Is this related to "Screamer Rally" at all?
In terms of gameplay, not really. People just thought it'd be nice to franchise-ify the Screamer games. Also see Screamer 4x4, which is the best off-road driving sim there is (and I'm not just saying this because it's a Hungarian-developed game). It's quite realistic - that's the first game I've seen that had a key binding for the clutch, might even be the only one.
Back then it may have been, certainly not now. I don't know how many, but GTR 1 and 2 have clutch bindings, and are some of the toughest most realistic driving sims available.