Track in Time.
No, you won't have any kind of car collisions or machine gun fire in this game, no matter how you look at it - your primary competitors are the track itself and that certain itch just to take the next turn a bit more intelligent to come out of it with an advantage, even it is may just consist of +0.03 seconds (which is not so good) AND a slight boost of acceleration (which is good).
Trackmania is one of those game series where it isn't beneficial to analyse it to its roots, at least in my humble opinion. It's fast, it's unforgiving, it has one of the friendliest communities ever and it lives from its mechanics. Nadeo's decision to split up Trackmania 2 into several parts (Stadium, Canyon and Valley) is questionable, but it doesn't really have any impact on the quality itself - in case of cases, wait for Trackmania Turbo, which promises a complete package consisting of several environments once again.
Still, for me, this game is one of the best I have ever played. It is always a joy to log in and drive a few rounds on the community created tracks. It's no-♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥, insane, straight forward, curse inducing awesomeness.