Using sim-level physics rather than arcade physics is fine - great, even. But I'd like to see a game where fastest lap around a fixed course isn't the be-all and end-all.
But driving games pretty much always come down to going faster than other cars or faster then your previous best. Just driving around and exploring is fine but it gets a bit boring if there's nothing else to do.
That said I guess point to point races on long roads where you can't really hope to learn every corner are fun too, like rally games used to be. I'll probably end up buying this anyway unless it turns out to be horribly broken or something.