Category Archives: Race Previews

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.

Austin Preview

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.

Starting Grid

With one race in the books, the starting grid for Austin is the reverse order of Japan’s finish.

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

Pit selection is always in the order of the team standings.

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

Austin will be Whiplash’s home race.

Track History

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.

SBMRL @ Circuit of the Americas

Japan Preview

The first race of the 2019-20 season takes us to Japan, to race Suzuka International Racing Course. The league visited a few years ago in what proved to be a disastrous outing for Scandinavian Blitz, losing both cars right at the end.  Originally designed in the early 1960’s as a test track for Honda, it first hosted an official Formula 1 Grand Prix in 1987.


Suzuka is noted for the fact that it involves both clockwise and anti-clockwise portions of the track. It’s the only figure eight track that the SBMRL races at and features a number of notable corners that have made it a driver favorite through the years.

The pit straight is short and leads into a high speed right hander. Cars won’t have to slow down here at all on the run up from the grid. The “S” curves follow, a smooth rhythm section that can set up cars beautifully for the middle section, or get them all out of whack if not handled properly.

The Degner curve comes just before the underpass and it’s a short run from here to the hairpin. It’s imperative to get the straight between the hair pin and Spoon just right because Spoon is followed by the longest “straight” the track features.

The quotes are used there because it isn’t really straight. It takes a notable left at 130R, but this can be taken flat out. The final challenge is the Casio Triangle, and then it’s back onto the pit straight for the second lap. Any driver that needs to pit can do so, but don’t be surprised if several cars get away with a clean enough lap to be able to forego fresh tires.


As this is the first race of the season, the starting grid will be determined randomly just prior to the race.


The only previous race at Suzuka saw Force Ravenswood’s Bubba McQueen take the win over the failed charge from behind by the Stig. Bubba and the Stig were so far ahead of Captain Slow that they would have easily finished first and second, but the Stig wanted the win and pushed his car just a bit too hard. Captain Slow, who had been running in 3rd place, found his fate to be similarly agonizing. With both cars out, Whiplash took 2nd with his Sprite Racing teammate, Stevie Wondertyres coming 3rd.

SBMRL in Japan