Monaco Preview

Another December, another trip to Monaco for one of the league’s two evergreen tracks (Austin has also been raced at every season).

Monaco (D)

Monaco is, of course, nothing new to the SBMRL and nothing new to racing. It’s hosted a Formula 1 Grand Prix since 1950 and racing on the famed streets dates back to the 1920’s.

The short start-finish straight always results in tight, wheel bumping action in Sainte Devote on the first lap. The straight that follows lets drivers open it up a bit… more so on the second lap for those who haven’t pitted.

The second sector starts slow and then gets fast in the tunnel. Coming out of the Loews hairpin complex with speed for the tunnel is key, and the Nouveau Chicane is a favorite passing spot.

The final sector is trickier than it looks at first glance. There isn’t a break anywhere. Hardly anything separates one corner from the next. The key here is the exit. If drivers can get Rascasse and Anthony Noghes right, they can fly down the start-finish straight.

Starting Grid

Monaco’s grid will see cars line up in the following order:

  1. Luigi (SM)
  2. Rask Sjofar (SB)
  3. The Stig (SB)
  4. Delilah Whipplefilter (FR)
  5. Mario (SM)
  6. Launch Bornado (FR)
  7. Whiplash (RM)
  8. Jaap Snellrijder (RM)

Luigi had best be on his form at the start. Despite starting on pole position, he’s got two excellent drivers around him in the Stig and Rask. The Scandinavian Blitz pair finished 1-2 here last year, and the Stig has taken 3 of the 4 wins to be had.

Pit selection in order of team standings looks like this:

  1. Regency Motors
  2. Force Ravenswood
  3. Scandinavian Blitz
  4. Switch Motorsport

Delilah and the Stig both claim Monaco as their home race this year.

Track History

As mentioned above, the Stig has 3 wins and easily the most points. It shouldn’t be much of a surprise, either, that Jaap and Launch follow him in that regard, with Jaap taking the remaining win. Whiplash is the only other driver on the grid with more than one start, and he has yet to finish higher than 5th. Rask, who starts 2nd this year, also started 2nd last year when he took 2nd place. In fact, the driver starting in 2nd has never finished lower than 4th.

SBMRL @ Monaco

Bahrain Recap

The SBMRL’s first visit to Bahrain would see the drivers taking to the track in the evening so as to avoid the heat of midday. Fresh off a victory in Austin, Jaap Snellrijder was in the lead of the driver standings and on form. Scandinavian Blitz struggled through the first two races and were looking to get into a groove.

The starting grid lined up as follows:

P1 – Luigi (SM)
P2 – The Stig (SB)
P3 – Rask Sjofar (SB)
P4 – Delilah Whipplefilter (FR)
P5 – Mario (SM)
P6 – Whiplash (RM)
P7 – Launch Bornado (FR)
P8 – Jaap Snellrijder (RM)

Clearly a bit over eager after starting from the back of the grid, Jaap stalled his car and got to a very slow beginning. Luigi, in contrast, timed the lights perfectly and got off to a fast start.

Luigi’s hot start

The long lead up to Turn 1 mean that Luigi’s hot start didn’t gain him much. The Stig, Mario, and Whiplash all fought for position in the first corner, but it was Luigi who took the early lead in Sector 1.

The second sector saw the Stig and Mario join Luigi at the front. While Jaap’s slow start kept him behind the others, the midfield was hotly contested. Whiplash and the two Force Ravenswood drivers drove wheel to wheel through turn after turn.

The Stig leads Switch Motorsports into the third sector

While Luigi and the Stig battled up front, Jaap made his move. He found speed to burn over the second sector’s long straight and was soon joining Launch and Whiplash in the chasing pack. Rask was the driver left wanting, with Delilah also struggling.

The Stig pushed hard through the third sector, which gained him the lead, but he also lost control around the final bend. His car spun out and the momentum nearly carried him past the pit entrance, however, he was able to get himself turned around just in time to duck in.

The Stig gets all turned around

What the Stig’s spin did mean, though, was that Luigi would once again take the lead in the race. The grit of sand on the track and the challenging nature of the circuit meant that every car would take on fresh rubber, which narrowed the field down greatly.

Luigi held on to his lead through the first sector, but it was never by much. Rask had caught up and was battling Launch and Mario in the race for second. Behind them, Whiplash, Jaap, and the Stig fought to join them, and it was Delilah’s turn to look like she had no chance.

Lap 2 battles

Rask would be the first to make a move, charging forward and passing Luigi around the outside of Turn 4, the Switch driver being unable to find his rhythm in the second sector. Jaap would come next. He was able to take Luigi’s teammate Mario on the inside of the very same corner.

Luigi got everything wrong at Turn 5, allowing both Mario and Jaap to pass him by on the long straight that followed. Rask didn’t get his breaking right into Turn 6, and the engines behind were roaring. Through all that chaos, it was Jaap that took the lead into sector 3 with Rask behind him and nearly everyone else vying for the same piece of real estate.

Jaap in the lead as everyone is fighting it out

The third sector was full of heartbreak and joy. Starting with joy, Jaap essentially cruised to an easy victory from this point. He showed his experience by calmly navigating the final three corners en route to a second straight win.

On the heartbreak side, Mario put a charge into his engine and pulled into second place, only to find that his engine gave out before the finish line. It couldn’t have been come at a worse moment. That opened the door to Whiplash for a Regency Motors 1-2.

Mario’s 2nd place was short lived

The fight for third place was anything but simple. None of the remaining cars were able to manage the third sector well, with Delilah and Luigi both suffering minor body damage on the approach to the final corner.

Launch wound up being squeezed out, having been passed by the others on the straight. Instead it was the Stig, Delilah, and Rask that would come out with just a drag race to decide between them.

The fight for 3rd

In the end, the Stig had what was needed, and Rask was able to summon a bit more than Delilah. Luigi’s miserable second lap would come to an end in 6th place, with only Launch still running behind him.

Final Results

Jaap Snellrijder (RM)871
Whiplash (RM)662
The Stig (SB)243
Rask Sjofar (SB)324
Delilah Whipplefilter (FR)485
Luigi (SM)116
Launch Bornado (FR)757
Mario (RM)538*

Jaap’s 9th career victory is his second of the year and second in a row. It’s the first time he’s won back-to-back races, and, among winners, ties Jaronimus at Interlagos in 2016-17 for the most number of positions made up on the second lap.

Whiplash’s 2nd place finish makes him the only driver to have scored a podium in all three races this year. The Stig got his first podium of the year, and 14th of his career.

Regency Motors, who already held a slim lead in the team standings, have really pulled away in the early going. Their second 1-2 gives them a significant lead that will take some doing to catch up. Despite a poor showing Force Ravenswood is in the best position to do so. Scandinavian Blitz and Switch Motorsports are very close. The good news for all three of these teams is that there are still a lot of races in which they can make up the early deficit.

Race Gallery

Bahrain Preview

The first new track on the 2019-20 SBMRL calendar is November’s Bahrain International Circuit.


Construction on the circuit began in 2002 and with the first Bahrain Grand Prix taking place less than two years later in 2004. It was the first Formula 1 grand prix to take place in the middle east.

The starting grid is set far back on the pit straight, so a healthy run up to the first corner will be the first order of business. Turn 1 is complicated and will slow the field right back down before spitting them out on a long straight to do basically the same thing over again.

The second sector is comprised of a series of sharp, fast corners with varying lengths of straights between them. There will be plenty of chances to get things wrong in here, with the cars who can drive cleanly likely to be among the front runners when the checkered flag waves.

The final sector is a rough mirror image of the first. A moderate straight leads to a sharp right hander followed by a long straight to the final corner of the track. The last turn will frustratingly slow the field before the pit straight, which is easily the longest. Cars will want to avoid pitting if possible, but even then, they may not have much speed with which to tackle the length in front of them.

Starting Grid

The drivers will line up in reverse order of the driver standings, which puts Switch Motorsports’ Luigi on pole position. Lining up next to him will be The Stig. Launch and Whiplash, currently tied in the standings, have their tie broken by reverse order of finish in Austin.

  1. Luigi (SM)
  2. The Stig (SB)
  3. Rask Sjofar (SB)
  4. Delilah Whipplefilter (FR)
  5. Mario (SM)
  6. Whiplash (RM)
  7. Launch Bornado (FR)
  8. Jaap Snellrijder (RM)

Team standings determine the order of pit selection.

  1. Regency Motors
  2. Force Ravenswood
  3. Switch Motorsports
  4. Scandinavian Blitz

No driver will have Bahrain as their home race.