Top Gear finally hits the brakes this year after almost 50 years on TV. The show was loved by many, with millions tuning in to see cars, stunts, funny moments, and of course the laps of the Top Gear Test Track. The track's future is up in the air with the show now finished, but it could still live on in these racing games.
A true testing ground
Top Gear has seen many changes since first airing in 1977, with the most popular era being from 2002-2015. This was the golden era of the show, with Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May. Along with this trio was the Stig, taking cars for a spin around the Top Gear Test Track.
Originally designed by Lotus, and hosted at Dunsfold Aerodrome, the Top Gear Test Track was designed to be a vehicle leveller. 0-60 mph times and top speed count for nothing, with cornering and bravery being key to quick lap times.
Whether driven by the Stig or an unsuspecting celebrity, seeing cars bomb around the Test Track was arguably the highlight of the show for the majority of its run. With the show now on indefinite hold, it’s sad to think we’ll never see another high-performance car charge around the airfield again. But there is one way to drive the track.
Here’s a list of racing games we think should have the Top Gear Test Track added to their circuits.
The Forza Motorsport series has a history with Top Gear, with Forza Motorsport 4 featuring several Top Gear references along with the Top Gear Test Track as an available circuit. Jeremy Clarkson’s voice was featured in the virtual showroom navigation screens, with Clarkson also narrating one of the game’s trailers.
Two of the three cars used for Top Gear’s ‘Star in a reasonably priced car’ segment were even included in Forza Motorsport 4’s car list. The Kia Cee’d and the Suzuki Liana were both available to players, with the Chevrolet Lacetti excluded.
The track returned in the following three games, with Forza Motorsport 7 being the last time the track was available in the series. With Forza Motorsport now rebooted with this year’s entry, we think the Test Track should be included in the tracklist. This could be through future DLC, with even a Builders Cup career mode series tied in.
With multiple configurations, including a drag strip, shortened circuit, and full-length track, the Test Track would be the perfect way to test your new wheels in Forza Motorsport.
Gran Turismo 7
Before featuring in Forza, the Top Gear Test Track made its video game debut in Gran Turismo 5. Just like its Microsoft rival, the Test Track would make a great addition to Gran Turismo 7’s extensive track list.
Whether included in the GT Cafe career or just available as an online-only circuit, the Top Gear Test Track could play host to some incredible racing action. The section between the Follow-Through and Chicago corners would cause total chaos in larger lobbies, testing even the best driver’s reaction times to prevent collisions.
Again just like Forza, players could test their car setups around the multiple configurations of the test track. We just need B-Spec mode to return so we can stick the Stig behind the wheel for some laps!
With the Top Gear Test Track already available in Assetto Corsa and rFactor 2, that just leaves iRacing as the only hardcore sim title without it. Showcasing the track using iRacing’s day-night cycle would create a unique racing experience, unlike any other racing title on the market.
Being able to drive officially licensed cars from racing series such as NASCAR around the track would also present quite a challenge for players. With racers in iRacing being limited to cockpit view only, everyone will be as close to the action as possible.
Despite our wanting to see the track included in iRacing, we can’t see any FIA esports events being held on the Top Gear Test Track any time soon. It would take days for the stewards to go through any potential penalties!
Forza Horizon 5/6
We end the list with technically two games rather than one. Top Gear’s relationship with Forza has also transferred over into the Horizon sister series, with Forza Horizon 4 containing the Top Gear Horizon Special story mode.
The Horizon Special saw players take on the role of the Stig, charging around the Scottish landscape with Chris Harris commentating on his performance. Harris also introduced each chapter, instructing the player on what to do.
Given the light-hearted nature of both Top Gear and Forza Horizon, we’d love to see the two team up once more. Whether it’s a fan-made version of the track added to the Forza Horizon 5 playlists, or including an official version in the rumoured Forza Horizon 6, players will make the most of seeing the Dunsfold circuit in the game.
Imagine if the Horizon Festival’s next destination was on an airfield with a suspiciously familiar circuit laid out for vehicle testing…
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