If you're looking for an authentic racing experience for PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360, make a pit stop with GRiD Autosport. The latest effort from Codemasters, in conjunction with Bandai Namco, provides plenty of thrills, with over 200 cars to choose from and over 20 racing circuits to conquer.

We assure you, though, it will not be easy. Codemasters turned up the aggressive AI to 11, assuring that a first place victory isn't easily earned. Don't worry, though. We have a few tips that will help you get into each race with ease.

Adjusting Your Difficulty

If you're a devoted fan of the GRiD franchise and know exactly what kind of racing experience it delivers, you'll want to stick with the default difficulty. It’ll put you to the test while making it easy for you to adjust to the driving style. Gone are the somewhat awkward physics of GRID 2, replaced with more conventional racing. It's a change for the better, and after going through a couple of turns, you'll see just how it easy it is to adapt to.

For newcomers, prepare to be thrown into a fight. Even if you set the AI difficulty on very easy, the computer poses a challenge. This may result in you finishing the first couple of races in a lower position, like around 10th place. While frustrating, along with the auto-braking that kicks in with your vehicle, stick with it. You'll get the hang of how the game works, and as you progress, you'll be able to change difficulty and eventually catch up with the rest of the pack.

That said, GRID Autosport is a learning process, a grueling one for some rookie players. However, it eventually rewards you with the automotive racing experience.

Get to Know Your Style of Cars

When you first play GRID Autosport, you won't worry too much about car selection. You'll receive a basic yet efficient vehicle to start with, and run through the first few races with ease.

However, as time goes on and you progress through each circuit, you'll have the opportunity to play around with different cars. Here's where you'll want to pay attention to settings, as well as specialty types that can suit you better over the course of each event. Tuner cars, for example, are excellent, as you can use them in time trial events and drifting tournaments. Street cars, meanwhile, are best saved for city circuits, as you can use them to careen through city streets.

The best thing you can do when it comes to finding a car that works best for you is to experiment. That may sound costly at first – and it is, given the price of such vehicles – but it's best to get hands-on with them and see what works right for you. Try cars that you probably would've overlooked beforehand, and make sure you adjust their settings so they work efficiently for you.

Newcomers will probably hit the road with these cars instead of making adjustments, but again, this is a learning process, and adjustments are the best way to figure out what operates at the highest level for your car. Try different ones, tinker with them a little and take note of the performance levels of each tweak. Eventually you'll find that sweet ride.

Stay on the Road

One vital part to winning in GRID Autosport involves staying on the track. Even if this means sacrificing speed around corners and getting the hang of the drift system, you don't want to drift off-course.

The reason for this is simple – going off the track for several seconds during a race, even by accident, could result in a time penalty that works against your overall lap time. It's bad enough when you end up with a 10th place victory, but costly penalties could make things worse.

With that, get used to the handling system. When setting the game on the very easy difficulty, you'll find that braking is handled automatically for you, though you'll still need to steer to avoid going off the track. Try not to gun the engine too much, and take turns in moderation. Your opponents won't blow through them, so you won't lose many precious seconds staying on-course.

As you increase difficulty, you may want to take chances drifting around corners, but look out. Some of them can be extremely tight, and as a result, you'll wander off course, lose several seconds and possible positions in the process. After a few races, you should be able to master the cornering system and use it to your advantage.

Good luck – and stay on the road!

GRID Autosport is available for PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.