There is a road at the starting line on the Hiland Rally course . Drive in reverse until it appears, then follow this road until a soccer ball appears. When playing a multi-player game, a soccer field will be at this location.
Go to the garage before the race and set your top speed as high as you can. When you reach the first checkpoint and have rounded the turn, continue straight and do not turn. You will go off and jump over a huge ditch. This saves about ten seconds of your time.
Go to the Garage icon and select more top speed, then go to the circuit selection screen and choose Round And Round. Once you reach the bridge that has a roof, turn on the road that has a bunch of cones and hold down the gas. You will jump across a ditch and land on the other side, slightly further on the road, past the bridge. This is useful if you are in last place. However, have the gear setting more towards more top speed.