I started experimenting with what a world map/track selection menu for the game might look like tonight. I'm still trying to work out how to organize all the different locations/events/racer villains and thought a cute little 3D map might be cool.
One of my goals in the game is to have themed racing teams. Surfers, lumberjacks, scientists, etc. Basically a bunch of AI racers that all have similar uniforms and come from specific parts of the world and show up in races in those places. Eventually you will face off with a local champion in each place before unlocking the next (think Pokemon gym leaders).
This world map would basically just be a fancy menu though (no walking around on it or exploring or anything). You'd be able to spin it around but then you'd just select an unlocked location and it would show you all available events in that place.