Magny-Cours Preview

Race 7 on the 2018-19 SBMRL calendar takes us to Magny-Cours, France.

Magny-Cours

The Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours was originally constructed in the 1960’s and saw Formula 1 race there in the 1990’s and 2000’s. It has played host to the SBMRL once previously, which took place two seasons ago.

A clockwise circuit, Magny-Cours is known for its extremely high speed stretches. It will certainly tax the engines as they rev to full throttle.

The pit straight is fairly short, with a quick left hander called Grande Courbe to open things up. From there, a smooth right by the name of Estoril can be taken pretty much as fast as the cars are able to push. The long Golf straight that follows is one of the longest we’ll see this year, and the cars will be flying down it as fast as they possibly can.

The Golf straight ends at the sharp Adelaide hairpin, one of the hardest braking corners this season. Expect some cars to get it wrong here, but it may be a case of fast in slow out as a preference over the norm. The straight that follows isn’t particularly short, but the Nurburgring corner is more of a slight shuffle than the chicane it is officially listed as.

The next corner is a 180 degree bend to the left. Were it sharper, it’d be a hairpin, and were it less sharp, it would resemble the Estoril corner from the first sector. As it is, it’s basically the inside line of that corner heading back in the other direction, and it falls between the two extremes. It’s followed by a relatively lengthy straight before the Imola chicane, a bend similar to the Nurburgring corner seen earlier.

Chateua D’Eau follows Imola in quick succession, one of the only real rhythm combinations on the track. A moderate straight and the Complexe du Lycée is all that stands remaining before the pits.

Starting Grid

There’s a new leader atop the driver standings and a bit of a shuffle in the ranks after South Africa. The result is that the grid for Magny-Cours shapes up as follows:

  1. Launch Bornado (FR)
  2. Sheila Dinkum (RM)
  3. Rask Sjofar (SB)
  4. Bubba McQueen (SR)
  5. Jaap Snellrijder (RM)
  6. Delilah Whipplefilter (FR)
  7. The Stig (SB)
  8. Whiplash (SR)

Each team sports a driver in the top 4 and each team has one in the bottom four, highlighting how evenly matched things are this year.

The order of pit selection is the order of team standings:

  1. Sprite Racing
  2. Scandinavian Blitz
  3. Force Ravenswood
  4. Regency Motors

Magny-Cours is the home race for both Jaap and Rask.

Track History

While Magny-Cours has only held one SBMRL event, it was an eventful one. Launch took the victory after starting in 6th place on the grid, so it’s clearly a track where every driver has a legitimate shot at victory. Only Launch, Jaap, and the Stig participated the last time out. The Stig finished 7th and Jaap crashed out, so they’ll be looking for some redemption. Jamonito del Verde and Mater were the other two drivers on the podium.

SBMRL @ Magny-Cours

South Africa Recap

Gorgeous weather welcomed the SBMRL to Kyalami on race day and the drivers were eager to get going. The field took to the grid as follows:

P1 –  Launch Bornado (FR)
P2 – Jaap Snellrijder (RM)
P3 – Delilah Whipplefilter (FR)
P4 – Bubba McQueen (SR)
P5 – Sheila Dinkum (RM)
P6 – Rask Sjofar (SB)
P7 – The Stig (SB)
P8 – Whiplash (SR)

The cars lined up, the lights went out, and off they went into the first corner, with Jaap pipping Launch around the outside. Delilah kept pace while the rest of the field followed in a tight pack through Nashua.

Wheel-to-wheel through Nashua

As the front runners wound their way through Goodyear Sweep ,there was almost nothing between Jaap, Launch, and Delilah, with the first two forcing the latter around the outside. Jaap, however, got a bit squirrelly and lost his line at Goodyear Corner, giving the Force Ravenswood pair an early 1-2. Behind them, the red liveried Scandinavian Blitz cars had worked their way in front of Bubba and Sheila, with Whiplash making similar progress.

Delilah flew down the straight to Wesbank, leaving Launch and Jaap struggling behind. As predicted, the second sector really spread out the field. Rask and Whiplash fell in line behind Jaap and Launch, with Bubba running a solitary 6th. The Stig and Sheila brought up the rear.

Delilah far out front

That was pretty much how things stayed through the pit stop cycle. Despite not pitting, Jaap wasn’t able to make up any ground on Delilah or shake Launch, both of whom opted for fresh rubber. Sheila was the only other car not to pit, but again, it didn’t do her much good in the fight with the Stig for avoiding last place.

Jaap and Launch look to reel in Delilah

Jaap finally found some speed around the Goodyear Sweep, catching up with Delilah and passing her in the following corner. Launch was not able to keep up. Through the same stretch, Whiplash shook free of Rask, who was now caught up by Bubba.

High speeds through Goodyear Sweep

The third sector brought drama as the approach to Turn 7 was handled quite differently by Jaap and Delilah. Delilah went in hard, but had to slow down coming out of it. Jaap hit things a bit more smoothly, but was forced to slow down more for the final corner.

Meanwhile, Launch was struggling for grip in the second sector. Bubba was in no such ill form, charging ahead and catching up with Whiplash. The two Sprite Racing drivers battled cleanly through Wesbank, and soon had Launch firmly in their sights.

Delilah stays just ahead of Jaap

As Delilah and Jaap rounded the final bend, Delilah was able to maintain just a nose advantage over Jaap, eking out a narrow victory.

Launch was, in turn, struggling mightily in the final sector. The Force Ravenswood driver simply could not find a rhythm through the final two corners. Whiplash and Bubba, were finding the exact opposite to be true. They couldn’t have driven better. With speed aplenty, they rounded the final corner and passed Launch… who could only watch as they flew past for 3rd and 4th place.

Launch gets passed by both black and gold cars

It was Rask who took the solitary 6th place, while Sheila and the Stig were neck and neck in turn 7. The promise of a last place battle vanished as the Stig lost pace, and what little drama remained fizzled out in short order.

Final Results

DriverStartLapFinish
Delilah Whipplefilter (FR)311
Jaap Snellrijder (RM)222
Whiplash (SR)843
Bubba McQueen (SR)464
Launch Bornado (FR)135
Rask Sjofar (SB)656
Sheila Dinkum (RM)
577
The Stig (SB)788

Delilah gets her first victory in just her 6th race. She has now stood on all 3 podium steps, meaning that she’s finished on the podium in exactly half of her races. Furthermore, she’s finished ahead of her teammate in each of the past 4 races, moving up to 3rd in the driver standings.

Jaap, who has struggled this season, records his best result of the year. Like Delilah, it’s his 3rd podium in the past 4 races, and move him up to 4th place. He also breaks a tie with the Stig for 2nd place in career podiums, where he’s now two back of Launch.

Whiplash’s recent strong form continues, as he’s now also stood on the podium in 3 of the last 4 races. His 3rd place finish, coupled with the Stig coming in last, puts him at the top of the driver standings.

Elsewhere, Launch’s promising race fell apart in the final two corners, a turn of events that has left the former champ at the back of the standings. Sheila is feeling similarly disappointed after an overall dud of a race. The Stig’s season is a case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. This year, he’s only finished in the top 2 or the bottom 2, nowhere in between.

At a team level, Sprite Racing now sits ahead of Scandinavian Blitz at the top of the standings. Force Ravenswood who were well back two races ago, are the other team on the move. They’ve made up enough ground to pass Regency Motors by a single point. The three time team champions will have to press strongly over the final three races, or they will finally relinquish the championship to someone else.

Race Gallery

South Africa Preview

After a first visit to the South American nation of Argentina, the SBMRL makes its first stop on the African continent, racing at South Africa’s Kyalami Racing Circuit.

Kyalami

The circuit hosted Formula 1 Grand Prix from the 1960’s till the 1980’s, at which point there was a break in the racing due to escalated concerns around apartheid. The track saw two Grand Prix in the early 1990’s, but financial challenges prevented its use for the highest level of motorsport from continuing.

The track runs anti-clockwise, with a very short run up to the first corner, Total Curve. Cars at the front of the grid should have some advantage here as a result. A short straight then leads into Nashua, a big, slow left hander, and on to the Old Pit Straight.

The second sector starts with the high speed Goodyear Sweep. This corner shouldn’t really slow anyone down too much, and with a short straight before the similarly named Goodyear Corner, there will be plenty of chances for close racing through here.

Another short straight leads to the Rothmans Esses, and it’s here that Kyalami starts to get a bit tricky. The Rothmans Esses can very well catch a driver out, and with a longer straight following that leads into the sharp Wesbank corner, expect to see some passing.

Wesbank marks the start of the third sector, and is essentially the mirror image of Nashua in the first sector. It leads into the track’s longest straight, followed by the sharpest bend, Continental. If Wesbank didn’t trip the field up, Continental almost certainly will. The track closes with another moderately long straight and relatively sharp left back on to the pit straight. It’s worth pointing out that the pit straight is so short that a full grid of 10 cars would see the back of the field lining up in the final corner.

Starting Grid

As always, the starting grid is in reverse order of the current team standings. With Argentina’s results in the books, any ties that we previously had have now vanished as the standings have spread out a bit. Jaap’s elimination at the hands of Whiplash result in the latter getting a 1 place grid penalty, dropping him to the back of the grid. The resulting field lines up as follows:

  1. Launch Bornado (FR)
  2. Jaap Snellrijder (RM)
  3. Delilah Whipplefilter (FR)
  4. Bubba McQueen (SR)
  5. Sheila Dinkum (RM)
  6. Rask Sjofar (SB)
  7. The Stig (SB)
  8. Whiplash (SR)

With Launch and Jaap at the bottom of the standings, and the Stig in front, we’ve come a long way since 2015. The team standings determine the order of pit selection.

  1. Scandinavian Blitz
  2. Sprite Racing
  3. Regency Motors
  4. Force Ravenswood

South Africa is not the home race for any driver.