Bandai Namco's Project CARS is finally available, following delays that let developer Slightly Mad Studios tweak its creation. There's literally a ton of track to cover, with a wide-open career and plenty of circuits around the world, as well 70 plus cars to choose from.

Our first look at the game will rev your engine, but we have valuable Project Cars tips that will help you score first place victories.

Get the Parts to Perform

With a game like Project CARS, performance means everything. This includes upgrading your engine to a high-end model so you keep up with the competition, checking your brakes so they don't wear out and making sure your tires are in great shape to avoid blowouts.

With a press of the D-pad, you can keep track of a vehicle’s condition at any time, in case you need to replace something on your car during a race, or if something requires attention during the next event. Keep good tabs with your engineer, voiced by ex-Top Gear Stig Ben Collins, who will help you improve.

With tires, make sure they maintain a good, solid color. You want to stay out of the blue range, as that indicates the tires are getting cold and may become slippery around turns, which could easily force you into a wall. Likewise, if they get red, they run the risk of overheating and blowing out, and that could leave you in last place. Make sure you respect your tires enough when it comes to turns, and don't rely too much on drifting. Otherwise, expect to change tires quite a bit.

Getting the Most from Each Race

When it comes to capturing the first place victory, you'll need to keep a few things in mind.

First, track conditions can change quite a bit depending on the weather. If it's raining (or worse), you'll need to watch your speed, since you may slide around turns. Keep an eye on what the other cars are doing, and don't be in too much of a hurry to gain the lead. It'll come eventually if you maintain the momentum and don't try to suddenly jolt ahead.

When going around turns, keep in mind this is not Ridge Racer. You don't want to rely on any kind of drift tactic, since it's not reliable and can also damage your tires. Instead, don't be afraid to brake, as this will let you to make the turns with ease and save wear and tear on your car. For good measure, you can turn on assists that will automatically help you with braking.

Finally, Collins will provide you with a number of tips as you race. He informs you where you need to perform better, and how to handle yourself with different weather conditions. He can also advise you when you need to pit in – and when he says you should, do not ignore him unless you want your car to become a flaming wreck.

Choosing the Best Car

Finally, as a newcomer to Project CARS, you may ask, "What's the best vehicle in the game?" Well, good news. The open-world approach allows you to take on any challenges without needing to complete medial tasks to unlock the available cars. That means you can pick and choose whatever you want.

Start with an amateur class vehicle first, or try your luck on the kart racing circuit to get used to the controls. As you go along, don't be afraid to switch things up with a more advanced model, like the McLaren, to see how it fares. You'll probably run into a lot of trial and error getting used to these vehicles, but that will help you become a racing pro.

Want more racing goodness? Check out our general racing tips  for the Fast & Furious expansion to Forza Horizon 2, then read about the Ford GT Supercar that will appear in Forza Motorsport 6.