Steep turns, narrow roads, falling into space: Some tracks pose hard challenges to racing fans.
The Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps is not just the venue of the Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix. Spa is considered one of the most famous tracks in motorsports. Therefore, you can find it in most racing games. From F1 simulations to Forza, Grand Turismo and Project Cars, as well as smaller indie titles – you can race on the iconic track in nearly all games. The simulations all slightly differ, so some versions might feel easier or harder to race. The video above compares the rFactor2 and iRacing circuit.
Despite being popular, it is not an easy-to-master-track. Spa invites you to accelerate to high speeds, but also features some incredibly difficult corners. In total, there are 19 you have to master, and many of them don’t allow any mistakes. For example, the very last chicane can ruin your performance after you gave it all: You’ve raced at full speed since corner 16 and once you reach the final chicane at corner 19, you need to slow down immediately so you don’t spin around or lift off.
But one of the best-known challenges is the combination of corner 3 and 4: Eau Rouge and Raidillon. You stay on full speed, race downwards to the left and it immediately goes steeply uphill to the right again – a quite dangerous sequence.
2. Nürburgring Nordschleife
When Sir Jackie Stewart won the 1968 German Grand Prix, he called the Nürburgring “Green Hell” – and this nickname exists for a good reason to this day. The German track is 20.81 km (12.93 miles) long, so you need stay focused for quite some time. There are 154 turns waiting for you to be mastered and a constant change of surfaces, uneven roads and several heights and lows, paired with long straights where you can go full speed.
Being one of the most famous circuits in motorsports, you will encounter the Green Hell in many simulations. To many players, the end boss of the track is Caracciola-Karussel. The road goes from a nearly 90-degree change into a nearly 180-degree banked carousel. If your car survived this, you have to face Hohe Acht next which is another location for potential mistakes and your vehicle crashing against the wall.
Esports racing influencer Jimmy Broadbent often uses the Nordschleife for experiments to look how different cars behave on the circuit. The track is also a popular location for content creators to try and break lap records.
3. Isle of Man TT Mountain Course
The Isle of Man TT motorcycle tournament is one of the most dangerous racing events in the real world. While esports racers are in no physical danger when playing the digital version TT Isle of Man 2 by delevoper Kylotonn, the course is definitely challenging as well. The main course has a length of an incredible 60.72 km (37.73 miles), so it may well be that you spend over 30 minutes on your first try.
Over the course of this incredibly long track which goes across the entire isle, danger awaits everywhere. A light encounter with the kerb, your opponents or any other obstacles immediately sends you off your bike. The game is quite unforgiving and since you race with extremely high speed, it can be difficult to react. As you can see in the video above, even the Jimmer himself struggles with the track and the high speed.
But don’t worry if you crash a lot, there is actually an achievement avilable which you unlock when falling off your bike 50 times – we can guarantee that you will nail this challenge in no time.
4. Mario Kart Rainbow Road
No matter if you are an experienced racer on the virtual tracks or you played some games casually just for fun: If you have ever tried your luck on a Rainbow Road in the Mario Kart franchise, you experienced one of the most frustrating challenges in your racing game career. There are several versions of the colorful road, as it is a staple throughout all Mario Kart titles. If you want to have a direct comparison of the tracks throughout time, check out the compilation above where all rainbow routes through space are shown.
Their layouts may differ, but all Rainbow Roads have something in common. As their name suggests, you have to cruise on a rainbow through the depths of space. Once you come off-track, you fall off the rainbow and vanish into the void of space until Lakitu brings your car back. And there are endless points you can fall off.
The rainbow has nearly no borders or walls, but lots of sharp corners so once you leave the track, you lose precious time. You can barely use any of the items because the speed boost catapults you straight into the abyss. However, at some points, you can take short cuts when using them, which sometimes takes much practice and experience. You also have to jump over gaps at several points and make use of potentially dangerous dash panels. You’ll probably spend more time being carried back to the track by Lakitu than actually racing.
5. Citta di Aria
The Gran Turismo 4 track is quite pleasing visually. The route leads through the idyllic town Assisi in Italy. Framed by beautiful old buildings and located in a mountain side, Citta di Aria definitely conveys the flair of an Italian province you want to spend your next vacations in. However, the peaceful atmosphere is deceiving.
When trying to compete on the streets in a serious race, the cozy roads turn into one of the hardest circuits ever. The track is extremely narrow and hard to master, not allowing any mistakes since you would most definitely crash into the walls. On top of that, it is nearly impossible to overtake, so you definitely want to excel in qualifying. As you can see in the video above, the alleways towards the end are so narrow, even with only one car racing there is literally not much room for errors.
The track has not been added in the latest parts of the Gran Turismo franchise. However, the upcoming Grand Turismo 7 for PlayStation 5 is currently in development. The trailer features some elements of former games, such as special events or the turning parts shop. So maybe, they will bring back Citta di Aria back as well. You can also find more information on the upcoming Gran Turismo 7 in our article here.