Mafia was awesome. And although the race gets complained about a lot, I found that to be one of the most satisfying parts of the entire game! Frustrating at first, but only because I didn't know the car or the track. Learning both and winning that race in emphatic fashion was a superb feeling (especially if done entirely from the cockpit view -- that made it a sort of "Grand Prix Legends" for those of us who just can't handle that level of simulation :).
I read that they dumbed the race down in the patches with no way to select the original difficulty level. Lame.