I was talking to a buddy who said he would never drive manually in racing games because it "wouldn't be very realistic without having to engage a clutch pedal". It got me thinking about the fact that perhaps many people don't realize that higher level drivers in real life often don't shift using the clutch pedal at all. My first car was a 5-speed Mazda MX-6 and I didn't even realize it until years later when I went to a truck driving school to get a Class A CDL and later trained on the road for 2 months with a veteran driver out of a company in Wisconsin. His truck intimidated me at first because it was an 18-speed transmission which required a flip of a switch to go from the lower shifting to the top gear shifting. Driving a truck in the beginning is tougher than cars because you have to double clutch when you shift instead of single in most cars.
After I got good, he started teaching me the old timer tricks like how to shift without using the clutch at all. Basically if your road speed and RPMs are both in the proper range, you simply shift gears without touching the clutch pedal. In the right range, shifting requires no significant hand force either. You can shift with just one finger and light pressure if you want. Lol. Really the only time you need a clutch is at the beginning to get a vehicle moving.
Hope I didn't bore you too much, but I thought it was possibly interesting.