After the KS pitch video at the top, the first video on the page is a 50-minute playthrough. I recommend watching that to see if this is the sort of game you want to play. Here’s my take:
First, the video notes that the original Rallyman was primarily a solo game, and they wanted to preserve the ability to play solo in the new version. Indeed, the way players tally up their final time in the GT version is basically the same as the original version.
Second, I think I need to refine what my concern about the GT version was before watching the video. In the original version, the goal was not to finish the race in the minimum number of rounds (technically they are called turns, but “turns” can mean something else in racing games…), but to finish with the minimum accumulated time. This meant the player constantly want to end rounds on a high gear (which adds less time) but had to keep dropping to lower gears for corners. The game was about planning a series of rounds that threaded through the corners most efficiently, and moving as far as you could each turn was not necessarily the right answer. Maybe you set it up so you can take consecutive corners in one round; maybe it’s better to stop between them in a moderately high gear.
In the multiplayer GT game, the winners are the racers who cross the finish line in the minimum number of rounds, so moving as far as you can each turn is generally a good idea. The question is: is this change a Bad Thing? Does this mean the game is more about being lucky not rolling warning signs and less about planning? Well, planning is still a large part of the game.
In the original version, what I call planning is figuring out the best gear and location to end each round: gear because that determines how much time you add to your race, and both gear and location will affect future turns. In multiplayer GT, what gear and location to end each round still matters, not for counting time, but for interacting with other players. For one, the main thing that determines player order is their gear. So if you want to move first to make sure you’re the one who gets the racing line, or if you want to move later so the person in front gets out of your way, gear matters. This is in addition to managing gears to navigate corners. (Also, I like the addition of brake dice, which adds another wrinkle to planning rounds.) In the video, you can see the players constantly trying to decide what gear to end their round on.
For another, there is a new rule regulating overtaking: you can only move alongside another player if you use a Gear die of same or higher value. (They might have misplayed this in the video and overtook using a Coast die at the same or higher gear.) Let’s say someone is ahead of you but is in lower gear, so you move first. You may be able to overtake them and end in a high gear in a way so that they cannot overtake you this round, so their lead in spaces just got wiped away.
Bottom line: in the original version, often short moves were fine because you were trying to manage gears. It looks like in the GT version, you do want to be able to move far each turn, and it seems luck plays a bigger role (sometimes your first two rolls are warnings and you call it quits; sometimes that second warning doesn’t come for a long time and you move eight spaces in a single round), but other players on the track mean you can’t ignore speed or jockeying over racing lines. So planning is still part of the game, just planning with different considerations.
Aside: there was some gameiness in the video about being totally fine losing control in 2nd gear because the player got another space, blocking someone else at the same time, and wouldn’t damage their car. No downside to losing control seems a weird thing for a racing game.