Bayside Street, 1st place finish, manual transmission
Expand the description for some driving tips!
Nebula Model 2 Emulator
The Nebula Model 2 Emulator does not give good support for this game: there are graphics and sound bugs. Follow this link for a file to place in your ‘scripts’ folder that enables a widescreen hack. Rename the file “indy500d.lua” to use the widescreen hack with the Indy 500 Deluxe revision.
Indianapolis 500 is considered one of the hardest Sega racing games ever made, and for good reason. The handling of the car is fairly unpredictable and on the default settings the timer is constantly running low and your opponents are incredibly challenging to pass within the few laps you are given. However, it is still exhilarating to sling the Indy cars around in the arcade, especially in the deluxe sitdown cabinet versions. Personally, this is my favorite Sega racer from the Model 2 era for the white-knuckle sense of speed it gives you. There was also a Virtua Formula conversion kit available which allowed operators to swap out the old Virtua Formula Model 1 internals of their attractions to an Indy 500 Model 2 board, allowing players to sit in immersive full-motion scale car bodies molded around the controls and seat, but these were only found at Sega Gameworks locations. The same camera angles from Virtua Racing are available as a tribute and can be accessed by pushing the VR buttons on the dashboard.
Pick the manual transmission here. The automatic transmission is very lazy like in other Model 2 racing games, so using it will cost you a lot of acceleration and that means lost time. The manual car also has a slightly higher top speed, so that can help on long straightaways and when drafting. Be prepared to shift often though as the gears are very short; you will be shifting down to third or fourth for tight corners, then back up to sixth in a matter of seconds. Most importantly, using the paddle shifters behind the steering wheel is fun!
The opposing cars will be your biggest problems here since bumping into walls or driving through grass will not cost you much speed. Cars closer to the back of the field will drive considerably slower than ones at the front, so move quickly and pass the slower cars as fast as possible without making contact with them. Cars at the front of the field have much higher top speeds, so there is not much to do about them other than try to catch up and make a clean pass on a straightaway. If you try and pass these cars in sharp corners, they will bump into you and send you flying out of control, so consult the mini-map, be patient, and wait for the next straight. You can only spin the car out and lose control entirely by hitting a wall very hard, so do not be afraid to drive aggressively until you run into the faster traffic! If you do spin out however, your chances of finishing close to the front will disappear.
One tip to help tell the faster traffic apart from the slower traffic is to push the start button during the race. Doing this will display the positions of the other cars above them as they drive, so you can easily determine which cars are moving fast in the top positions and which ones will be obstacles when you start to lap the slowest cars.
Similar to Daytona USA, drafting is mechanic that can also be found in Indy 500 and will be essential for you to use, especially on the Indianapolis 500 course. You can use the vertical pitot tube directly in the center of the screen while in the cockpit view to help you center your car behind an opponent in front of you. When you drive directly behind them like this, you will get an acceleration and top speed boost that can help you catch up to those incredibly fast cars at the very front of the pack. This technique must be used if you want a chance at finishing the race without timing out, let alone finishing in first place. You will watch me almost run out of time here on Bayside street despite being in a top three position.
Finally, watch out on later laps since the fastest cars at the front of the field will start to pass the slowest ones at the back of the pack. You can try to use these slower cars to draft behind, but they will mainly get in your way at this point as your attention will be devoted to passing the last few fast cars. Be especially cautious on the final square corner here on Bayside Street: this blind corner will be very congested with slow cars that are moving just quick enough to catch you off guard and cause a wreck while you chase down those in the top three positions. Be patient and wait for the straightaways that follow! The end of the course has plenty of straights where you can see both fast and slow cars around you and can draft to gain extra speed to make those final passes.