After a long season, the 2017-18 SBMRL season will wrap up the calendar with a trip to Spain for Barcelona’s Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Built in 1991 and hosting Grand Prix’s as early as that year, the track has become the offseason winter testing track for Formula 1.
Barcelona is a track that features a little bit of everything, and the pit straight is extremely long. The start-finish line is set well back from the first corner, meaning that cars will have plenty of time to get up to speed before they hit it. The first corner, Elf, is a right-left combination that wouldn’t pose too much trouble if the field came at it slower and gave each other some space. That’s unlikely to occur, and coming out of it with speed will be key to getting out front early.
The Renault bend can be taken at full throttle into Repsol, which will only cause trouble for those completely out of whack. The combination of Seat, Wurth, and Campsa are spaced apart in such a way as to catch drivers between gears, unable to develop a strong rhythm.
That will lead into the third sector, which is the tightest of the three. La Caixa is preceded by a moderately long straight. Getting it right is key to the flow through here. The third sector can be run pretty easily in clear conditions, but if the field gets bunch here, someone may get blocked off the racing line and suffer as a result. Drivers will be particularly keen to have a clean first lap and a strong push onto the long pit straight so they can be prepared for lap 2.
Captain Slow will lead the grid for the 5th time this season, with Stevie alongside. The rest of the field gets shuffled a bit until you reach the Stig at the back.
- Captain Slow (SB)
- Stevie Wondertyres (SR)
- Sheila Dinkum (RM)
- Bubba McQueen (FR)
- Jaap Snellrijder (RM)
- Launch Bornado (FR)
- Whiplash (SR)
- The Stig (SB)
Pit selection also gets mixed up after Shanghai’s results:
- Force Ravenswood
- Scandinavian Blitz
- Regency Motors
- Sprite Racing
The Stig and Jaap will each get the advantage of Barcelona as their home race.
The Stig’s podium in Shanghai has left him 12 points ahead of Whiplash in the driver standings. He can guarantee himself the title with another podium finish in Spain. At this point, only Whiplash or Launch Bornado have the points to overtake him, and Launch will need to win the race and hope the Stig finishes near the bottom. Captain Slow sits 7 points behind Stevie. The two will be fighting to avoid the ignominy of finishing last.
The team standings have never been tighter and it’s entirely possible that whoever wins the race will win the title for their team as well. Force Ravenswood is 7 points up on Scandinavian Blitz, so they have the lead at the moment. However, Regency Motors and Sprite Racing are just 2 and 3 points further adrift. With just 12 points separating all four teams, both cars will be key to bringing home the championship.