So for some reason, I'm pretty good at Ring Races (all S rank). Also, the Pursuits are doable, once I realised it wasn't a race. I'm just going back and seeing which ones I can do on Expert, and it's surprising!
I'm the same way with Ring Races. I found them to be easier than I expected and it makes you feel like a pretty awesome pilot once you're able to properly navigate through all the rings.
If I use someone with their handling maxed out then the Ring Races are no problem as I basically do boosts the whole way through aside from tight turns. But at first, those things were the bane of my existence.
I actually ran out of time for one of the Pursuits, which I didn't even know was possible since, ya know, there is no clock on the screen during them. I was flabbergasted when this happened, but then realized I just spent 20 minutes on a single Pursuit.
I think the only challenges I legitimiately enjoy are the Versus races. It reminds me of the good ol' days in Sonic R when you would face off against an individual racer to unlock them.
Speaking of Sonic R, I noticed the melody for "Super Sonic Racing" playing during the Ocean View track thanks to Josh pointing it out. Anyone else catch that, or any other subtle throwbacks for that matter? I know I heard another Sonic R melody somewhere else but can't remember where right now.
Really though, the fan service in this is beyond ridiculous. And so awesome.