FUEL contains the following race types for your speed-lusting pleasure.
- Career Races are limited to Checkpoint races, Circuit races & the occasional Raid
- Challenges come in all flavors below (but call Circuit races "Wild Tracks" instead)
- This time trial has a local time limit. You need to reach the next checkpoint before timing out, which will earn you a small amount of time. Just don't dawdle on the way!
Reach your next checkpoint before the time runs out. When you hit the checkpoint, more time is added to what you have left (cumulative). These challenges are bipolar, as some you will absolutely dominate and laugh as you have tons of time to spare between checkpoints while others you will be biting your nails as you scrape by with milliseconds to spare. On the tough races there are generally hardly any (IF any) short-cuts to take, so you'll need to just cut shoulders and corners as much as possible, powerslide perfectly, and shoot for the best run possible. The vehicle you get stuck racing these with in each zone greatly impacts how easy or difficult it can be, too.
Checkpoint Run / Race
- (Run) This is a checkpoint race with an overall time limit.
- (Race) Go through all the checkpoints and finish first!
Checkpoint Runs are like Speed Runs, except with check-points instead of just a start-to-finish. Like other check-point races, you may find ridiculous short-cuts to shave tons of time off your challenge. Other times you'll be gritting your teeth in frustration. Checkpoint Races are just Checkpoint Runs with competitors. They're sometimes easy to blow past, and other times will be the bane of your existence as they get in your way or knock you off the road.
- This is a race versus a chopper that — surprise! — just happens to fly. You need to make it to its landing point before it does, but you need to keep close to it. Oh, by the way, don't count on your smart GPS. You'll be on your own this time!
Negotiate the terrain to beat the helicopter to the finish point. May need to run these races a couple of times to determine where the chopper is headed, and what ideal roads/path to take. In a few races where you're stuck with street vehicles it's more ideal to cut back to a good street to race on instead of following the chopper directly and finding out you're mired down in weeds or dirt trails.
The chopper will stay perpetually ahead of you during the race regardless of how fast you go, so don't bother trying to beat it during the first 3/4's of the race. Only when it gets close to the finish does it slow down and give you a chance to beat it.
Circuit / Wild Track
- Finish first after completing the imposed number of laps.
Lap race with opponents. Some of these are great fun as they take advantage of the large, open areas and transitions from hills to slopes to dirt to asphalt. Others are very tight, enclosed races that require lots of hair-pin turning. Your frustration level will dictate which you like / hate more.
- The last racer going through each checkpoint is out. There can be only one, so you'd better hurry!
The last racer through each marker is eliminated from the race. Some you will dominate, but some will aggravate as you near the end of the race and the AI cheats with a mysterious burst of speed to eliminate you early. Be wary of major shortcuts, because it can hose up the computer's calculation of first place. You know you're in first, you're taking a major short-cut to get a better lead, but the short-cut causes the computer (GPS) to think you're thousands of meters behind the pack. When last person goes through the previous check-point, you get eliminated as the "last person". (Just keep an eye on the leader board. When you see your name spazzing all over the place with -1200 meters you'll know the GPS is calculating funky. Get back on the road as soon as you can).
Raid / Endurance
- Raids are long races with little route constraints and rely essentially on the racers' sense of direction.
- Endurance races have the same specifications as raids, yet they are much longer.
Long races, sometimes just a Start to Finish, and other times with a few checkpoints in between. Raids are shorter, usually lasting 10 minutes tops. Endurance races can last up to 20 minutes. In either case, use the john, let the dog out, get some water, and settle in. It's tempting to bee-line shortcuts off-road right to check-points and finishes. But, check your map first. Are you really shaving off a lot of distance, or does the road/course mostly go in that direction anyways? It's always better to stay on roads to keep speeds up. But, when the course takes a drastic detour, it can be better to cut through the weeds and let the competition stupidly follow the course.
Seek 'n' Destroy
- This is a hunt: you need to touch other contenders to knock them out of the contest, and must do so within the time limit.
Seek and take out adversaries. In some of these you'll have to use a vehicle designed for pure chase (eg: a street car to chase others down the street). In others you use a vehicle that's clearly meant for off-roading, and you're supposed to short-cut through the weeds to intercept opponents taking the long way around on roads. Watch your mini-map, as some races have opponents quickly shifting from streets to dirt roads and vice-versa.
It can be difficult & hazardous trying to tap targets in the butt. For starters they keep shifting around on the road, and when you do bump them they hit their brakes and come to a stop. If you tap them from the rear it means they'll slow you down as well. So, a better way is to get along side them on the inside when they swing wide for a curve and let them swing back in and bump YOU instead. Or, if you overshoot them, just slow down enough to get them to bump you from behind.
- This is an A to B race with an overall time limit, which means you can manage your route any way you like as long as you ultimately make it on time.
Get to the marker within the allotted time. In some races you'll absolutely dominate as you find easy shortcuts (eg: rolling gently down steep slopes to avoid the back-n-forth road down the mountain). In other races it'll be very tight.