The world of Grand Theft Auto V may not seem to lend itself to organized online racing at first, but the team over at Rockstar Games have supplied more than enough tools for hardcore auto racing fans which can help turn the county of San Andreas into their own personal playground. Dubbed the GTA Online Content Creator, owners of the title across all three platforms can use the expansive first party sandbox mode as a way to construct their own temporary street circuits within Los Santos and the outlying rural areas – and as a result, several legitimate online leagues have popped up over the course of the game’s lifespan.
The diverse roster of vehicles and impressive landscape variety packed within the current generation rendition of San Andreas combine to offer an experience not traditionally found in modern racing simulators, and while the simplified fidelity of the driving physics aren’t going to blow anyone away, no other racing game lets you physically create your own Grand Prix of Boston, sans the whole bankruptcy thing.
A long list of post-release downloadable content and updates have highlighted the lifespan of Grand Theft Auto V, and the most recent offering by Rockstar Games, dubbed the Cunning Stunts pack, adds a host of new racing-oriented content into a world otherwise dominated by killing prostitutes for a refund and lighting dogs on fire. While the new props inserted into the game’s sandbox mode and overall theme of the updated is intended to provide a Trackmania-like experience inside the Grand Theft Auto engine, the dedicated online racing community members still loading up the title on a daily basis are actually taking these cars away from the fictional stunt courses built high above the world, and putting them on the streets of Los Santos. Grand Theft Auto is now an IMSA simulator.
The Mazda 787B, McLaren F1 GTR Longtail, and Super GT spec Lexus LFA highlight the list of top level GT cars available in the cunning stunts pack, perfect for those conducting online endurance racers in a title once grilled by the mainstream media for functioning as a graphic murder simulator. For as much content as there is packed into Grand Theft Auto V that has no real purpose being discussed on PRC.net, we’re now at a point where someone could theoretically buy this game primarily for the racing functionality.
And Rockstar Games didn’t stop there. The Lancia Stratos and Audi Quattro S1 appear next to two generic trophy trucks, intended to make use of the world’s expansive rural areas, complete with dirt trails and hill climb segments that can be used as stand-ins for proper rally stages, baja events, and a mock version of the Pikes Peak Hill Climb.
How do these cars perform on the streets of Los Santos? Competitive GTA V racer and YouTube personality GUN1T123 has posted several videos on his YouTube channel giving each of the three GT-spec cars a proper shakedown on one of his favorite online circuits. Grand Theft Auto V may lack all kinds of simulation value, but it’s cool to see Rockstar Games throw a bone to a portion of their community using the title as a virtual race track builder first and foremost.