After all these years, and growing up with Windows 3.1, I have seen an entire evolution of computers and software. Touch screens and large resolutions were a pipe dream just 15 years ago. Now it's the norm. Going from a Packard Bell (yes, before HP) that couldn't run 3D Ultra Mini...
You can improve your ship's capabilities in the garage, using funds accrued from race wins.
Faster ships are unlocked as you progress through your career.
Some tracks have multiple routes - keep your eye out for potential shortcuts.