Have you competed in the Mario Kart Wii online tournament yet? The only prizes seem to be bragging rights, but that doesn't really matter. The important thing is that the tournament isn't based around the usual time trial motif that most racing tournaments enforce. Why is that a good thing? I explain over at Kombo.
I was pleasantly surprised that this first tournament isn't a solo time trial challenge, but a traditional race around the track with CPU-controlled opponents. I've seen some kvetching online from people who would much rather compete in a regulation time trial, but I'm very glad that this tournament is a real race with all kinds of unpredictable events (in this case, Chain Chomps that roam free around the track). I love the wild atmosphere of the average Mario Kart race with the devilish competition and items that can rearrange the leaderboard over and over. Repeatedly retrying the same track in an attempt to shave two-tenths of a second off of my lap time is the most tedious aspect of the Mario Kart experience, and while I'm sure future tournaments will have something to do with a traditional time trial, I'm going to enjoy the current racing challenge as often as possible. After all, those Chain Chomps aren't going to be there forever.
I've taken a few runs through the tournament challenge and, so far, clock in with a time just above 2:02 with Koopa Troopa behind the wheel of a kart. I'm not winning, I'm not losing, and it doesn't really matter. I'm having fun.