The problem with this question is that unless you specify where in the engines rpm you get the choice it's impossible to say which one is more advantageous. In a typical piston driven crankshaft internal combustion engine Torque is the twisting force you can actually measure. Horse Power is the measurement of this torque (twisting force) but then cross-referenced to the speed of said twisting power shaft at which the measurement of torque was obtained, this is useful to determine how fast the torque can be applied or how much work you can get done in a specific period of time from said twisting force. The mathematical formula to rate HP is, Torque x RPM / 5252 = HP. Due to the constant of the 5252 divisor in the equation, torque and HP curves always equal out numerically at 5,252 RPM. That's a fact. At any RPM rate below 5252 each ft/lb of torque is less than each one Horse Power, the further down towards zero you measure the torque the less HP each ft/lb generates. (50 lbs/ft x 1000 RPM / 5252 = 9.52 HP. So heck at 1000 RPM I'll take 50 more HP thank you very much as that would also mean 262.6 lb/ft of torque was there to make that 50 HP. But if your up in the high end of a engine (or motor) capable of shaft speeds in excess of 5252 RPM then give me the 50 lbs/ft any day. Because after that mathematical constant divisor each ft/lb of torque equals more than 1 HP. So if you said, "At 7,000 would you want 50 more ft/lbs of torque or 50 more HP?" I would take the 50 ft/lbs. Because at 7,000 RPM crankshaft speed it's 50 lbs/ft x 7,000 / 5252 = 66.6 HP. There as any 50 HP at 7,000 is less than 50 ft/lbs of torque.

But If the engine's power band is properly matched with chassis gearing for optimum acceleration of it's total weight, and keeping in mind that rotating weight is more significant than static weight when accelerating it. As the more often you have to rotate a weight in a measured distance the more important rotating weight becomes, such as flywheel weight vs. tire weight. But back to the race, assuming each chassis has sufficient traction for the applied HP produced at rest, then between two equal chassis's the chassis with the highest horsepower will always be faster, width of power band is only important once gearing cannot be further optimized for the engines actual power band vs. weight accelerated. Weight accelerated is work done, which is rated in time needed to do by Horse Power. Torque is just a measurement of twisting force, not rate of acceleration. But you can't have one without the other and where it is measured in RPM of twisting shaft is just as important as exactly how much twist. Gearing keeps the engine where the most HP is produced or you're slower. If you can't gear it any different design the engine to make power in the band where it will be used to accelerate with what gearing it has.

The two measurements don't compete, one measures capability to do work and the other is it's ability to do how much work over a fixed period of time. James Watt's standard good horse on a treadmill basically.

Understand?

Vernon