A variety of tracks from Microsoft's Forza Motorsport 5 will test your racing mettle, whether it's blasting through the streets of Prague while avoiding run-ins with small bridge openings, or mastering the corners of the infamous Top Gear Full track in London. One that may prove particularly hard to master, though, is the Circuit de Catalunya track in Barcelona, Spain. Long revered as one of the world's best tracks, it's included in Forza Motorsport 5 in all its glory.
It's a bit tough to dominate, with all its sharp turns, especially so close to the finish line. However, after a few runs around the track, we've got some helpful tips that will give you the lead, right from the start.
First of all, if you can, try to flick on your driving aids. The on-screen arrow will really give you a good idea how rough the upcoming turns are, and how much you'll need to downshift and brake in order to get through them. Some are moderately easy, while others will require extreme accuracy to avoid sliding off into the grass, in which there's a lot. Going off-road isn't really recommended in this game, as you won't just lose momentum and traction, but also a few seconds off the clock.
When you first start out, it'll be a straight track for a little while, but don't be fooled. The turns will be coming up quickly, with a slow right leading into a sharp left soon thereafter. This may be a good opportunity to keep an eye on your opponents and see what they do. Some will stick to the inside and group up as a result, slowing down to get around the turn. As for your tactic, try to find a way to get outside and maintain a medium speed, around second to third gear. It's going to be better to try and do this on the wider first turn than the sharper second, because you're likely to collide with someone there.
After getting through these two turns, you'll come across a very lenient right curve, which you can take at a pretty good speed. It's here that someone may try to get aggressive and pass behind you, so don't forget to use the right analog stick and press downward on it, so you can see what's happening behind you. Use it briefly, though – you don't want to lose view of what's ahead of you.
Once you get past the small right turn, prepare yourself for a sharp hairpin that'll take you to a quick straight route. Again, you'll see opponent cars pile up a bit here, so try to stay on the outside. Following that, you'll have a really sharp left that'll require you to go at an even slower pace to avoid sliding off. Take it leniently, but don't forget to watch out for your fellow cars.
From here, the turns are slightly easier for a little bit, with a gradual right turn that you'll need to downshift to about third gear or so to handle. If you're not doing manual shifting, just let off the accelerator a little bit and lean into the turn, then pick back up as you're coming out of it. You should stay on the road no problem, but, again, you'll want to watch who's behind you. You never know what kind of hothead will try to regain the lead, especially if it's a programmed Drivatar. They can be quite aggressive.
After that, you'll come upon the trickiest part of the course, a trio of turns that come one right after the other. You're going to start with a hairpin left, which you'll want to prep for by lowering your speed and preparing for a sharp veer left. After that, you won't have too much time to react before you come into a sharp right, just a few meters up. Coming out of your first turn, go ahead and prep for the second and take it. After that, you'll have one more right turn, but make sure you don't go off the road.
It'll be tempting here to just cut corners over the cones, but don't do it. That's because you'll drop off your speed a bit, and allow an AI opponent to try and gain the lead on the last straightaway leading to the finish line. Maintain your speed throughout, take the last small right turn gradually, and cross it.
Circuit de Catalunya's general run comes with three laps, so you have more chances to catch up with your fellow drivers than you would in a two-lap event. Remember, patience is key, but don't forget to give your car the right amount of gas. Do this, and the checkered flag will easily be yours.
Forza Motorsport 5 is available now for Xbox One.