In the final race in Cars 3, McQueen switches places with Cruz on the premise that it's the number and not a car that is registered for the race. It seemed unfair to me that he could take such a decision after having started the race instead of before the start.

Could two cars with the same number switch places in the actual racing world? Is there any evidence that producers used a real life scenario as inspiration for this scene?

  • Are you asking such a thing happen in real life? – Vishwa Nov 1 '17 at 10:35
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    Since when is Cars supposed to be realistic? – Paulie_D Nov 1 '17 at 12:12
  • I think what you're asking amounts to "Is there a car race format that allows racers to replace an entire car?" There are races that allow you to replace the driver, such as long endurance races. So is McQueen the car or the driver? – JPhi1618 Nov 1 '17 at 18:45
  • I know cars is not realistic ;) , I am just wondering if two cars with same number could switch place in a race in real life. – vincenth Nov 1 '17 at 18:55

Swapping cars mid race is not allowed for any race series that I am aware of. Many racing classes even prohibit the amount of repairs you can do on a car once the race has started. If you think of McQueen as the car, that just goes against the spirit of car racing, and what you end up with would be a weird form of car tag-team racing.

Now, if McQueen is the driver, there are some races that allow driver changes. Most of these races have a planned driver change because the races are too long for one person to safely complete (24 Hours of LeMans, for instance). It's still unlikely that any race would allow a driver to swap out "just because they wanted to" if it wasn't a pre-planned part of the race.

So, we have to chalk this up to a fundamental difference in the alternate reality of the Cars universe. McQueen is a veteran professional racer, and we can assume he knows the rules and the loopholes. They just don't apply to our world where car-eyes are obviously in the headlights...

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  • If I could, I would upvote a second time for the last sentence. Thanks for the whole answer. – vincenth Nov 1 '17 at 19:57

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