low end grunt is everything. look at diesel engines low rpm, high hp
geared correctly torque will smoke rpm based motors and much easer to drive smooth
also look at motor cycles
once in the golden days of 2 stroke motors you had to be at 8000+ rpm to 20,000 to be in the powerband
ya i know thats a little high but some gp 125's do 20,000+rpm
now its all 4 stroke mostly
lower rpm tons of torque alot easer to rip the track with.
so torque is very much a key over looked in racing because everbody loves the sound of a motor all spooled up!
its the quiet guys to worry about!