Not Mario Kart 7, actually (Transformed had been in development with those features for over a year when MK7 was revealed). In an interview with Nintendo Power (issue #282, September) executive producer Steve Lycett (of Sumo Digital) talks about what games influenced the way those sections played.
“We’re making a Sega game first and foremost, so we always look to Sega games as our reference points. Flight started off referencing classic arcade titles like After Burner and Galaxy Force II, though we’ve tweaked it to fit our game. Waterwise, we took something like Wave Runner, added a pinch of Wave Race, and then went to town.”
So basically Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed = Outrun + After Burner + Galaxy Force II + Mario Kart + Wave Runner + Wave Race + a ton of Sega fan service.
Read the rest of the interview (and four pages about the Wii U version of Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed) in the September issue of Nintendo Power. You’ll have to find it on the newsstands though, because, well, you can’t really subscribe anymore. :-(