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Forza Motorsport 6's NASCAR Expansion is Captain America with cars

Gaming: New add-on pits 850bhp stockers against Le Mans rocket ships

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Forza Motorsport 6’s new NASCAR expansion adds 24 cars from the series’ top level Sprint Cup championship and the Homestead Miami Speedway track to Microsoft’s already heaving racing sim. But the headline features are only a fraction of what this £17 optional extra adds to the game.

Like the Porsche expansion before it, this new premium priced add-on also includes a 10ish-hour career arc to play through. Before you say ‘that’s how long a single NASCAR race seems to last’, it’s not just a series of interminable oval races. The NASCAR World Tour series of events also includes fantasy mash-ups with Indycar, Aussie V8s and even modern Le Mans prototypes.

If you’ve ever wondered how the pinnacle of hybrid-powered endurance racing technology matches up to NASCAR’s gloriously low-tech, spit-and-chickenwire approach to motorsport, here’s how you find out.

Well, sort of. World Tour mode is somewhat economical with the truth when it comes to how America’s favourite motorsport stacks up against other race series. If you think a stock car with all the aerodynamics of a breeze block could best a downforce-laden GT3 racer around the curves of Catalunya then you’re dreaming, yet that’s exactly what you’ll be doing here.

It’s genuinely strange to see an unashamedly nerdy sim like Forza Motorsport depart quite so sharply from realism – a bit like bumping into your utterly hammered history teacher in the pub on A-Level results day.

Still, let’s not get too hung up on trivial things like ‘facts’ or ‘the laws of physics’. Just think of this as Captain America but with cars, as you travel the globe in your Chevy kicking every other racing series in the teeth.

The NASCAR World Tour gets away with all this rampant jingoism because these stockers are fundamentally fun to hustle around the track. An 850-plus horsepower V8 engine, four gears and more excess weight than the bins round the back of a liposuction clinic makes for some muscular, entertaining racing.

On the ovals, in NASCAR’s back yard, things become a little more plausible again. The game’s physics and systems have been overhauled to accommodate 200mph pack racing, with tweaked slipstreaming (or ‘drafting’ as it’s known over the pond), rolling starts, pit stops to punctuate the constant left turns and new heads-up display elements to fill in for a spotter.

With all these features combined, this is the biggest overhaul in how Forza Motorsport 6 works since the game was released and it absolutely transforms oval racing not just for NASCAR but, whisper it, for Indycar as well.

Purists might turn their noses up at the nakedly ludicrous World Tour mode, but Forza Motorsport 6’s NASCAR expansion, available now, is exactly like the sport itself: brash, colourful and entirely disinterested in what anyone else thinks. Perhaps it’s not so unrealistic after all…

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