Category Archives: Race Previews

Watkins Glen Preview

Race 8 of the 2018-19 SBMRL season takes us to upstate New York and Watkins Glen. It’s the 5th different track the league has raced at in the United States.

Watkins Glen

The Glen, as it’s known, was purpose built for racing in the 1950’s after several years of racing on public roads prior to that. The track was designed by aerospace engineer Bill Milliken in conjunction with engineers from Cornell University. Throughout the 1960’s and 1970’s, it was host to Forumula 1’s United States Grand Prix.

The track features a couple of configuration choices. The first is the Inner Loop chicane designed to slow speeds heading into the big bend of the Outer Loop. The second is the large boot section. The SBMRL has decided to include both the Inner Loop and the Boot.

The front straight isn’t particularly long and heads right into the aptly named first corner: The 90. The short straight then leads into a trio of corners known as the Esses. The Esses are spaced in such a way that drivers who get it right should be able to gradually accelerate through them on their way to the back straight.

The back straight features the Inner Loop chicane that will slow the field before the sweeping right hander known as the Outer Loop. Even with the chicane, the Back Straight is one of the longer straights on the track… don’t expect the high speeds of Magny-Cours here.

The Outer Loop leads into the Boot, which features a number of larger corners. None of them are as big as the Outer Loop itself, but the Chute, Toe, and Heel, are all perfectly comfortable corners. Someone will probably get this section wrong, but the race leaders will fly through here.

Coming out of the Boot is fairly easy left hander before a couple of shorter turns spit the field back onto the pit straight. It should be noted that pit entry comes almost immediately after the final corner, so anyone who’s struggled on the first lap will need to be careful to control their speed coming out of it.

Starting Grid

Whiplash extended his lead while the rest of the field got shuffled up. With Jaap and Delilah tied in the standings, Delilah will start closer to the front since she finished behind Jaap in France.

  1. Sheila Dinkum (RM)
  2. Launch Bornado (FR)
  3. Rask Sjofar (SB)
  4. Bubba McQueen (SR)
  5. The Stig (SB)
  6. Delilah Whipplefilter (FR)
  7. Jaap Snellrijder (RM)
  8. Whiplash (SR)

The order of pit selection is the same as last race, as the order of the team standings hasn’t changed. However, Sprite Racing has pulled out a significant lead over the other three, who are all within 5 points of each other:

  1. Sprite Racing
  2. Scandinavian Blitz
  3. Force Ravenswood
  4. Regency Motors

Watkins Glen is the home race for Whiplash and Launch.


Magny-Cours Preview

Race 7 on the 2018-19 SBMRL calendar takes us to Magny-Cours, France.

Magny-Cours

The Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours was originally constructed in the 1960’s and saw Formula 1 race there in the 1990’s and 2000’s. It has played host to the SBMRL once previously, which took place two seasons ago.

A clockwise circuit, Magny-Cours is known for its extremely high speed stretches. It will certainly tax the engines as they rev to full throttle.

The pit straight is fairly short, with a quick left hander called Grande Courbe to open things up. From there, a smooth right by the name of Estoril can be taken pretty much as fast as the cars are able to push. The long Golf straight that follows is one of the longest we’ll see this year, and the cars will be flying down it as fast as they possibly can.

The Golf straight ends at the sharp Adelaide hairpin, one of the hardest braking corners this season. Expect some cars to get it wrong here, but it may be a case of fast in slow out as a preference over the norm. The straight that follows isn’t particularly short, but the Nurburgring corner is more of a slight shuffle than the chicane it is officially listed as.

The next corner is a 180 degree bend to the left. Were it sharper, it’d be a hairpin, and were it less sharp, it would resemble the Estoril corner from the first sector. As it is, it’s basically the inside line of that corner heading back in the other direction, and it falls between the two extremes. It’s followed by a relatively lengthy straight before the Imola chicane, a bend similar to the Nurburgring corner seen earlier.

Chateua D’Eau follows Imola in quick succession, one of the only real rhythm combinations on the track. A moderate straight and the Complexe du LycĂ©e is all that stands remaining before the pits.

Starting Grid

There’s a new leader atop the driver standings and a bit of a shuffle in the ranks after South Africa. The result is that the grid for Magny-Cours shapes up as follows:

  1. Launch Bornado (FR)
  2. Sheila Dinkum (RM)
  3. Rask Sjofar (SB)
  4. Bubba McQueen (SR)
  5. Jaap Snellrijder (RM)
  6. Delilah Whipplefilter (FR)
  7. The Stig (SB)
  8. Whiplash (SR)

Each team sports a driver in the top 4 and each team has one in the bottom four, highlighting how evenly matched things are this year.

The order of pit selection is the order of team standings:

  1. Sprite Racing
  2. Scandinavian Blitz
  3. Force Ravenswood
  4. Regency Motors

Magny-Cours is the home race for both Jaap and Rask.

Track History

While Magny-Cours has only held one SBMRL event, it was an eventful one. Launch took the victory after starting in 6th place on the grid, so it’s clearly a track where every driver has a legitimate shot at victory. Only Launch, Jaap, and the Stig participated the last time out. The Stig finished 7th and Jaap crashed out, so they’ll be looking for some redemption. Jamonito del Verde and Mater were the other two drivers on the podium.

SBMRL @ Magny-Cours

South Africa Preview

After a first visit to the South American nation of Argentina, the SBMRL makes its first stop on the African continent, racing at South Africa’s Kyalami Racing Circuit.

Kyalami

The circuit hosted Formula 1 Grand Prix from the 1960’s till the 1980’s, at which point there was a break in the racing due to escalated concerns around apartheid. The track saw two Grand Prix in the early 1990’s, but financial challenges prevented its use for the highest level of motorsport from continuing.

The track runs anti-clockwise, with a very short run up to the first corner, Total Curve. Cars at the front of the grid should have some advantage here as a result. A short straight then leads into Nashua, a big, slow left hander, and on to the Old Pit Straight.

The second sector starts with the high speed Goodyear Sweep. This corner shouldn’t really slow anyone down too much, and with a short straight before the similarly named Goodyear Corner, there will be plenty of chances for close racing through here.

Another short straight leads to the Rothmans Esses, and it’s here that Kyalami starts to get a bit tricky. The Rothmans Esses can very well catch a driver out, and with a longer straight following that leads into the sharp Wesbank corner, expect to see some passing.

Wesbank marks the start of the third sector, and is essentially the mirror image of Nashua in the first sector. It leads into the track’s longest straight, followed by the sharpest bend, Continental. If Wesbank didn’t trip the field up, Continental almost certainly will. The track closes with another moderately long straight and relatively sharp left back on to the pit straight. It’s worth pointing out that the pit straight is so short that a full grid of 10 cars would see the back of the field lining up in the final corner.

Starting Grid

As always, the starting grid is in reverse order of the current team standings. With Argentina’s results in the books, any ties that we previously had have now vanished as the standings have spread out a bit. Jaap’s elimination at the hands of Whiplash result in the latter getting a 1 place grid penalty, dropping him to the back of the grid. The resulting field lines up as follows:

  1. Launch Bornado (FR)
  2. Jaap Snellrijder (RM)
  3. Delilah Whipplefilter (FR)
  4. Bubba McQueen (SR)
  5. Sheila Dinkum (RM)
  6. Rask Sjofar (SB)
  7. The Stig (SB)
  8. Whiplash (SR)

With Launch and Jaap at the bottom of the standings, and the Stig in front, we’ve come a long way since 2015. The team standings determine the order of pit selection.

  1. Scandinavian Blitz
  2. Sprite Racing
  3. Regency Motors
  4. Force Ravenswood

South Africa is not the home race for any driver.