Driving tips

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This set of tips is meant as a companion to Bonzai Joe's Tips for Newbies, which you should read as well.

Switch to manual gears
Just try and learn it - it will be the best spent half hour of your Stunts career. "But c'mon, it only makes a real difference for power gear cars"! Not at all - air shifting (shifting up just before a jump or in early flight to get extra speed in BB 1.1) is even more important.
Feel the racing line
Visualize and estimate the effectiveness of varying routes until it becomes second nature. Think of track elements as the full area of the track tiles, as opposed to just the regular road path. Be aware of quirks like fast grass and dual-way switching, whole tracks are built around them. As a counterpart, basic knowledge of real world racing lines can help a lot with cornering technique. And finally, keep in mind that Stunts lines are three-dimensional - flight costs time.
Exercise cornering
In ideal circumstances, Indy can take large corners at 190mph; the IMSAs at 170mph; Audi and Lancia at 140mph; and most other cars at 100mph minimum. Such speeds won't always be possible (tricky tracks, excessive RH), but knowing the limits helps to push against them. How? Cleaner cornering lines and a sense for skidding and counter-steering.
Know your cars
What happens when you take a ramp with Countach at full speed? How are Audi and Lancia different from other slow cars? What is the optimum shifting point of Speedgate? And so on.
Work around obstacles
In RH races with shortcuts there almost never is a good reason for doing a loop or a cork u/d in the normal way (down/up corks may prove harder to avoid). The case is less clear-cut for left/right corks, but in any case there are many wild tricks they make possible. Suggestions for dealing with such stunts elements can be found in their respective wiki pages.
Bugs are everywhere
Collision bugs are more obviously associated with slaloms and loops; and edge hops are very common at highway splits. However, even something as innocent-looking as a bridge wall can, in advanced RH racing, be used for such exploits. And sometimes you need nothing at all, and race-changing effects materialize out of thin air, like magic. Expect the unexpectable!
Watch replays
Great competition laps are not only fun to watch; they also provide a fast track to familiarity with tricks and concepts. When joining a race with a car you never raced with before, look for old replays with the same car. Explore the Competition Archive. Ask the veterans for suggestions of replays which can illuminate the problem of dealing with a difficult track.
Creativity fuels RH racing
Always be on the lookout for alternatives; find novel ways to incorporate what you learned from your own replays or those driven by others; don't be afraid to try crazy things. Granted, you will also need some discipline to avoid getting stuck into dead ends, or redriving the same sector too many times, but that will grow gradually with experience. Imagination and resourcefulness, however, are conditions sine qua non.
NoRH is an art of compromises
NoRH requires knowing what your current limits are, and then circumventing them. You will find yourself dealing all the time with questions like "If I abandon this trick which appears to save one second will I be able to make up the lost time with a better line into the following corner"? Or even "If I drop this very hard trick which saves one second will I be able to better use the available racing time for improving the rest of my lap"? Therefore, beyond cold blood and concentration, NoRH calls for clear reasoning and strong racing line intuition.
Join a team
Accept an invitation, if you receive one; volunteer yourself for openings in existing teams; convince other newbies to create a new team with you. No matter the nature of the team, collaboration is a good thing - you will drive better replays, learn faster and have more fun.
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