different in nature due to multiple racers competing at the same time, contrary to classic rallys. Loose surface racing is not reserved to rallying, though: Dirt ovals are especially popular in a variety of vehicles in the US, and hillclimbs can also feature gravel roads.

Your Opinion​

There are countless forms of racing out there, so not every type has even been mentioned in this article. We want to know, though: What is your favorite type of car to get into the virtual cockpit of? Do you prefer open wheelers? Touring Cars? GT machines? Prototoypes? Rally? Or something entierely different? Let us know in the poll and in the comments below!
About author
Yannik Haustein
Lifelong motorsport enthusiast and sim racing aficionado, walking racing history encyclopedia.

Sim racing editor, streamer and one half of the SimRacing Buddies podcast (warning, German!).

Heel & Toe Gang 4 life :D


I have no favorite, so have chosen ‘Other’. All types, classic and modern, as long as they look and feel right.
You know what it is with modern F1. They are too grippy for me, so I get somewhat an arcady-feeling. The historic F1 are quite nice, tho, but not my thing. I prefer the low grip cars, like Caterham, F-trainers, etc. And then also work my way up to modern tintops. Specially, I like rally as well. To be fair if its too grippy it feels weird on a pancake-monitor. VR is a totally different thing when it comes too highdownforce + grip.
My love for motorsport started with F1 and Rally way back in the 1980s. Next came Touring cars (DTM). While F1 has lost me in the early 2000s the other two are still my favorites. So I tend to race them in sim the most.
Additionally I do love to drive all kind of street cars from grocery getters to supercars.
Tin top, but really that covers most of the choices. I also treat my limited sim racing time like a buffet, and pick a lot of different portions.
I would like to race more open wheelet, but they are very often too complex to set up.
GT3 Gt4 are often easier to handle and set up . I tend to use them more.
I voted open wheel. Indy, and F1 from the 60's, 70's, 80's, and 90's are my favorite. That being said, I do like a good touring car, or Group C race when I can get it.
Voted tintop, love touring cars, rally, gt and ovals from time to time.
I'm not against open wheelers, I quite enjoy lower class cars like the Skippy, formula Ford and radicals.
Sadly the distinctions are being blurred. Another square foot of metal and Indycars will be tintops, a little more and they will have rear fenders. Purpose built GT cars look more and more like prototypes, while prototypes look like refugees from a sci-fi movie. Stock cars, if you're speaking of NASCARE, have nothing "stock" about them.

And GT can't even keep the same classifications more than a couple of years, so its history the past thirty years is tortuous to the point of ridiculousness (

In sims I drive and enjoy them all. But GT are my favorites.
Other because:
For me right now, I’m only driving open cars from the roaring 20’s and depressing 30’s. Bugatti’s, Bentley, Mercedes, Alfa’s, Delage etc.

I enjoy driving just about any type of car but nothing more than a low to mid level single seater with a bit of aero but not too much so mainly something like F4 or previous generation F3 cars (not the current rebranded GP3 style cars though, they're still fun but slightly too fast for that sweet spot imo)
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Open wheel is my favorite, but you don't have to twist my arm much to get me into a tintop.
I like either a junior formula or classic F1 car the best. Using VR may have something to do with it because it's nice to take a look around and see the surroundings. You also really get a sense of the proximity of the other cars.

So much depends on the game, though. For me, iRacing gives the best open wheel driving experience. But something like ACC has a driving experience great enough that I happily drive whatever cars it has. And DiRT Rally 2.0 in VR especially is literally in a league of its own.

I would also welcome a modern sim with a real focus on street cars like Assetto Corsa had. My biggest wish for AC2 is just that.

So, all of the above, really.
My favorite type of car to race is "not open wheeler without top" (I voted "others"). I like to race without any pillar for better visibility and without roof for enjoying the screnary.
So cars like Shelby Cobra, Ferrari Monza SP, Ariel Atom, KTM XBow, Lotus Eleven, Maserati Tipo 61, Afla Tipo 33 even MX5s are what I like the most to race with.

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Yannik Haustein
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What would be the ideal raceday for you to join our Club Races?

  • Monday

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