Viper Racing


Hopping In

You're eager to step into one of these high-horse-powered Dodge Vipers, so let's just get to it. How about a lap at Bemidji, a simple course overall - but with a twist.

The main menu (the screen that comes up after the introduction) displays five rectangular buttons on the right. Click on the Options button to bring up four folders. Only the last two are relevant here. Left click on the Controls tab. This screen allows you to set each control in accord with your keyboard, steering device, or joystick. (You can use any of the default setups by simply clicking on the icon to the right that matches your steering device.)

Note: Remember, you must calibrate your joystick or steering wheel using the WINDOWS DIRECTX setup. To do this, you first must return to the Windows START menu. Click on it and choose the SETTINGS option. From there, select CONTROL PANEL. Now choose the GAME CONTROLLER option. Follow the directions to calibrate your joystick or steering wheel appropriately.

Now left click on the Driving Aids tab. You will find that Auto Shifting, Auto Clutch, and ABS Braking are the default settings. These features enable you to drive your car without pushing keys/functions to clutch and shift. In effect, this turns your Viper into an "automatic," and it makes your first trip around the lot quite a bit easier. Of course, you can deactivate these if you like.

Now click Traction Control and Yaw Control and set them all to "Low." These are driving aids which will make your first turn about the track a little easier. For a complete description of what they do check out the controls section of chapter 2 (page 45).

Click Back to return to the main menu. Now click on the Quick Race button. The next screen displays three windows. In the left window (with the Dodge Viper image), select Arcade, the easiest setting. In the middle window (with track images), click one of the arrows next to the Scores button until Bemidji appears in the small screen. Below that, click on Sprint. Make sure Reversed isn't activated. You're almost ready to go. In the right-hand window, adjust the image by clicking on the arrows, as you did in the second window. Stop when you get the Pack image. Make sure the Easy mode for AI Skill is activated. If one of the other modes is highlighted, just click on the dot next to Easy. It's unnecessary to tinker with the other features right now.

All right. Left-click on the Enter button in the lower right corner of the screen, and you're set. On the next screen press the Race button. You're on your way.

Before you speed off, you may choose a racing view from 12 different perspectives. The 12 perspectives vary from cockpit (in-car) camera to blimp overview. To activate each perspective, press one of the function keys at the top of your keyboard. Here's a list of these features:

F1: Cockpit Cam F7: Far Chase View
F2: Bumper Cam F8: Rear Chase View
F3: X-Ray Chassis View F9: Overhead View
F4: Rear View F10: Aerial View
F5: Near Chase View F11: TV Cams
F6: Chase View

If you wreck on your first try, no need to get all bent out of shape. Just press the spacebar to reset your car. This puts your Viper back on its course. You'll accelerate from zero, but you won't have to quit the race.

On the track

Hit the throttle when the green light turns on. Start at the outer wall and move gradually toward the inside of the track as you head into the turn. Coming out of the corner, begin unwinding the steering to the middle of the course. Go full-throttle down this short straightaway but beware, a chicane lies ahead.

Here's the tricky part. As you approach this twist in the road, touch the initial bit of yellow-and-black striped curb with your right tires. Ease left, placing your left front tire on the last third of the curb. Straighten things up as you head out of the last curve, drifting to the middle. In the final straightaway, snug up to the wall until you cross the finish line.

You've done it. You've completed your first lap in a Viper. After two more laps of similar maneuvering you will cross the finish line. Next, a screen displays your race results. Click on the Replay button in the lower-right corner. At the next screen, press Save. In the Replay File window, type the name you want to save the race as (for instance, "Bemidji"). Then click OK. Press Exit to leave the screen. It may seem meaningless now, but this part comes in handy later when I discuss the Replay key on the main menu.

Speaking of the main menu, keep clicking Back until you find that initial page.