Are you selecting the user and choosing the option to "Launch Race" or choosing the option to "Race Ghost"? If you have been accidentally choosing Launch Race, then you are racing your best lap ghost for that particular car class. The difference between the two, is that the target time will be the same, but which ghost is on course will be different - your personal ghost or the leaderboard time ghost, respectively.
The ghost will be in the respective class as your current car, and it will be either the fastest lap from whatever race you have done on that circuit, or it will be (I believe) a dirty lap ghost if no clean laps have been run on the circuit.
I was doing this before and kept thinking I was beating the ghost but setting a slower lap time than the target time. What makes it confusing is if you're use to doing Rivals mode since you always race the ghost of your closest, faster opponent. Selecting a leaderboard ghost time to race requires you to select a different option than the default option presented.
Last edited by Oni_; 01-12-2012 at 05:51 PM.