The SBMRL’s October race will take place at the now traditional venue of Circuit of the Americas in Austin, TX.
The track was purpose built for Formula 1 in 2010, and played host to its first Grand Prix in 2012. The SBMRL has raced there every season, and we have yet to see a repeat victor.
COTA’s starting grid faces uphill into a blind left hander for Turn 1 followed by a quick right hander. Both turns are fairly easy to get right. It’s the next two corners that will start to trip people up. The esses through turns 3 and 4 aren’t necessarily challenging in and of themselves, but the combination is tricky to get right.
The best place to make a move on someone ahead is through the second sector. Coming out of Turn 4 with speed to hit the Turn 5 hairpin right and fly down the back straight can really give a car an edge. The end of that straight is quite abrupt, though.
Turn 6 is a very quick left before immediately moving into the winding Turn 7. The rest of the third sector is a series of short quick bends with small straights between them. Getting a feel for these corners is harder than it looks. In contrast to the second sector’s long straights, these corners are where laps go to die. Getting the third sector wrong is as detrimental as getting the second sector right is helpful.
With one race in the books, the starting grid for Austin is the reverse order of Japan’s finish.
- The Stig (SB)
- Luigi (SM)
- Rask Sjofar (SB)
- Delilah Whipplefilter (FR)
- Jaap Snellrijder (RM)
- Launch Bornado (FR)
- Whiplash (RM)
- Mario (SM)
Pit selection is always in the order of the team standings.
- Switch Motorsports
- Regency Motors
- Force Ravenswood
- Scandinavian Blitz
Austin will be Whiplash’s home race.
In four different visits to Austin, 4 different drivers have won. Three of those drivers will be on the grid this year, Jaap, Launch, and the Stig, who won last year’s race. Interestingly, Whiplash is the only other driver on the current grid to have scored a podium, with a 3rd place finish two years ago.
The other two drivers who’ve raced at COTA are Rask and Delilah. Neither of them fared will last year, with Delilah being knocked out very early and Rask coming in last among those who finished.