These events are where the new player will usually start. The excitement of being able to fire the guns is a strong lure that sadly most gang members of new players rarely survive.
Most, if not ALL, veteran players will guide the new player away from the Death Races and Arena Combat events. Learning to control the car should be first on your 'to-do' list while playing Darkwind. This can be done on all the tracks around Somerset. The non-combat races there can gain you prize money and fame while letting your members level up on some needed skills.
Death Races are straight-forward. Start the race, wait a few seconds for the 'weapons-enabled' horn, then do your best to survive and finish the race.