My thoughts exactly. Every time I would play source karts it would turn into either A) I get into first place and nobody else would compete, or B) Me and someone else are fighting for first. It felt like players who weren't as good stood almost no chance.
I did like being rewarded for being able to drift well and get the bonus boost around corners though. There was nothing more satisfying than drifting the entire tunnel on the second track. (The one with the hill that goes up 45 degrees and turns back)
My point is, it's important the gamemode feels competitive. Nobody likes to be put in a situation where winning feels hopeless. Don't be afraid to put in some skill tricks too though!