There are three different difficulties that you can choose in the game. As you move up difficulties you earn more money for completing and winning various races and or set task.
In Beginner Mode your car is automatically staged and you will need to heat your tires. You do this by pressing the Accelerator and doing a burnout as shown below.
After you've done your burnout, your car will be staged and you will need to get ready to start. Once the "Get Ready" sign disappears there will be a 2.5 second count down untill the stager light up. When the lights is green press the Accelerator to launch your car.
The Amateur Mode is very similar to beginner except that you have to shift Up and Down gears using the + and - buttons. In amateur mode you earn 33% more cash than beginner mode.
In Expert Mode you will start away from the starting line, meaning that you will have to drive up to the line untill the stager light comes on. Once you come up to the line you will have the ability to rev the engine by pressing the Clutch and the Accelerator. In Expert Mode you earn 66% more cash than beginner mode.
To launch the car you will need to let go of the Clutch and hold the Accelerator down. To change gears you will need to press and hold the Clutch, press the Up or Down gear button and then let go of the Clutch . You can hold down the Accelerator the whole way through the gear change.
You only need to heat your tires if your car is RWD or FWD. AWD cars do not need to heat their tires in Drag mode, however if you do choose to heat your tires you will have more grip off the line, therefore allowing you to achieve a faster time. To heat your tires with an AWD car (requires Amateur or above), press the Down gear button to neutral, hold the Accelerator and brake at the same time.
(Requires Amateur or above) A better way to launch the car quickly is to press the Down gear button when staging and hold the Accelerator. When the green light is on, press the Up gear button instantly. The RPM charged will give a boost to the car and hence achieve a faster time.