Category Archives: Race Previews

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 Preview

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

Bahrain

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.

Austin

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