Running a Race
Step 1. Set your clutch
First things first, set your clutch engagement. Using the clutch pedal (the leftmost pedal), click and drag to set the clutch engagement. A setting at or near the bottom of the pedal will result in a soft clutch engagement (more slip) as you launch, allowing you to launch with more power without spinning your tires. A higher setting will result in a quicker clutch engagement that will allow you to more quickly get power to the ground, but may result in more tire spin than desired if you launch with too much power. The trick is to find a good combination of clutch engagement and launch RPM for each vehicle and modification level.
Step 2. Stage your car
To stage, first shift your car into first gear by hitting the up arrow key on your keyboard. Then slowly hit the gas. You hit the gas by clicking and dragging on the gas pedal with your mouse. If you click at or near the bottom, you will barely give the car any gas. If you click at or near the top of the pedal, you will be using the maximum amount of gas (full throttle). Don’t worry; you don’t have to buy your own gas.
As your car begins to move forward, keep an eye on your progress using staging meter on the left hand side of your screen. Your car is represented by a triangle indicator. As you move forward, you will notice that this indicator moves as well. Your goal is to move the indicator into the green area on the staging meter.
Once your car is close to where you want it, you should shift back to neutral using the down arrow key, and apply the brake to bring your car to a stop. If you overshoot the staging area, you can shift your car into reverse by pressing and releasing the down arrow again (if you are already in neutral).
Once your car is completely in the staging area, the both staging lights in the middle of the screen will turn on to let you know you are successfully staged.
Step 3. Launching
It’s time to race! Now that you have staged the tree will activate and you will have to be ready to go when that green light turns on.
While waiting for the light to turn green, hold your engine RPM at a certain level to get a good launch when you drop it into gear on green. Be careful though, if you launch too high in the RPM range, you will spin your tires and run a poor time. The trick is to find the right RPM for your vehicle (and modification level) that gives you just the right amount of wheel spin to get down the track as fast as possible. This will take some practice.
Once the last light turns green, you should start down the track as soon as possible. The time it takes you to leave the starting line after the last light turns green is your reaction time. The game uses an amateur tree, which means the best reaction time you can get without fouling is 0.500 seconds. If your reaction time is less than 0.500 seconds, this will be considered a foul or "red light".
Step 4. Getting down the track
Your final task is to get your car all the way down the track, past the finish line.
Once you have launched, you shift the gears by pressing and releasing the up arrow on your keyboard for an up shift (higher gear), and the down arrow on your keyboard for a down shift (lower gear). If everything goes well, you should never need to downshift during the race. With most cars, it is best to shift as the engine RPM approaches redline. Your engine RPM is displayed both on your car’s dashboard, as well as on the virtual tachometer superimposed over the race screen.
The time it takes for you to cross the finish line from the starting line is your elapsed time, or ET. After a lot of practice, you should be able to run fairly consistent elapsed times for a given vehicle and modification level.
At the end of your three runs, your reaction times and elapsed times are averaged, then added together to get your average total race time. This number is used to determine your standing against other players.