@DCMonkey: As I just explained again (and again now), this is about noticing a predictable pattern (like a curve where you're going into so fast that you'll hit the wall or fly out the track if you don't time your controlling accurately) that you can anticipate, and the only thing that matters is accurately timed action to that pattern - but if your *action* is timed poorly, the pattern changes (you crash the car). Note that this isn't about reaction but action to known (or highly probable/predictable) information!
TrackMania is very similar scenario to playing music live with others - your actions establish new patterns but if timing is inaccurate they will sound bad in the context of the current established pattern (think ninjam, zero-lag global live jamming, your midi input (usb lag) latency and jitter matters a lot). I love both of these and the popularity of TrackMania was in the millions until they made some "poor" business moves trying to kill the free game in favor of the new v2. (the right model would have been to charge players of custom tracks and provide rev share to most played user tracks, as the user made tracks are the life of the game, similar to music again! - musical instrument makers don't make the popular music!)