Barnstorming by Steve Cartwright, released in 1982 by Activision for the Atari 2600.
This is probably one of the earliest "time-attack" games I can think of, in that it's not a car racing game yet still judges the player by how quickly they can "lap." In the case of Barnstorming, you simply fly a biplane straight over a field, dodging obstacles and passing through barns (did people actually try to do this in real life?)
For its time, Barnstorming was a smooth-playing and good-looking 2600 game. The sunset was sharp and attractive with a nice parallax effect, and the little details (spinning windmills, billowing scarf) were nice touches. The game followed a preset obstacle pattern for most of the modes, so adept players could eventually conquer the game in pretty short order (fortunately, a random mode was also present).
Another sign of the times, for several of their early games Activision encouraged people to work hard to score high; if a player did so and sent in a Polaroid, they could get a special Barnstorming patch in the mail.