Monza Preview

For the SBMRL’s February race, the league heads to Italy to race at the famed Autodromo Nazionale di Monza.


It’s the first time that the SBMRL will race at one of racing’s most famous circuits. Only England’s Brooklands and the United States’ Indianapolis Motor Speedway predate Monza as purpose built motor racing circuits, with Monza being constructed in 1922. In its various forms, the track has hosted more Formula 1 Grand Prix than any other racing circuit. The banked oval is no longer in use.

The pit straight is the longest straight on the track, and leads into the Variante Del Rettifilo Tribune, or Rettifilo for short. Rettifilo slows the field down before the long looping Curva Grande that can be taken at full throttle. It heads into the Variante Della Roggia, which is a quick chicane that can be taken at speed if you can get your line right.

Almost no time at all is between Roggia and the Prima Curva Di Lesmo, which is followed immediately by the Seconda Curva di Lesmo. It’s functionally a wide hairpin that then spits the field out at speed for a nice long run into the track’s third chicane, the Variante Ascari.

The third sector is that chicane followed by a straight, the famous Curva Parbolica, and then the pit straight. Monza is the shortest circuit on the calendar, so there won’t be as many opportunities for cars at the back of the field to catch up or pass.

Starting Grid

The starting grid for Monza will be as follows:

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

The Stig and Mario are tied at the bottom of the standings, but Mario finished ahead of the Stig at Laguna Seca so the Stig gets pole.

Launch and Rask are currently tied on 63 points for 4th in the driver standings. With Rask winning the last race, Launch would normally get the higher grid position. However, Launch also caused the Stig to crash out of the race in Laguna Seca, resulting in a 1 slot gird penalty. The end result is that Rask will start 4th, and Launch 5th.

Pit selection is far less complicated, as there are no ties in the team standings:

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

Home race bonuses at Monza will go to Mario and Luigi, who are both Italian.

Laguna Seca Preview

The SBMRL has raced numerous times on American soil, but never in Monterey, California.

Laguna Seca

Built in 1957 around a dried out lake bed, Laguna Seca means dry lagoon in Spanish. The track plays host to a wide variety of racing classes, including various 4 wheeled and 2 wheeled ones. It has never hosted a Formula 1 race, having been deemed too remote for the desired crowds.

Running counter-clockwise, the circuit has a long run to the first corner, a sharp left-handed hairpin known as the Andretti Hairpin. A pair of short right handers take the track around a man-made pond, each separated by relatively short straights.

The second sector starts out similar tot he first but with the corners a bit more spread apart. An easy left hander followed by a sharper one lead into one of the longer straights. That straight is then followed by the corner that Monterey is most known for, the Corkscrew. The Corkscrew is a blind left-right chicane like bend that features a significant elevation drop. Drivers who get it right will feel their stomach in their throats as they dip down and hope they have their line right.

The final sector features a trio of corners, left-right-left, all separated by moderately short straights before spitting the field back onto the pit straight. Avoiding the pits can be advantageous due to the long straight, but whether or not the field can run a clean enough lap to not need fresh tires will remain to be seen.

Starting Grid

Mario’s difficult race in Monaco sees him “rewarded” with pole position. The Scandinavian Blitz pair follows, with Regency Motors making up the back of the grid.

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

Pit selection in order of team standings is as follows:

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

No driver has Laguna Seca as their home race.

Monaco Recap

The principality of Monaca is a familiar sight for SBMRL fans, and the league traveled there for the 5th time. Fresh off a pair of victories in Austin and Bahrain, everyone was gunning for Jaap Snellrijder. In just three races, he was already more than half way to his points total from last year, but he was starting from the back with some very experience drivers ahead of him.

The starting grid looked as follows:

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

A clean start saw the field take off for Sainte Devote, with the top five cars on the grid all piling into the corner one after the other. The Stig made a move on Luigi at Casino, but it was Delilah who saw her way past both of them and led the field into Loews.

Delilah leads early

The tight hairpin soon saw the entire field cramming themselves through, but just as they came in, they came out, with Delilah pushing on through the tunnel.

The high speed tunnel start to spread the field out

Delilah got a leg up on Luigi at the Chicane and the Stig made a charge there as well. While the rest of the field battled, Mario started to fall back, unable to keep pace with the others.

As the three front runners worked their way around La Piscine, Whiplash, Launch, Jaap, and Rask were wheel to wheel in Bureau de Tabac. Almost nothing separated them.

Jockeying for position

In the third sector, Delilah maintained her lead. Luigi and three time Monaco winner the Stig fought for second place, with the expert coming out of Anthony Noghes just ahead. However, the Stig dove to the pits for fresh rubber while Luigi stayed out in an effort to get ahead. It worked. He passed the pit exit just as Delilah was coming out, taking over the lead.

Delilah’s pit stop costs her

Among the chasing pack, Launch and Rask managed to stay just ahead of both Regency Motors drivers. Both were in and out of the pits extremely fast… credit to their crews here… and both managed to stay ahead of Jaap and Whiplash despite the yellow cars foregoing their chance for new tires.

The first sector of the second lap saw Luigi and Delilah going back and forth in their struggle for the lead. Neither could gain any sort of lasting advantage. While Jaap and Whiplash weren’t able to take advantage of not pitting into Sainte Devote, they were able to fly through the following straight and on into Casino, catching up with the Stig in the fight for third place.

Delilah leads, with Whiplash up to third

Delilah and Luigi continued to battle through Mirabeau and into Loews, but Whiplash wasn’t quite able to keep up with the Stig and Jaap. Launch and Rask were not far behind, and soon caught up to Whiplash.

Unlike the first lap, where Delilah found speed in the tunnel and left Luigi behind, this time around it was Luigi who found speed and Delilah struggled to keep up. The difference was that while Luigi was ahead, Delilah was able to keep him in her sights, and she once again passed him at Tabac.

Delilah back in the lead, after ceding it to Luigi

Meanwhile, the fight between Jaap and the Stig was rejoined by Whiplash, who was not prepared to give up. Launch and Rask did their best to keep up.

The midfield battle

It was ultimately Jaap that would pull away from that pack and get the edge. The Stig found his car lacking desire into the third sector, and now Whiplash and Rask were upon him.

At the front, the final few corners witnessed Delilah just keeping Luigi at bay, crossing the line just fractions of a second ahead of the Switch Motorsports driver.

Delilah wins!

With Jaap coming in a comfortable third, the Stig and Rask managed to put Whiplash behind them at the very end. Launch had an utterly forgettable third sector, and was just barely able to hold on to 7th place from Mario, who looked completely devoid of any shot at moving up early.

Final Results

Delilah Whipplefilter (FR)421
Luigi (SR)112
Jaap Snellrijder (RM)873
The Stig (SB)334
Rask Sjofar (SB)255
Whiplash (RM)766
Launch Bornado (FR)647
Mario (SR)588

Monaco was a shot in the arm for Delilah as she wins her first race of the season and gets her first podium of the year in the process. She’s now tied with her teammate, Launch, for 4th in career wins. It also vaults her up to 3rd in the driver standings.

Equally important was Luigi’s 2nd place finish. It was his first podium and a chance to demonstrate that he belongs after struggling through the first three races. The podium was rounded out by Jaap, who looks every bit as confident as he did in his championship season 4 years ago.

On a team level, Regency Motors, Scandinavian Blitz, and Switch Motorsports all scored 22 or 23 points on the race. Delilah’s victory gave Force Ravenswood 31 points, but given how tight the results were, there wasn’t much movement in the team standings.

Race Gallery