I would say Forza 3 is even more loose in this department.
About half of the races in event list have very loose requirements (i.e. same engine type, same manufacturer).
The other half has restrictions on performance index with often additional restrictions on manufacturer country, and very few have limitations on pure horsepower or to be stock.
If Forza 2 didn't allow road cars in race classes (R4-R1), Forza 3 allows you to tune any car to any class, and you would see that R3 and R2 classes are dominated by tuned road cars in leaderboards (but nothing stupid like F class cars).
Personally I like modifying cars in Forza, it lets you make a lot of cars competitive. Forza 3 is a great game, if you like racing games then I don't see why wouldn't you enjoy it. It is not drastically different from Forza 2 though, so if you hated it then you probably would hate this one too.