Category Archives: Race Recaps

Magny-Cours Recap

With some overnight rain, race day in Magny-Cours was overcast and cool, but the track was dry and the field eager to get the race in. As the 7th race of the season, it marked the beginning of the season’s final trio of races. A strong showing here could put a driver in contention. Here’s how they lined up:

P1 – Launch Bornado (FR)
P2 – Sheila Dinkum (RM)
P3 – Rask Sjofar (SB)
P4 – Bubba McQueen (SR)
P5 – Jaap Snellrijder (RM)
P6 – Delilah Whipplefilter (FR)
P7 – The Stig (SB)
P8 – Whiplash (SR)

Starting from 4th place, Bubba was able to time the lights perfectly and get a jump on Rask at the start, edging ahead in the first two corners. Rask, Launch, and Sheila were all hot in his tail as the field quickly shifted their way up to higher gears.

The field charged down the Golf straight, packed about as tightly as one could expect given the speeds they were recording. As they approached the Adelaide hairpin, it was Jaap who got there first.

Jaap leads the field into the second sector

The second sector saw Jaap struggle to maintain his lead and the rest of the field struggle to catch up. In other words, plenty of opportunities missed. Rask, Sheila, and Launch led the charge, with Bubba trying to shake things up.

At the Imola chicane, the Force Ravenswood pair would finally take advantage of Jaap’s mistakes, with Bubba also joining up with them. Bubba’s participation was temporary, though, as he couldn’t keep up in the third sector. A short way behind them, Scandinavian Blitz and Whiplash plodded along. Sheila was barely an afterthought.

Delilah, Jaap, and Launch all wheel-to-wheel

It was in the final corner of the first lap that Whiplash would start to make a move. He flew past both red cars and his teammate, pitting just behind the race leaders. As the second lap commenced, Delilah and Launch were pulling away, but Whiplash was finding his rhythm. Rask found the pace to join him in the battle with Jaap for third place.

Force Ravenswood in the lead

As he did on the first lap, Jaap struggled through sector 2, and his teammate Sheila started to do the same. Whiplash, on the other hand, was in a zone, hitting each corner just right. While Jaap’s struggles seem to have rubbed off on his teammate, Whiplash’s inspired driving seeemed to do the same for his. Bubba began to find the feel for his car, passing Rask for 5th place and beginning to threaten Jaap.

Whiplash takes the lead

Whiplash cruised through the 3rd sector for his third win of the year, with Delilah and Launch in hot pursuit… or perhaps more accurately, tepid pursuit. The Force Ravenswood drivers couldn’t quite figure the final two corners. Jaap’s second sector struggles were replaced with third sector skill, and he was able to get past both of them. Bubba, meanwhile, meant to make things difficult as well.

Jaap on his way to second place

As the cars charged down the back straight, Launch was able to hold off the challenge from Bubba, but Delilah wasn’t quite as lucky. The Stig and Rask held a drag race for 6th, while Sheila finished a miserable 8th.

Launch just barely holds off Bubba

Final Results

Whiplash (SR)
Jaap Snellrijder (RM)532
Launch Bornado (FR)123
Bubba McQueen (SR)454
Delilah Whipplefilter (FR)615
Rask Sjofar (SB)366
The Stig (SB)
Sheila Dinkum (RM)278

Whiplash’s victory is his 3rd this season and 2nd in the past three races. He joins Jaap and the Stig as the only drivers to have won 3 times in a single season and is now 3rd on the career wins list. It’s also his 8th podium, which is 4th all time. The victory extends his lead in the driver standings to 24 points.

Jaap’s 2nd place duplicates his result from Kyalami and pulls him up into a tie with Delilah for 2nd in the standings. Launch’s podium is only his second of the season, with the last one coming at Elkhart Lake, which was the season opener. The result keeps him 2 podiums ahead of Jaap on the career leader board.

At the other end of the spectrum, the Stig’s all or nothing struggles came up in the nothing category, dropping him down to 4th place. Meanwhile, Sheila’s last place finish makes her the first driver mathematically eliminated from the driver’s championship this year.

The team standings have Sprite Racing now well ahead of the others. They boast a 32 point lead over Scandinavian Blitz. Just 5 points separate the 3 teams chasing Sprite Racing. Right now, Regency Motors is in last place.

On a statistical oddity note, this race was the 2nd time in SBMRL history where 3 drivers finished in the exact same position as they did from the previous race. Jaap, Bubba, and Rask were also 2nd, 4th, and 6th in Kyalami. The last time this happened was in the inaugural season when Launch, Jaap, and Captain Slow finished 2nd, 4th, and 5th at Buddh and Monaco.

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South Africa Recap

Gorgeous weather welcomed the SBMRL to Kyalami on race day and the drivers were eager to get going. The field took to the grid as follows:

P1 –  Launch Bornado (FR)
P2 – Jaap Snellrijder (RM)
P3 – Delilah Whipplefilter (FR)
P4 – Bubba McQueen (SR)
P5 – Sheila Dinkum (RM)
P6 – Rask Sjofar (SB)
P7 – The Stig (SB)
P8 – Whiplash (SR)

The cars lined up, the lights went out, and off they went into the first corner, with Jaap pipping Launch around the outside. Delilah kept pace while the rest of the field followed in a tight pack through Nashua.

Wheel-to-wheel through Nashua

As the front runners wound their way through Goodyear Sweep ,there was almost nothing between Jaap, Launch, and Delilah, with the first two forcing the latter around the outside. Jaap, however, got a bit squirrelly and lost his line at Goodyear Corner, giving the Force Ravenswood pair an early 1-2. Behind them, the red liveried Scandinavian Blitz cars had worked their way in front of Bubba and Sheila, with Whiplash making similar progress.

Delilah flew down the straight to Wesbank, leaving Launch and Jaap struggling behind. As predicted, the second sector really spread out the field. Rask and Whiplash fell in line behind Jaap and Launch, with Bubba running a solitary 6th. The Stig and Sheila brought up the rear.

Delilah far out front

That was pretty much how things stayed through the pit stop cycle. Despite not pitting, Jaap wasn’t able to make up any ground on Delilah or shake Launch, both of whom opted for fresh rubber. Sheila was the only other car not to pit, but again, it didn’t do her much good in the fight with the Stig for avoiding last place.

Jaap and Launch look to reel in Delilah

Jaap finally found some speed around the Goodyear Sweep, catching up with Delilah and passing her in the following corner. Launch was not able to keep up. Through the same stretch, Whiplash shook free of Rask, who was now caught up by Bubba.

High speeds through Goodyear Sweep

The third sector brought drama as the approach to Turn 7 was handled quite differently by Jaap and Delilah. Delilah went in hard, but had to slow down coming out of it. Jaap hit things a bit more smoothly, but was forced to slow down more for the final corner.

Meanwhile, Launch was struggling for grip in the second sector. Bubba was in no such ill form, charging ahead and catching up with Whiplash. The two Sprite Racing drivers battled cleanly through Wesbank, and soon had Launch firmly in their sights.

Delilah stays just ahead of Jaap

As Delilah and Jaap rounded the final bend, Delilah was able to maintain just a nose advantage over Jaap, eking out a narrow victory.

Launch was, in turn, struggling mightily in the final sector. The Force Ravenswood driver simply could not find a rhythm through the final two corners. Whiplash and Bubba, were finding the exact opposite to be true. They couldn’t have driven better. With speed aplenty, they rounded the final corner and passed Launch… who could only watch as they flew past for 3rd and 4th place.

Launch gets passed by both black and gold cars

It was Rask who took the solitary 6th place, while Sheila and the Stig were neck and neck in turn 7. The promise of a last place battle vanished as the Stig lost pace, and what little drama remained fizzled out in short order.

Final Results

Delilah Whipplefilter (FR)311
Jaap Snellrijder (RM)222
Whiplash (SR)843
Bubba McQueen (SR)464
Launch Bornado (FR)135
Rask Sjofar (SB)656
Sheila Dinkum (RM)
The Stig (SB)788

Delilah gets her first victory in just her 6th race. She has now stood on all 3 podium steps, meaning that she’s finished on the podium in exactly half of her races. Furthermore, she’s finished ahead of her teammate in each of the past 4 races, moving up to 3rd in the driver standings.

Jaap, who has struggled this season, records his best result of the year. Like Delilah, it’s his 3rd podium in the past 4 races, and move him up to 4th place. He also breaks a tie with the Stig for 2nd place in career podiums, where he’s now two back of Launch.

Whiplash’s recent strong form continues, as he’s now also stood on the podium in 3 of the last 4 races. His 3rd place finish, coupled with the Stig coming in last, puts him at the top of the driver standings.

Elsewhere, Launch’s promising race fell apart in the final two corners, a turn of events that has left the former champ at the back of the standings. Sheila is feeling similarly disappointed after an overall dud of a race. The Stig’s season is a case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. This year, he’s only finished in the top 2 or the bottom 2, nowhere in between.

At a team level, Sprite Racing now sits ahead of Scandinavian Blitz at the top of the standings. Force Ravenswood who were well back two races ago, are the other team on the move. They’ve made up enough ground to pass Regency Motors by a single point. The three time team champions will have to press strongly over the final three races, or they will finally relinquish the championship to someone else.

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Argentina Recap

While the SBMRL has raced in South America before, January saw the league pay their first visit to Argentina, to race Autódromo Oscar Alfredo Gálvez. With the sun high and not a cloud to be seen, the grid lined up as follows:

P1 – Delilah Whipplefilter (FR)
P2 – Launch Bornado (FR)
P3 – Sheila Dinkum (RM)
P4 – Bubba McQueen (SR)
P5 – Whiplash (SR)
P6 – Jaap Snellrijder (RM)
P7 – Rask Sjofar (SB)
P8 – The Stig (SB)

The cars got off the line cleanly and then accelerated into the first corner. The long run up meant that all the cars were fighting for position around Curva Numero Uno. It was in the second bend, Curva de la Confiteria, that a leading pack began to take shape. The Sprite Racing duo of Whiplash and Bubba were able to pull ahead with Jaap alongside them. Sheila fell a bit behind, but other than that, the cars stayed fairly close in two groups through the first sector.

The tightly packed cars bump their way around Curva de la Confiteria

As the field moved on to the second sector, Jaap got a jump in Curva De Ascari, but was soon run into by Whiplash in the following corner. Jaap’s car suffered enough damage that he was forced to retire from the race after having been in the lead just moments earlier.

Jaap is out as Whiplash squeezes him to the inside

In the ensuing chaos, Delilah was able to get around both Whiplash and Bubba to take the lead. Her teammate, Launch, however, was not faring as well. The former champion couldn’t keep pace with the others and was square at the back.

While the Sprite Racing duo battled with Delilah in the arena section, the Stig and Rask started to make their moves to reel the front runners in. Sheila, who had been struggling at the rear, also started to move up in the third sector. The field was so tightly bunched that when it came time to pit, all 6 cars other than Launch were in pit lane at the same time.

Everyone comes in!

The second lap saw Whiplash and the Stig start a battle in earnest for the top spot on the podium. Bubba ran a solitary third through the first sector, but the battle for fourth place raged in earnest. Delilah, Sheila, and Rask, went back and forth with little to separate them.

Whiplash pulled out a moderate advantage of the Stig as they entered the arena, but Bubba was starting to fade. Sheila found speed down the long back straight and was soon challenging Bubba position. Rask and Delilah charged ahead in their pursuit as well. While Sheila reeled Bubba in, Rask and Delilah soon did the same.

Cars start to tighten up again in the arena

The Senna ‘S’ saw the Stig take a late race lead, and it looked like he was surely heading for his 3rd victory of the season. However, Whiplash was able to hit Horquilla just right, exiting with speed down the pit straight and a comfortable win. The Stig would have to settle for second place.

Whiplash seals the victory

Behind them, Sheila had nearly caught up, but the same was true of Delilah and Rask. Unfortunately for Rask, he got it all wrong in the final corner. Sheila came out ahead of Delilah, but it was the Force Ravenswood rookie that had speed on her side. She passed Sheila down the final straight to round out the podium.

Rask’s misery was compounded by the fact that both Bubba and Launch came barreling around the last corner ready to pounce. Despite some margine to work with, Rask’s engine wouldn’t produce. Bubba sailed past him for 5th, and he just barely held on over Launch as the final two finishers crossed the line.

Bubba finishes just ahead of Rask and Launch

Final Results

Whiplash (SR)521
The Stig (SB)832
Delilah Whipplefilter (FR)143
Sheila Dinkum (RM)354
Bubba McQueen (SR)415
Rask Sjofar (SB)766
Launch Bornado (FR)
Jaap Snellrijder (RM)688, dnf

Whiplash records his 2nd victory in the past three races and third victory overall. His run from 5th on the grid to the checkered flag matches the 4 spot improvement he saw at Interlagos last year. He’s now up to second place in the driver standings.

The Stig continues his hot driving with a second place finish to go with two victories on the year. His run of success truly dates back to Monaco just over a year ago. If not for a clunker in the season opener and a DNF in Singapore, he’d likely be running away with things. As it stands, he’s just 4 points up on Whiplash.

Delilah’s podium is a much needed shot in the arm for the struggling Force Ravenswood. She’s currently beating her veteran teammate, and demonstrated some resolve in how she battled back from spending a good portion of the second lap as far back as 6th.

At the other end of the spectrum, former Regency Motors teammates Jaap and Launch are left looking for answers as they struggle to return to their previous form.

Despite trailing in the standings, Force Ravenswood scored more points than Regency Motors, who had their worst race of the year. Sprite Racing’s strong showing has them just a few points behind Scandinavian Blitz.

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