The final race of 2017 Sand Marble Rally season was held in Klimduin Brechtdorp. Unlike the previous races held there, the track built for the final race was a long track. The race had double points on offer. It was won by H2 Blue. Dragon's Egg finished in second place and clinched the 2017 Sand Marble Rally championship. Slimer finished the race in third position.
Championship permutations Edit
Double points on offer for this race meant every marble within 40 points of standings leader Quicksilver was still able to come away with the championship. Thus, there were still seven championship hopefuls competing for the title. Quicksilver (125 pts) and rookie Red Number 3 (112 pts) were the two main ones. Slimer (102 pts), Dragon's Egg (101 pts) and El Capitan (99 pts) were the outside contenders. Glassy (89 pts) and Crazy Cat's Eye (87 pts) were both very long shots who had to hope for some kind of miracle, namely something bad that would happen to everybody above them.
Race report Edit
Off a very technical start, Comet took the early lead ahead of Glassy, Big Pearl, Dragon's Egg and Slimer. Big Pearl's downfall would come when she bumped hard against a 90-degree left-hander, falling into mid-pack as a result. Dragon's Egg managed to move past fellow championship hopeful Glassy into second place. At that point, championship leader Quicksilver got stuck on the course and collected Summer Sky, while his main rival Red Number 3 was mired back in eighteenth position as the final running marble. Glassy took the lead after re-passing Dragon's Egg and then finding a way past Comet, while Slimer dropped down to fifth courtesy of Lollipop. Comet and Dragon's Egg soon went back around Glassy, with Dragon's Egg also passing Comet in the process and surging into the lead. After the field bumped against a mill, Lollipop advanced from fourth to first, but a motivated Dragon's Egg was able to retake the lead immediately.
Having previously run in sixth, H2 Blue shot up into third after taking advantage of a plinko board. Also, Red Number 3 had made some amazing progress in the opening one-third of the race, already running in eighth place and now hounding Pollo Loco for seventh, before being re-passed by Fantasy. Glassy faded down into sixth, while Slimer managed to pass H2 Blue for third and later took second from Lollipop when the rookie was distracted by his own fight with race leader Dragon's Egg. Slimer drafted Dragon's Egg, but was unable to make a move before the two took different lines in a split. H2 Blue was running third again, having passed Lollipop. The higher line proved to be quicker with Slimer and H2 Blue moving into the top two positions, while Dragon's Egg (who took the lower line) was dropped down into the third position.
Red Number 3 was up into seventh, while Pollo Loco passed Comet to move into fifth and early front-runner Glassy dropped out of the top ten. Lollipop flew over a wall, but it had no further consequences for her as she remained in fourth and managed to keep going. Pollo Loco also faded and dropped down the order, allowing Red Number 3 to take sixth position and line up some attacks on Comet. As the marbles rolled down the final straight, the tension surrounding the championship only grew as Dragon's Egg wrestled away second from H2 Blue. Then, race leader Slimer slammed into a dummy ball, dropping him to third. H2 Blue managed to pass Dragon's Egg nearly in the last possible moment to take the win at the end of a hectic finale. Dragon's Egg finished second, Slimer was resigned to third and Lollipop took fourth.
Red Number 3 managed to pass Comet eventually to take fifth, but would fall one point short of Dragon's Egg for the championship. Comet came home in sixth, ahead of Black Knight in seventh, Pollo Loco in eighth, Wisp of Darkness in ninth and El Capitan rounding out the top ten. Fantasy came home in eleventh, Nemo in twelfth, Ghost Plasma in thirteenth and Crazy Cat's Eye in fourteenth. Glassy faded all the way down to fifteenth after his early brief stint in the lead, ahead of Deep Ocean and Blizzard Blaster. Big Pearl, after being taken out of third very early on by bumping against a wall way too hard, had an absolutely terrible race finishing eighteenth, 50 seconds behind the race winner and 42 behind seventeenth-placed Blizzard Blaster. The only DNF's in this race were the aforementioned Quicksilver and Summer Sky.
|5th||Red Number 3||2:23.11||P20||22p|
|9th||Wisp of Darkness||2:24.02||P9||14p|
|14th||Crazy Cat's Eye||2:25.13||P8||7p|
|DNF||Summer Sky||Did not finish||P7|
|DNF||Quicksilver||Did not finish||P18|
- P1–P7 is on the front row
- P8–P13 is on the second row
- P14–P20 is on the back row
Before the start of race 12, it was announced that the final race had double points on offer. It was done in a attempt to make the title decider more exciting. However, it created some controversy with the fans and the marbles making. It made it less fair for the marbles who had a strong season, but just so happen to have a bad final race or the marbles who have been poor throughout the season, but just so happen to have a good final race.
The double points system for the final race has seemingly been discontinued since then.
In the end, the double points had a great impact on the Sand Marble Rally champion, as seen in this table:
|Results without double points|
|2nd||Red Number 3||123p|
Championship standings after the raceEdit
Bold text indicates the 2017 Sand Marble Rally champion
|2nd||Red Number 3||134p|
|All Sand Marble Rally races|
|2016: Q · R1 · R2 · R3 · R4 · R5 · R6 · R7 · R8 · R9 · R10 · R11 · R12|
2017: Q · R1 · R2 · R3 · R4 · R5 · R6 · R7 · R8 · R9 · R10 · R11 · R12 · F
2018: Q · R1 · R2 · R3 · R4 · R5 · R6 · R7 · R8
2019: Q · R1 · R2 · R3 · R4 · R5 · R6 · R7 · R8