Toad Toadstool pictured next to some kart.
Welcome, one and all, to Phase Three of Mario Kart! This year sees a whole new raft of regulations, a whole load of driver and team changes, a whole new calendar, and most importantly, a whole new method of running the races. While for 1992-2002 they were run from the Lights to Flag simulation game, we shall now run them from a handy spreadsheet developed by the wonderful Aislabie.
Toad is the defending champion - he took an imperfect BMW to a championship, defeating the dominating pair of SSL drivers in Luigi Mario (whom Toad challenged for the title all the way back in 1992) and 2001 champion Waluigi. It was Toad who came out on top, and now after so many years of trying, is in the #1 kart.
His old rival Waluigi now joins him at BMW, in the same kart no less. New rules - brought in at the last minute to cater for the downfall of Diddy Kong Racing - dictate that each kart must run two drivers, meaning that with six teams, a total 24 drivers will be split between the 12 available karts. Mario is making his triumphant return to Mario Kart after two and a half years of racing altogether, and his first full-time season since 1995. Bowser's son has been promoted from WWR to the BMW team, partnering Mario.
SSL are ready to fight again for the championship, with Para Troopa taking Waluigi's place after his acrimonious exit from BMW last year. Luigi is hungry for that second championship, and not to finish second! Daisy will partner their son Baby Luigi, after a regulations loophole allows him to participate as co-driver.
Mitsuyoshi are looking for glory again after a few seasons with middling machinery and middling performances. Their double world champion Dixie Kong returns on a tight leash after disappointing in 2002. Birdo is gone and replaced by nearlywoman Pipsy Astromouse, who after many years is finally hoping to get her career some stability. Formerly deceased driver Yoshisaur T. Munchakoopas returns to racing after a seven-season absence due to death, and current team owner Redsaurus is his co-driver.
Peachific morphed over the off-season with SBA, putting Funky Kong into the day-to-day running of Peachific and Princess Peach herself acting as team leader. The conglomeration is now called DPRK, and along with Peach and protege Candy Kong, in the second kart Donkey Kong has returned after winning the 2002 DKR season and is ready to fight with the big boys and girls. Birdo is trying to get in on the action from the up-and-coming team, and partners DK.
Koopra Sport had a disappointing 2002, and are looking to be on the recovery for 2003. Both their last year's drivers have been retained, along with the hiring of Koopa Kolorado and the double-act Dribble & Spitz (a busy kart if ever there was one). Last year it wasn't the drivers that were the problem, but the kart - can they challenge this year?
With Kameklaren going bust and having its assets stripped by The Von Sarasaland Group, this leaves Wario Ware Racing as the last team on the grid. And last they were in 2002 - a dismal year with little to show for it. There has been little to no noise coming from the WWR camp over the off-season, except for the momentous news that Wario Jumpman is making a comeback to racing at the age of 41! Whether it will be a successful comeback is another story - he is used to top-tier machinery and no less.
- New Points System:
- All teams to run four drivers in their two karts.
- Points to be split between drivers in the same kart.
- All teams to use Booridgestone tyres.
- Underage drivers allowed so long as they don't drive.
- Drivers have to share equally lead and co-driver duties, with the exception of those driving with children, who will be lead for all 16 rounds and take an added "adult ballast" penalty to take away any potential advantage. However, a maximum number of eight races as lead driver remains in effect for all drivers.
Bowser Motor Works
Team Principal: Bowser Koopa.
Notes: Mario Mario and Bowser Koopa Jr. signed for 2003
#1 Toad Toadstool / Wa Luigi
#2 Bowser Koopa Jr. / Mario Mario
Scuderia Sarasaland Squadron Luigier Team (commonly abbreviated to SSL)
Team Principals: Luigi Mario and Daisy von Sarasaland
#3 Luigi Mario / Para Troopa
#4 Daisy von Sarasaland / "Baby" Luigi von Sarasaland
Team Principal: Redsaurus R. Bitakoopas
#5 Dixie Kong / Pipsy Astromouse
#6 Yoshisaur T. "Dry Bones" Munchakoopas / Redsaurus R. Bitakoopas
Donkey-Peach Racing Kongection (commonly abbreviated to DPRK)
Team Principal: Peach Toadstool
Technical Director (day-to-day): Funky Kong
#7 Peach Toadstool / Candy Kong
#8 Donkard "Donkey" Kong III / Birdetta Birdo
Team Principal: Koopa Troopa
#9 Kokkoro Toudou / Morton Koopa Jr.
#10 Dribble-Spitz / Koopa Kolorado
Wario Ware Racing (commonly abbreviated to WWR)
Team Principal: Wario Jumpman
#11 Wario Jumpman / Larry Koopa
#12 Pauline Williams / Mark Wiggler
1. Luigi Circuit [Mushroom Kingdom]
2. Peach Beach [Isle Delfino]
3. Baby Park [Mushroom Kingdom]
4. Dry Dry Desert [Yoshi's Island]
5. Mushroom Bridge [Mushroom Kingdom]
6. Mario Circuit [Mushroom Kingdom]
7. Daisy Cruiser [Kingdom of Sarasaland]
8. Waluigi Stadium [Mushroom Kingdom]
9. Sherbet Land [Yoshi's Island]
10. Mushroom City [Mushroom Kingdom]
11. Yoshi Circuit [Yoshi's Island]
12. DK Mountain [Donkey Kong Country]
13. Wario Colosseum [Mushroom Kingdom]
14. Dino Dino Jungle [Yoshi's Island]
15. Bowser’s Castle [Koopa Kingdom]
16. Rainbow Road [Space]
Phase 1 (1992-1995) records
Phase 2 (1996-2002) records
Phase 3 (current) records