lol, yes it is, but i'm dutch.. It's a word we don't use often and you spell it like this: Schmutzig. You can probably translate it to 'crusty' best. But, back to your questions;
I am currently completing the races and the only one that frustrates me is #7. I want to use the gyro copter thing but the race countdown won't trigger.. I did most of the others with the gyro and it works. Just fly over the trees and stuff to the next checkpoint, go down in the red markers, otherwise you'll miss them. Just about the height where the white arrow is in the markers. This way, it's very easy..
I still have to do the side missions, but i will follow the method used in the guide for it. Why they shoot you? Who shoots at you? Check the bars at the left side on the screen, do you have a wanted level i some way?
I'm stuck on a few liberation missions.
Edit: I just finished race #7. Yesterday i attempted to start it for about 20 times, with no result. Today it worked on the first attempt. Maybe you have to save your game near #7, load it again and go straight to the start line.. Maybe it will work after resetting your XBox..? Weird..
Race #1 can't be done with the gyro..