Nintendo UK has been encouraging gamers to play a lot of Mario Kart 7 recently, with a number of heats completed in the quest to find Britain's Fastest Family. It's now confirmed that the grand final of that contest, 27th October in Birmingham, will be combined with the final of a new event to find the "Best Mario Kart 7 Player in the UK and Ireland". This contest is being organised specifically to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Super Mario Kart on Super NES.

The new competition won't be based on face-to-face heats, but in Community rooms within the game itself. There'll be ten communities split up into separate events for men and women, and divided into five regions (England, Scotland, Wales, Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland). To take part you need to register on the contest website, and you'll be assigned a community room. The prizes on offer include trophies and games, while the top three male and female finalists will also receive every upcoming first party game for 3DS for the next 12 months, starting November.

With the scores and regional winners being determined by community points, this contest is more a challenge of completing as many races as possible, rather than outright speed and skill alone. That said, the top two in each community progress to the final, so those 20 racers will have to face off directly for the biggest prizes. The competition is set to run from 9am on 17th September until midnight on 28th September, so we recommend registering before then. You can check out full details in the press release below.

Nintendo UK is today announcing an all-new Mario Kart 7 tournament for Mario Kart fans in the UK and Ireland to commemorate the launch of the first Mario Kart game, Super Mario Kart for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), just over 20 years ago on August 27th 1992 in Japan. Boy and girl racers will battle in regional online communities for a highly coveted place in the Grand Final in Birmingham on October 27th this year. The online tournament will run alongside this summer’s Mario Kart 7 Britain’s Fastest Family tournament, adding to the summer of Mario Kart fun for Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo 3DS XL fans.

To inch one step closer to winning the limited edition Leaf Cup trophy and other awesome prizes, Mario Kart racers are encouraged to head to for details on how to get involved in the 3D kart action. Users simply need to join the official community in their area, signing in with the Mario Kart 7 username they use when playing the game on their Nintendo 3DS console.

The qualifying stages will be fought out in 10 online communities, with both a male and female community in the 5 regions of England, Scotland, Wales, Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. The competition will be fierce, demanding a balance of skill and dedication, with only the top two competitors from each community qualifying for the Grand Final in October. The two qualifiers from each community will receive a Shell Cup, a copy of New Super Mario Bros 2 and a goody bag. Racers who narrowly miss out on the final will not leave empty-handed, with a goody bag and a Shell Cup presented to those finishing in 3rd place in each community.

The Grand Final, which will also see the Britain’s Fastest Family tournament finale played out, will see the contestants split into boy and girl categories with 10 male and 10 female finalists challenging for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places. With exclusive prizes up for grabs, expect no-holds-barred racing! The male and female winners will both receive the spectacular Leaf Cup trophy and those in 2nd place will win the Special Cup. What’s more, the top three male and female finalists will receive every upcoming first party game for Nintendo 3DS for the next 12 months, starting November 2012*.

Those looking to trade tips and chat to other Mario Kart 7 fans online can head to Follow @NintendoUK on Twitter for regular updates.

Also, don't forget that the second Nintendo Life Mario Kart 7 event takes place this Friday 14th September.