It’s the final round of Marbula E, and we’re headed to Jack Nicholls’ native England for one last go-around with these electric-cars-turned-glass-balls.
The London track consists mostly of straightaways and wide curves, but a mid-track switchback and some sharp turns near the finish line add some opportunities for jostling and overtaking. That won’t matter in the qualifying round, though, because marbles take to the track one by one to determine starting order.
One might call the London track the great equalizer, because the spread of qualifying times is remarkably tight. 10 of the 12 qualifying times are within 1.05 seconds of each other, with Audi taking the top spot with the sole sub-27 time of 26.40 seconds, and Mahindra near the bottom with a time of 27.44 seconds. Only Jaguar finishes worse with a time of 29.12 seconds. However, BMW gets caught on the wall of the track and fails to finish the course at all, putting them all the way at the back of the starting order.
Then it’s time for the final race. Porsche gets off to an early lead, rocketing several lengths in front of their closest competitors, but after some jostling, they’re overtaken by both Audi and Techeetah. Even Nio manages to slip past. But all Porsche has to do is not finish too far behind Mercedes to be assured of winning the championship, and Mercedes makes that easy by staying in the middle of the pack. In the final few laps, it looks like things might work out for Mercedes, with Venturi overtaking Porsche, but Porsche doesn’t lose any more spots and finishes in a respectable fifth, behind Audi, Techeetah, Nio, and Venturi.
When all’s said and done, Porsche is our Marbula E champion, with Mercedes taking second place and Techeetah the bronze trophy.
- 14 points separating Porsche (91) from Mercedes (77), but only three separating Mercedes from Techeetah (74). Porsche really is in a class of its own.
- Only two points overall for Nissan. Damn. Or should I say, “E.Dams”?
- For a track with two elements designed to create opportunities for collisions and overtakes, there really weren’t that many switches in the order during this race.
- I know this is a sponsored event, but overall I really enjoyed it. Jack Nicholls and Greg Woods have great chemistry. I hope to see it return in 2021.
Complete stats for Marbula E can be found at the Marble League Wiki.