As bwbike said, Trail Hawks always start in 2nd gear unless in rock mode.
This is because the TH has a deeper axle ratio than other Renegades.
All other automatic transmission Renegades start in 1st, like most other vehicles.
You can switch to manual mode or back to auto mode at any speed and any throttle position che.
Furthermore, while moving it goes into manual mode in the gear the auto mode is currently in.
This is why if you have a Trail Hawk sitting at a stop it will be in 2nd when you go to manual mode.
An example of switching back and forth between auto and manual modes in a TH:
To hole shot the punk sitting next to you at a red light, switch to manual mode.
Tap the gear selector forward to put your TH in first gear.
Put you foot to the floor and accelerate from the red light far faster than that fool ever thought your TH Renegade could go.
As you reach maximum RPMs in 1st gear, slap the gear selector to the right putting it back in auto mode. Let off the throttle when you see fit.
Point and laugh at the punk all the way to the next red light. >