I'm new to game development and I was thinking of starting off with something easy like a top down simulated race game. It will be similar to a horse race, such that there will be betting, and character should win based on their attributes and simulated conditions.
One problem I'm currently facing is how to simulate who wins. Characters will probably have the attributes top speed, acceleration, endurance etc. I don't want the top ranked character winning all the races.
I was looking into probability distributions but I couldn't quite understand how that would help calculate who will win.
I know the winner will be who crosses the finish line first. However how do I calculate characters slowing down, speeding up?