A simple game system (move your chariot via card play - but you can't play a card that you can't use all of the movement on) combined with stellar bits and a great theme makes for a wonderful racing game. Wolfgang Reidesser's Ave Caesar has also become hard to find and a bit expensive. It was redone as a car-racing game (Ausgebremst) but the bits aren't nearly as nice. OTOH, there's a Japanese edition entitled Q-Jet that is amazing looking.
Andrea Meyer: "Another all-time favourite. I like it best with more players on a track than are indicated (e.g. 7 on the 6-horse-track). It's a no-no to give hints to anybody missing the return his coin and it's a must to block others whenever you can (even if you lose a position by doing so)."
picture from Board Game Geek