Category Archives: Race Previews

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.


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.

Argentina Preview

After a longer break due to the holidays, the SBMRL is gearing up for the first race of the new year. This will be the league’s first visit to Argentina to race Autódromo Oscar Alfredo Gálvez in Buenos Aires.

Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires has hosted motor racing events since the early 1930’s, but Formula 1 raced the first Argentine Grand Prix in 1953. The country has had an on-again off-again relationship with the world’s top racing category ever since, last racing there in 1998.

The current track is capable of running in two different configurations, and the SBMRL will take the longer one that includes the arena section and the Senna “S” rather than the flat out lake run.

The pit straight is extremely long, with the starting grid smack in the middle of it. That will give the field a decent run up to the aptly named Curva Numero Uno. It’s a smooth right hand bend that will keep speeds down but shouldn’t be too much trouble.

The circuit curves in on itself into Curva de la Confiteria, which is essentially the reverse of the previous corner. A smooth left then takes the field to be big sweeping right that leads into the back straight.

In the configuration to be raced, this is then the longest straight aside from the pit straight, and it’s only about half as long. Still, drivers who managed to get the rhythm right to this point will be well positioned to fly down the straight at top speed. It ends at the high speed Curve de Ascari, which should present little trouble to the drivers.

It’s hear that the track will finally force a reduction in speed. The next corner is a sharp hairpin that marks the entry to the arena section. This is one of those unusual corners that fast in, slow out is the optimal approach, as the arena section is slow. Viborita can’t be taken quickly, and the Curva del Ombu is one of the sharpest.

A moderate straight then leads into the Senna “S”, which rejoins the arena to the rest of the circuit. This is likely an area that will catch some people out, and a great spot for overtaking. From here, there’s a long straight to Horquilla and the home stretch.

Starting Grid

Unlike the last race, this race’s starting grid is fairly straight forward. The usual, reverse order of driver standings conditions apply. Only Bubba and Whiplash, who are tied on 49 points, require additional thought. Since Whiplash finished ahead of Bubba in Monaco, he starts behind him here.

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

Pit selection is then in order of team standings, but we currently have a tie with Regency Motors and Sprite Racing. The tie is broken by points scored in the last race since they have the same average starting position.

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

Argentina is not the home race for any driver.

Monaco Preview

The most glamorous race of year is Monaco, and it takes its customary slot in December.

Monaco (D)

For any of the drivers who’ve raced in previous seasons, they’ll be well familiar with Monaco’s layout.  For Delilah and Rask, who are new to the league, it’ll be a unique challenge.

The start-finish straight leads into the first corner, Sainte Devote, and it’s fairly straight forward.  It’s a corner that always gets jammed up at the start of the race, so don’t be surprised to see some damage come out.  The following straight is long enough to get some higher speeds and leads into Massenet and Casino, a pair of fairly easy to navigate corners.  Overall, the first sector is one that drivers should not get wrong.

The second sector features the Loews hairpin and the long tunnel straight.  The combination of bends that precede the tunnel, including Loews, make for an extremely slow section and getting it right with speed for the tunnel is key.  The straight leads into the Nouvelle Chicane, which is there to just throw drivers off their speed heading into sector three.

The final sector is the most technical, featuring Bureau de Tabac and ‘S’ de la Piscine at the start.  Those corners will send speeds back down before heading into the final combination of Rascasses and Anthony Noghes.  Cars that can avoid a pit stop and come out of the final corner with some speed will gain a big advantage and the potential to pull away or make up some places.  Those that don’t can rest assure that the circuit has enough places where things can go wrong that they may still have a shot at catching up.

Starting Grid

This month’s starting grid will be the most complicate the SBMRL has ever seen as there are a number of unusual situations to account for.  According to league rules, the starting grid for the race is always the reverse order of the current driver standings.  Given that the entire field sits just 7 points apart, there are some ties to be broken.  Rask, The Stig, and Jaap all sit at 35 points currently, which ties them all for 5th place.  Launch and Whiplash both sit at 39 points, tied for second.  For drivers who are tied on points, the tie breaker is the order of finish in the last race.  Here’s what the default grid would look like.

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

Now, The Stig and Jaap both have an unusual set of conditions affecting their starting positions.  First, the Stig will recieve a 1-grid place penalty for causing a crash that resulted in the elimination of another driver at our last race.  In his case, this is adding insult to injury since not only was it his teammate Rask that he knocked out of Singapore, but the accident also resulted in the premature end of his own race.

Jaap’s case is an unprecedented one.  Jaap caused the collision that eliminated Delilah in Austin.  However, race stewards failed to assess the penalty for the starting grid in Singapore.  As a result, the league has decided to impose a 2-grid place penalty on Jaap for Monaco.  The first is the result of his on track actions in Austin, while the second is for failing to report the error in Singapore.

The final starting grid then looks like this:

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

Pit selection will then be in order of team standings:

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

Monaco is the Stig’s home race this season.

Track History

Like Austin, Monaco is one of the two tracks that the SBMRL has raced at every season.  The Stig has won twice, both times from pole position.  The other victory was Jaap’s stunning drive from 9th on the grid in 2016.  The Stig crashed in that one.  Other podium positions have come from all over the grid, but in all three races, the driver who started in 2nd finished in the top 4.  Among other drivers on the current grid, Launch, Sheila, and Bubba have all finished in the top 3.

SBMRL @ Monaco