This week’s Qualifiers mean a lot this season as the Crazy Cats Eyes stand to completely secure their lead by getting only a point from the next race. They have a 51 point lead, with a maximum of 54 points to be earned by any team in the next 2 races (25 gold, 1 fastest lap, 1 pole position). This week’s race takes place at the Savage Speedway, a simple, but elegant track with a couple of turns leading into a speedy straightaway, followed by some back-and-forths, then a final straightaway and final turn. It doesn’t seem to be a particularly tricky or dangerous track, but there will be plenty of opportunities for passes.
Skip and Ocean begin by setting the pace. Skip’s time is immediately dwarfed by Ocean with almost a full second lead. This proves to be the dichotomy of times as the next 8 marbles slot themselves between these times. Tumult finally breaks this streak, but not in a way they might like. They secure last place by more than half a second. Their run got off to a slow start and only got worse. Ocean’s time is only beat at the very end of Q1 by none other than Red Eye. The Rock Lee weights are off and Red Eye is ready to finish this fight. At the end of Q1, Azure, Wospy, Skip, and Tumult are all DNQ. Red Eye, Ocean, Shock, Prim, Speedy, Snowstorm, Clemintine, and Minty Drizzle advance to Q2. Notably, the other provisional podium racers, Billy and Smoggy, only manage 14th and 15th respectively.
Q2 begins and Red Eye maintains 1st for the first lap. Midway through the second lap, Ocean nabs P1 and manages to keep it. Speedy skips forward to 3rd, pushing Shock down to 5th. The Speeders have clearly practiced this raceway more than a few times. None of the other back four marbles are able to advance, leaving Ocean, Red Eye, Speedy and Prim to advance to Q3.
Q3 begins and Ocean keeps 1st at the early turns. They clearly want this, but Red Eye is just too fast and overtakes just before the straightaway. Speedy sees an opportunity and seizes 2nd from Ocean and begins threatening pole. At the end of the first lap, the two are side-by-side, but Red Eye says “No” and expands the lead right out of the conveyor belt. Ocean threatens to take back 2nd but isn’t able to. Prim is just having a nice jog. Prim takes 4th, Ocean grabs 3rd, Speedy nabs 2nd position, and Red Eye takes Pole position, and the single point associated with it. With that, the CCE have a 52 point lead. The 2nd place Green Ducks will need to grab both fastest lap and gold to stand any chance at winning the championship.
Red Eye’s performance here shows that the CCE are done playing games. They’re ready to win this season. Let the chips fall where they may for the other two podiums, but the Marbula One trophy is as good as theirs. The Speeders know they can’t have first in the team race but they’re doing their best here to grab a podium. With only 9 points separating them from third, they have a real shot here. Speedy is also within nabbing distance of the individual performance gold. The Oceanics are racing for their pride at this point. They’ve earned a Pole Position and Fastest Lap already, but maybe they can also grab a medal from the Savage Speedway.
That’s all for now. We can look forward to tomorrow’s GP for some interesting marble racing.