Races consist of a series of checkpoints, represented by columns of light. In some races, the order in which the checkpoints must be cleared is prescribed. In this case, a transparent, glowing arrow points to the next checkpoint. In other races the checkpoints may be cleared in any order. In that case, the arrow points to the nearest checkpoint.
In-game screenshot of Midnight Club 2.It is up to the player which route to take from one checkpoint to the next. There are no artificial barriers in the game's open world environment that force the player to stay on a specific course. Any area that is drivable or jumpable in the free-roaming cruise mode between races may be used to get to the next checkpoint.