Race number six takes place in the frozen tundra at the Arctic Circuit, a wide-open track with several wide slalom-esque turns coupled with one sharp right-hander. The speedy style of track and the variety of turns taken at high-speed lead to constant opportunities for passing, and a bad entry into turn seven (the aforementioned sharp right turn) can make or break a marble’s lap time.
Billy (Green Ducks) starts in pole position, with first place Red Eye (Crazy Cat’s Eyes) alongside in second at the gate. In the early laps, success in qualifiers proved important, as all four top starters (including Clementin (O’Rangers) and Smoggy (Hazers)) compete for podium spots through the first ten laps.
But races are not won or lost in qualifiers: Ruzzy (Raspberry Racers) vaults from their lackluster fourteenth starting position all the way to second place by the second lap, even briefly holding the lead near the midway point of the event. On the other hand, Wispy (Midnight Wisps) tumbles from fifth to tenth in those same two laps; the beginning of an up-and-down race for them.
At the start of the second half of the race, Ruzzy and Smoggy run well ahead of the rest of the competitors, and no sooner can Greg Woods call this a two-marble race before Billy surges back into the lead before the marbles even enter the third sector. From there, Billy never looks back and coasts to a 26 point weekend (gold plus pole position).
The twisty track sees lots of jostling behind the leader in the final laps, although Clementin, Smoggy, and Ruzzy prove to be deserving of their positions from early in the race. Only rarely do other racers threaten to steal podium position, eventually landing Clementin in second and Ruzzy in third.
- Crazy Cat’s Eyes’ still hold onto a sizeable lead in the overall standings, although it is mathematically possible for the Green Ducks to overtake them in the next race — but only if they score a zero while the Ducks win another gold.
- The Crazy Cat’s Eyes’ dominance is such that their two competitors (Red Eye and Yellow Eye) are still sitting at first and second in the individual standings. And that’s without a podium in the last two races! Billy’s 26 points from this weekend vault him into third, and only a few points behind the two CCE racers.
- The constant opportunities for passing — and the chaos that is turn seven — leads to many teams having very up-and-down races. Take a look at the lap-by-lap positions here.
- Presentation notes: I am not a fan of the new opening montage, specifically showing Yellup’s scary incident from a couple races ago. No need to highlight one of the more dangerous mishaps of the season.
Had to look in the Youtube comments to find this one. It is INCREDIBLY difficult. At 6:25, Roldo is under one of the trees near the ice bridge.
(Apologies for not getting this up over the weekend!)