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Forza Motorsport Week In Review 12-21-12

Brian Ekberg
Friday, December 21, 2012

A few weeks ago I waxed lyrical about my love for the Hummer H1 Alpha Open Top in Forza Horizon. Call me capricious, but I’ll admit, I’ve got a new love in my life. She’s short, a bit squat. Fiesty as all get-out and attractive in her own flat-nosed sort of way. When she gets agitated, she makes angry noises – the kind of grunts and guttural blasts you used to hear on those old PBS nature shows. But if you manage to find a way to tame her, she’s good for miles and miles of high-speed action. I’m referring, of course, to the 1985 Ford RS200 Evolution which, since the release of the Forza Horizon Rally Expansion Pack, has re-emerged as one of my favorite cars in Forza history.


I first fell for the RS200 in Forza Motorsport 4, after discovering its ideal blend of compact size and overwhelming acceleration ideal for a Rivals Mode event on Fujimi Kaido. Ever since, I’ve pulled out the RS200 whenever I wanted to drive something that was just a bit over the edge, something sporty, and overwhelming and, well, just a bit dangerous. As expected the car is a joy to drive in Forza Horizon, with its elevation changes and surface variety.


But man, the RS200 comes alive with the Rally Expansion! Sure, there’s five rally icons just waiting to be driven in the expansion pack—from an ’05 Subie to an ’82 Lancia 037—but as soon as I managed to get some rally upgrades on my Ford, I knew that I had the right car to dominate the Horizon Rally Championship.


That’s the thing I love most about the new expansion pack – every car in the game has the potential to be a rally-ready dirt eater. You can try out one of five new rally cars, or choose your own secret weapon from your Horizon garage, slap some rally upgrades on there, and then hit the rally stages. Maybe it’s a 2002 Integra Type-R, maybe it’s that Honda CRX unicorn car you love. Or maybe it’s that Lamborghini Aventador J that you’ve been sitting on, just waiting to see what it would be like to attack the rally stages in a car that no one in his right mind would drive on anything but the sunniest day imaginable.


So, I’ve admitted my love for the “rally-fied” RS200. What about you? Which cars have you enjoyed most in the Forza Horizon Rally Expansion Pack so far? What are your “sleeper” rally cars – models that you might have never imagined would be good for some off-road action? Let us hear your thoughts in our Week in Review thread in the forums and, as always, I’ll award unicorn cars to my favorite responses!


(As a brief aside, if you want to learn more about the RS200, check out the story in the December 2012 edition of Top Gear Magazine, where Richard Hammond takes on the RS200 in his “Hammond Drives the Icons” series. It’s a great read!)


Horizon photo mission 8 winner from CutNeckDog.


And now, let’s move on to our final edition of the Week in Review for 2012!


The Honda Challenge Pack is Coming!

We’ve got more cars coming for Forza Horizon! Next week, we’ll unveil the cars coming in our January DLC Pack (look for that on Christmas Day), and, on January 15, you’ll all be able to download a FREE three-car Honda pack, the Honda Challenge Car Pack. This pack will feature three Honda models – the 2013 Honda Civic Si Coupe, the HPD Rally Fit, and the 1986 Honda Civic Si Coupe. Also beginning with the release of the pack, we’ll be holding special competitions, including the chance to race against Honda race driver (and two-time IndyCar Series champ) Scott Dixon in a specially designed Rivals event in Forza Horizon. You can get in on the fun now by checking out the Honda Challenge destination on Xbox LIVE and voting for which area of Colorado you’d like to see the Rivals event race against Scott Dixon take place. Look for more details on the Honda Challenge Car Pack and the associated contests in the coming weeks!


Andy Pilgrim Q&A

This past Thursday was a special one. Not only did we hold our longest Game With Dev event ever (at least, since I’ve been at Turn 10), we also held a special live Q&A with PWC and Cadillac Racing driver Andy Pilgrim, who was recently featured in an edition of Heavy Metal Affliction. If you missed the event live, you can always go back and check out the archive of the Q&A in our forums. We hope to do more Q&A events like these in 2013, so stay tuned for more!


24 Days of Le Mans

Our “24 Days of Le Mans” event in Forza Motorsport 4 will be kicking off on Sunday, Dec. 23. From then until January 15, we’ll be celebrating the Le Mans motorsports heritage found in Forza Motorsport 4 with a series of awesome Rivals event challenges. These events will feature cars from six different decades of Le Mans history, all taking place on era-specific versions of the Circuit de la Sarthe in Forza 4.


Here’s the breakdown of the series and a hint at the cars involved:


· Dec. 23 – Clash of the Titans To celebrate the 24 Days of Le Mans we’ve got a month of historic Rivals events, and we’re starting strong. When Enzo Ferrari refused Ford’s offer to purchase the company, Ford got mad … and even. The 1966 GT40 MkII and the sleek Ferrari 330 P4 each would have their moments of total dominance – but which one will take you to the top of the leaderboards?


· Dec. 27 – P is for Performance It’s the second round of the 24 Days of Le Mans Rivals events, and Ferrari is back. The 312P was an experimental sportscar with a screaming F1-derived flat-12 pushing it to WSC victory after victory. But the fragile powerplant never made it to the too-brutal Le Mans race. Now you can rewrite history and pilot an upgraded 312P around la Sarthe.


· Dec. 31 – The Dominator For round three of the 24 Days of Le Mans Rivals events, a champion reenters the ring. The Porsche 962c continued Porsche’s trend of dominating the brutal endurance race, but it wasn’t easy. In 1987, engine bugs knocked out every Porsche except #17, which held on to win against a strong Jaguar challenge. Staying atop the leaderboards will be equally challenging.


· Jan. 4 – International Intrigue Round four of the 24 Days of Le Mans Rivals events, and in the 1990s these rule-benders were contenders. Tiny “trunks” and one-off “road cars” made them officially homologation racers, but by any other measure these were pure prototype racers. While the new-for-1990 Mulsanne Chicanes will lower top speed, the challenge will definitely heat up.


· Jan. 8 – Burning the Midnight Oil This might be the second-to-last 24 Days of Le Mans Rivals event, but the competition isn’t getting any easier. A wide variety of 2009 LMP1 cars (the fastest prototype class) will be available – two gasoline-powered, and two diesels. What will propel you to the top of the leaderboards? That’s for you to decide.


· Jan. 12 – The Art of War Le Mans is a battle against time and the competition, and this final 24 Days of Le Mans Rivals event puts the “art” in this war – literally. The BMW M3 GT2 “Art Car” is wild to look at and thrilling to drive. Blow out this Rivals event series in style, and with the sort of intense competition that the GT2 class is known for.


So, there you go… six rounds of awesome Le Mans action in Forza 4 starting this weekend! Plus, don’t forget to vote for your choice of most iconic racer in 24 Hours of Le Mans history, over at the official Le Mans Web site.


Horizon photo contest second place from TurkeyBoy696X.


Horizon in the Sweet 16

The awards keep rolling in for Forza Horizon. This week, Horizon took home the People’s Choice award from IGN and we continue to progress through GameSpot’s own People’s Choice tournament. Horizon now sits comfortably in the Sweet 16 but we’ve got our eye on the Elite Eight and beyond! You can help by voting for Forza Horizon now. We’re currently going up against New Super Mario Bros. U and the competition only gets stiffer from here. We appreciate every vote we get so thanks in advance and let’s see how far we can take this!


Community Team 2012 memories:

With the year wrapping up, I want to devote the rest of this week’s edition of the Week in Review to our favorite memories of the past year. First up, we’ll start with the community team here at Turn 10, who share what meant most to them in the Forza world in 2012.



One of my favorite Forza memories this year has got to be the “Oh What a Feeling!” rivals event. I just started working here and Fred already had a calculated plan to throw me under the bus. Before I could really do anything Fred already made bets with the community and the “Oh What a Feeling!” rivals event was born. It was pretty simple, win and disappoint the Forza Faithful with no unicorns to gift. Or lose (throw the fight) and take that embarrassing picture. Well, as they say, the rest is history as that photo has been circulating the Interwebz. But I will admit it was a lot of fun, just the welcome I received and the engagement from the fans when it came to tuning the car to my driving style. Someday I hope to see “Oh What a Feeling 2!” but, till then, happy holidays everyone and please be safe.



Upon initially sitting down to write this piece, I’d already determined that I’d be basing it around #EscapeTheGrid. However, having sat down for a while and thought about it properly, I realised my favourite Forza-related memory of the year has to be when I was given the honour of being The Bounty in one of our legendary Turn 10 Community Bounty Hunter challenges.


Interesting Ian fact here: None of you probably will know this but, about ten years ago, I used to play Return to Castle Wolfenstein on PC at international level for cash prizes. As you can imagine, when real-life money is at stake things can get pretty intense and indeed at times they were. But after hanging up my mouse and keyboard all those years ago, I’ve never really felt that real competitive urge resurface as it did when I was playing in those cash tourneys… that is, until the Community Bounty Hunt!


The amount of time I put into setting a good time in my Bounty Hunt was unreal; I think my longest single play session attempting that same Autocross track must have been more than five hours. I actually remember a particularly frustrating period when I don’t think I even managed to post a single clean lap in around 100 attempts! The frustration at times was overwhelming and, to be honest, this desire to really push myself to do well actually surprised me a little. Even now I’m not entirely sure where it came from. It might have been that as one of the newer members of the team I was acutely aware that embarrassing myself would make me look like a total n00b in front of you guys (who I really wanted to impress!), maybe it was because at times it seemed liked the tens of thousands of other players were all hoping I’d fail. Or, simply because the fact I’d have to wear a NASCAR shirt if I failed would just be unbearable!


I don’t think I’ll ever know for sure which part ignited my competitive streak. It was probably a mixture of the above factors plus others that helped to create the perfect storm of gaming inside me. But if there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that I’ll always be grateful to the Forza community for helping me feel something that I hadn’t felt whilst gaming for a long while!


Here’s to an amazing 2013, everyone!


Horizon photo contest third place from SeanMac79.



While I have been blown away by the coolness of the Forza community and have loved the way my work and I have been received. Nothing really says it stronger than this nearly eight minute tribute video from Sadioki and Th3H3llDriv3R entitled “Beloved Johniwanna The Unicorn Saint”. It places my avatar on stage with AC/DC, with hot babes, with Brian Johnson on the race track and countless places I never thought I would be associated with. Watching it almost brings a tear to my eye when I think of the time and creativity put into making it. I just want to thank Turn 10 and the Forza community for making 2012 the best year ever.


My favorite memory of 2012 has to be the Autoweek America Adventure – for obvious reasons. Not everyone’s morning routine starts out with firing up a 6.2 L AMG V8 and driving all around the American southwest. But beyond the fun of driving the car, it was really the great people – the other competitors, the organizers, and of course my codriver Davey G. Johnson – who made the trip special. It’s something I’ll never forget, and the fact that it was all tied into Forza Horizon makes it all that much more special.


Narrowing down 2012 to just one moment is tough, it has been a really busy year which absolutely flew by. From Rampage Jackson and Juan Pablo Montoya to Top Gear USA, every week had new surprises for us.

PAX 2012 was great, it was fun to get to talk to Forza heads in person and show off Horizon for the first time to the gaming public. Thanks to our Game With Turn 10 events we get to hang out with you guys online, but it was a lot of fun getting to do the same in person. They were long days but definitely very memorable, props to the guy cos-playing a zombie London guard, guy stayed in character around all weekend.


Although my favorite part of 2012 was seeing Horizon come together from an idea to a final game. It was really exciting to drive around Colorado when it was a seas of white boxes and roads everywhere, then load a build later and start to see patches of Colorado start to popup.  Every week we had to load up Horizon and drive around to see what new features and artwork were in the world now, seeing the festival at night for the first time completed was pretty epic.



One thing I will take away from this past year is the dedication of many of our community members to the Forza franchise. We started many new types of events over this last year that has brought us closer to the community. In everything, including Community Bounty events, Turn 10 Track Days, and Game With Devs, you see many people from the community who give their time to make sure these events are successful and popular. Whether it is creating a tune, making a video or giving instructions on how to beat a particular bounty, there are members of our community who go out of their way to get people involved. Now along those lines my favorite memory of the last year has to be when the community rose up and took down the evil Mr. HTKenan. So far Kenan is the only T10 person to have lost his side bet and I will never let him forget it. In fact I think we all need to see that photo one more time:


The shot heard ‘round the world. Thanks for being a good sport Kenan.


Finally to close things out, here’s a selection of awesome 2012 memories from the Forza Faithful themselves:



My favorite Forza memory of 2012 is hard to choose because i have many. First is, when i got my very first unicorn in FM4, the Mazda RX-7. It is still my favorite car in the game. Another moment is when I won a online race in a very amazing way. I managed to drift the inside of a corner and nearly hit the lead car. Due to my car having better corner exit acceleration, i won the race. There are many other memories of Forza that bring bring a smile to my face when i recall them. Happy Anniversary Turn 10!



My favorite 2012 Forza 4 memory, is when beloved Johniwanna, The Unicorn Saint came to the Community this year in February through a Turn 10 Community Bounty Hunter ,I was following him since then, and enjoying all the interesting content,wit ,fun and energy he brought to the Community with weekly Rear View Mirror , The Heavy Metal Affliction, monthlly DLC Clues, occasional WIR, and all the different contests he organized for members to win unicorns,I was not active before,,he really hooked me to the forum,now I visit the forum everyday,he converted me from a Police livery designer, to a Replica Race designer, he really does enrich the Forza experience, we are lucky to have Johniwanna, Mechberg, phREDESIGN, Jube, HTKenan and all other Turn10 staff. I play other racing games and visit their forums,but nothing is like Turn10, for years you are the BEST, and great at everything you do.



In regards to my favourite Forza moment of 2012 I have to say the Community Bounty Hunter with Fred (phREDESIGN).
The entire event drew so much attention because we could have Fred pose in full Red Socks gear and apparently a lot of people wanted to see him making a fool of himself. It was also the first CBH that really made me step up my game as a driver and practise on my skills some more and in the end it paid off, finishing in the top 200 spots if I recall correctly. The RX-7 spirit R that we received for the bounty was also the first car of my unicorn luck streak, because barely 2 months later I received my 17th Forza 4 unicorn while the Spirit R was my 4th!

Sadly we didn't see Fred in Red Socks gear in the end, but it was definitely the most enjoyable event of 2012 for me



my favorite memory of 2012 was having my 68 camaro picked as the very first car featured in Heavy Metal Affliction back in April. It was a great honor to be chosen first. I also want to say that Heavy Metal Affliction is an awesome weekly feature that showcases what being into cars is all about. everybody has different tastes and its awesome to see what other Forza fans real life projects and rides that they build and tinker with when you need a break from Forza.


Horizon photo mission 8 honorable mention from Lazarus Jackson.


Many stories of endurance racing in Forza:


G FASTgks:

My favorite memory of Forza in 2012 was competing in the 360 Laps of Le Mans race. I feel privileged to finish alongside GT Siracha Breath and cooltuck1999. It was such a challenge. Going down the Mulsanne for the last time in my 787B was sad. That event was undoubtedly the greatest thing I have ever done on Xbox. Other events throughout the year include anticipating Horizon, the Porsche Pack, and the Rally Expansion track. I also loved hanging out with friends and purely racing.


The Shadow Edge:

My favorite Forza memory of 2012 is simple: completing the Forza Motorsport 4 event list! Originally, upon hearing the news of Forza Horizon, it was my goal to complete (gold) the entire event list prior to Horizon's release - then, I was just a little over half-way through. Of course, my determination to see a board full of 'tic' marks was impeded by each unchecked box; but, I slowly chipped away race by race. Horizon's release came and went and there were still plenty of Championship events to accomplish. The task of working from the arduous F class, on up, was grueling and seemed unending. Horizon would go back to its case to wait idly while lap after lap was run, with plenty of restarts here and there.


Finally, the final race came - the R3 World Championships. Don't ask what vehicle I used because it was more of a labor fueled by eagerness rather than a pleasant race. Crossing the line, quickly navigating through the post-race screens, and seeing that final block filled with the check mark was a gratifying sense of accomplishment.


D3AN 711:

When i completed a 50 Lap race on the Nurburgring me and three of my friends started and only me and one of my friends finished the race after over eight hours of racing it was a great feeling to cross the finish line one of my friends given up after only nine laps and my second friend given up after nineteen laps my third friend wanted to quit the race after about thirty laps but i persuaded him to keep going we all started at about 9pm GMT and two of us finished about 5am GMT i finished the race with almost 800 miles on my subaru the replay is on my storefront in FM4 (Credits for completing the race goes to.



One of my favorite moments were around the 24hours of LeMans. (the moment all blur together)


Racing in a rebellion racing livery Honda Lola with AJZERO and AudiR15+ on the begging leg of AJ's 24 hour race With the real race playing on computer next to me. It was so hard to give my all to the Forza race because the real race kept begging for my attention. AJ and Audi were flying! I ended up pulling in behind a barrier of the newly named Chicane Forza. Watching the race and those 2 scream by.


I sadly wasn't able to get into another race with them when I could devote all my time and energy to the stint, but there were so many races in the 2.4hr, public and private races in the #4 corvette, #13 racing rebellion, and of course in a Mazda 787b.


All the training and racing up leading up to the weekend of the race to the weekend that SatNite did his weekend of 374lap challege in a lion, Audi, porche etc Those were some great racing and camaraderie with Audi, SatNite, firebird, NESMario, the fast ones had a great race and us mere mortals did too ;-) racing up into the middle of the night.


So the weeks leading to and after the 24 heures du mans, will forever go down as my favorite memory(s) of Forza.


And finally a note from CilettiDad that I think sums everything up for me:



My favorite Forza moment was learning about and joining the community. This opened up an entirely new aspect to the game for me. With the Tuning Marketplace, Seller's Marketplace, Racers Lounge and all the community news and events, it raises the Forza franchise from "just another racing sim game" to an entire community with an economy and regular events. The T10 Community Team keeps this game fresh and interesting, and the car clubs and racing series sites that have developed because of the community will give this game "legs" for years to come. I've made many virtual friends that I race with and exchange tune with on a weekly basis. After a little over a year with FM4 (and now Horizon), the game is just as "new" for me as it was when I bought it.


Thanks for a fantastic 2012, everyone! This year has been unforgettable for countless reasons but continues to be amazing because your continued presence, passion, and dedication to all things Forza. Literally we couldn’t do what we do without you. Have a great and safe holiday everyone, and look for our massive “Year in Review” wrap-up next Friday!


And if you have comments, be sure to drop them in the WIR Thread