Category Archives: Race Recaps

Monaco Recap

The principality of Monaca is a familiar sight for SBMRL fans, and the league traveled there for the 5th time. Fresh off a pair of victories in Austin and Bahrain, everyone was gunning for Jaap Snellrijder. In just three races, he was already more than half way to his points total from last year, but he was starting from the back with some very experience drivers ahead of him.

The starting grid looked as follows:

P1 – Luigi (SM)
P2 – Rask Sjofar (SB)
P3 – The Stig (SB)
P4 – Delilah Whipplefilter (FR)
P5 – Mario (SM)
P6 – Launch Bornado (FR)
P7 – Whiplash (RM)
P8 – Jaap Snellrijder (RM)

A clean start saw the field take off for Sainte Devote, with the top five cars on the grid all piling into the corner one after the other. The Stig made a move on Luigi at Casino, but it was Delilah who saw her way past both of them and led the field into Loews.

Delilah leads early

The tight hairpin soon saw the entire field cramming themselves through, but just as they came in, they came out, with Delilah pushing on through the tunnel.

The high speed tunnel start to spread the field out

Delilah got a leg up on Luigi at the Chicane and the Stig made a charge there as well. While the rest of the field battled, Mario started to fall back, unable to keep pace with the others.

As the three front runners worked their way around La Piscine, Whiplash, Launch, Jaap, and Rask were wheel to wheel in Bureau de Tabac. Almost nothing separated them.

Jockeying for position

In the third sector, Delilah maintained her lead. Luigi and three time Monaco winner the Stig fought for second place, with the expert coming out of Anthony Noghes just ahead. However, the Stig dove to the pits for fresh rubber while Luigi stayed out in an effort to get ahead. It worked. He passed the pit exit just as Delilah was coming out, taking over the lead.

Delilah’s pit stop costs her

Among the chasing pack, Launch and Rask managed to stay just ahead of both Regency Motors drivers. Both were in and out of the pits extremely fast… credit to their crews here… and both managed to stay ahead of Jaap and Whiplash despite the yellow cars foregoing their chance for new tires.

The first sector of the second lap saw Luigi and Delilah going back and forth in their struggle for the lead. Neither could gain any sort of lasting advantage. While Jaap and Whiplash weren’t able to take advantage of not pitting into Sainte Devote, they were able to fly through the following straight and on into Casino, catching up with the Stig in the fight for third place.

Delilah leads, with Whiplash up to third

Delilah and Luigi continued to battle through Mirabeau and into Loews, but Whiplash wasn’t quite able to keep up with the Stig and Jaap. Launch and Rask were not far behind, and soon caught up to Whiplash.

Unlike the first lap, where Delilah found speed in the tunnel and left Luigi behind, this time around it was Luigi who found speed and Delilah struggled to keep up. The difference was that while Luigi was ahead, Delilah was able to keep him in her sights, and she once again passed him at Tabac.

Delilah back in the lead, after ceding it to Luigi

Meanwhile, the fight between Jaap and the Stig was rejoined by Whiplash, who was not prepared to give up. Launch and Rask did their best to keep up.

The midfield battle

It was ultimately Jaap that would pull away from that pack and get the edge. The Stig found his car lacking desire into the third sector, and now Whiplash and Rask were upon him.

At the front, the final few corners witnessed Delilah just keeping Luigi at bay, crossing the line just fractions of a second ahead of the Switch Motorsports driver.

Delilah wins!

With Jaap coming in a comfortable third, the Stig and Rask managed to put Whiplash behind them at the very end. Launch had an utterly forgettable third sector, and was just barely able to hold on to 7th place from Mario, who looked completely devoid of any shot at moving up early.

Final Results

Delilah Whipplefilter (FR)421
Luigi (SR)112
Jaap Snellrijder (RM)873
The Stig (SB)334
Rask Sjofar (SB)255
Whiplash (RM)766
Launch Bornado (FR)647
Mario (SR)588

Monaco was a shot in the arm for Delilah as she wins her first race of the season and gets her first podium of the year in the process. She’s now tied with her teammate, Launch, for 4th in career wins. It also vaults her up to 3rd in the driver standings.

Equally important was Luigi’s 2nd place finish. It was his first podium and a chance to demonstrate that he belongs after struggling through the first three races. The podium was rounded out by Jaap, who looks every bit as confident as he did in his championship season 4 years ago.

On a team level, Regency Motors, Scandinavian Blitz, and Switch Motorsports all scored 22 or 23 points on the race. Delilah’s victory gave Force Ravenswood 31 points, but given how tight the results were, there wasn’t much movement in the team standings.

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Bahrain Recap

The SBMRL’s first visit to Bahrain would see the drivers taking to the track in the evening so as to avoid the heat of midday. Fresh off a victory in Austin, Jaap Snellrijder was in the lead of the driver standings and on form. Scandinavian Blitz struggled through the first two races and were looking to get into a groove.

The starting grid lined up as follows:

P1 – Luigi (SM)
P2 – The Stig (SB)
P3 – Rask Sjofar (SB)
P4 – Delilah Whipplefilter (FR)
P5 – Mario (SM)
P6 – Whiplash (RM)
P7 – Launch Bornado (FR)
P8 – Jaap Snellrijder (RM)

Clearly a bit over eager after starting from the back of the grid, Jaap stalled his car and got to a very slow beginning. Luigi, in contrast, timed the lights perfectly and got off to a fast start.

Luigi’s hot start

The long lead up to Turn 1 mean that Luigi’s hot start didn’t gain him much. The Stig, Mario, and Whiplash all fought for position in the first corner, but it was Luigi who took the early lead in Sector 1.

The second sector saw the Stig and Mario join Luigi at the front. While Jaap’s slow start kept him behind the others, the midfield was hotly contested. Whiplash and the two Force Ravenswood drivers drove wheel to wheel through turn after turn.

The Stig leads Switch Motorsports into the third sector

While Luigi and the Stig battled up front, Jaap made his move. He found speed to burn over the second sector’s long straight and was soon joining Launch and Whiplash in the chasing pack. Rask was the driver left wanting, with Delilah also struggling.

The Stig pushed hard through the third sector, which gained him the lead, but he also lost control around the final bend. His car spun out and the momentum nearly carried him past the pit entrance, however, he was able to get himself turned around just in time to duck in.

The Stig gets all turned around

What the Stig’s spin did mean, though, was that Luigi would once again take the lead in the race. The grit of sand on the track and the challenging nature of the circuit meant that every car would take on fresh rubber, which narrowed the field down greatly.

Luigi held on to his lead through the first sector, but it was never by much. Rask had caught up and was battling Launch and Mario in the race for second. Behind them, Whiplash, Jaap, and the Stig fought to join them, and it was Delilah’s turn to look like she had no chance.

Lap 2 battles

Rask would be the first to make a move, charging forward and passing Luigi around the outside of Turn 4, the Switch driver being unable to find his rhythm in the second sector. Jaap would come next. He was able to take Luigi’s teammate Mario on the inside of the very same corner.

Luigi got everything wrong at Turn 5, allowing both Mario and Jaap to pass him by on the long straight that followed. Rask didn’t get his breaking right into Turn 6, and the engines behind were roaring. Through all that chaos, it was Jaap that took the lead into sector 3 with Rask behind him and nearly everyone else vying for the same piece of real estate.

Jaap in the lead as everyone is fighting it out

The third sector was full of heartbreak and joy. Starting with joy, Jaap essentially cruised to an easy victory from this point. He showed his experience by calmly navigating the final three corners en route to a second straight win.

On the heartbreak side, Mario put a charge into his engine and pulled into second place, only to find that his engine gave out before the finish line. It couldn’t have been come at a worse moment. That opened the door to Whiplash for a Regency Motors 1-2.

Mario’s 2nd place was short lived

The fight for third place was anything but simple. None of the remaining cars were able to manage the third sector well, with Delilah and Luigi both suffering minor body damage on the approach to the final corner.

Launch wound up being squeezed out, having been passed by the others on the straight. Instead it was the Stig, Delilah, and Rask that would come out with just a drag race to decide between them.

The fight for 3rd

In the end, the Stig had what was needed, and Rask was able to summon a bit more than Delilah. Luigi’s miserable second lap would come to an end in 6th place, with only Launch still running behind him.

Final Results

Jaap Snellrijder (RM)871
Whiplash (RM)662
The Stig (SB)243
Rask Sjofar (SB)324
Delilah Whipplefilter (FR)485
Luigi (SM)116
Launch Bornado (FR)757
Mario (RM)538*

Jaap’s 9th career victory is his second of the year and second in a row. It’s the first time he’s won back-to-back races, and, among winners, ties Jaronimus at Interlagos in 2016-17 for the most number of positions made up on the second lap.

Whiplash’s 2nd place finish makes him the only driver to have scored a podium in all three races this year. The Stig got his first podium of the year, and 14th of his career.

Regency Motors, who already held a slim lead in the team standings, have really pulled away in the early going. Their second 1-2 gives them a significant lead that will take some doing to catch up. Despite a poor showing Force Ravenswood is in the best position to do so. Scandinavian Blitz and Switch Motorsports are very close. The good news for all three of these teams is that there are still a lot of races in which they can make up the early deficit.

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Austin Recap

Texas has a reputation for hot weather, and while it isn’t always hot in October, Austin lived up to that reputation during the SBMRL’s visit. The track hosted the SBMRL for the 5th time, having never had a repeat victor. Switch Motorsport, who took a surprise victory in their first ever SBMRL race to start the year, was looking to continue that form and keep the track’s history of having a new driver atop the podium alive.

With just one race in the books, the grid lined up as follows:

P1 –  The Stig (SB)
P2 – Luigi (SM)
P3 – Rask Sjofar (SB)
P4 – Whiplash (RM)
P5 – Jaap Snellrijder (RM)
P6 – Delilah Whipplefilter (FR)
P7 – Launch Bornado (FR)
P8 – Mario (SM)

A clean start saw the field heading uphill to the blind left at the end of the pit straight. The field bunched up quickly, with Luigi and Jaap leading everyone through Turn 2.

Wheel to wheel in Turn 2

Launch would join Luigi and Jaap at the front as the three pulled slightly ahead. At the back, Mario was struggling to keep up with the rest of the field, who had nothing to distinguish them.

Down the back straight, Jaap was able to pull slightly head and get a leg up in Turn 6. Behind him, Whiplash and Rask also found speed to burn, joining Launch and Luigi in the battle for second place. Whiplash was forced to back off in Turn 7 as the others were blocking up the corner, and it really threw his drive off for the third sector.

Rask tries to pass Luigi on the inside

At the front, Jaap had a measured drive through the third sector, operating smoothly and without mistake before diving to the pits for fresh rubber. The same cannot be said for Luigi, who suffered body damage while battling with Launch and Rask in Turn 7. The result was that he fell back to the pack that contained Delilah, the Stig, and Whiplash.

As the field rounded Turn 10 and headed for the pits, Mario was the only car not on the pit straight. Jaap was just coming out of the pits and starting his second lap when everyone but the Stig pitted. Launch’s pit crew was able to give him a jump and he was soon battling his former teammate for the lead. While Rask and Delilah were not far behind, the Stig wasn’t able to find the speed he needed on the pit straight as his gamble did not pay off.

Despite not pitting, the Stig didn’t make up any ground

The first sector of the second lap was characterized by a trio of battles. Jaap and Launch at the front, Rask and Delilah for 3rd place, and Whiplash, Luigi, and the Stig fighting for 5th. Mario was just hoping to catch anyone at this point.

While the battle at the front was white hot in the first sector, Launch got through Turn 5 smoothly and then flew down the back straight. Jaap, however, was not to be denied. He flow down the straight like a man on fire and made up a tremendous amount, catching Launch at Turn 6 to ensure that the third sector would truly be a fight.

Launch’s large lead would be short lived

Mario’s travails at the back of the pack took a bit of a boost when he caught the also-rans around Turn 5, however his engine simply refused to give him the boost he needed down the back straight and he never had much hope of catching anyone as a result. However, the battle for 3rd place took on a whole new dimension when Whiplash and Luigi joined the fun at Turn 6.

Four cars try to squeeze through Turn 6

Coming out of Turn 7, Jaap edged ahead of Launch for the lead, while both front runners gave everything they had. They continued to push, wearing through tires on every turn. However, it was Jaap who managed to stay just ahead, with a frustrated Launch even clipping the rear of Jaap’s before he finally won the race.

Among the group of challengers, it was Whiplash who was making the most dramatic move. Having run as low as 7th for much of the second lap, he now found himself all the way up in 3rd. Delilah continued to push, while Luigi had red cars in both of his mirrors.

Delilah in 3rd while Luigi is pressured from behind

While Delilah strived to keep Whiplash behind her through the final three corners, Luigi was getting passed. First it was the Stig around the outside in Turn 8. Then it was Rask around the inside of Turn 9. Luigi simply didn’t have the pace to hold them off.

The battle for 3rd place would come down to a drag race between Delilah and Whiplash. Delilah was in front coming out of Turn 10, but Whiplash was right behind. Slip streaming behind Delilah toward the finish, Whiplash pulled past with a last second plunge to the right, and crossed just ahead to claim the final podium spot. A pair of similar drag races would take place between the pair of Scandinavian Blitz drivers for 5th and 6th as well as the pair of Switch Motorsports drivers for the final two spots, but neither team was satisfied with their result.

Whiplash slipstreams past Delilah for 3rd

Final Results

Jaap Snellrijder (RM)511
Launch Bornado (FR)622
Whiplash (RM)773
Delilah Whipplefilter (FR)454
The Stig (SB)135
Rask (SB)346
Luigi (SM)267
Mario (SM)888

Jaap records the 8th win of his career, to break free from a tie with the Stig as the SBMRL’s winningest driver. It’s his first victory since the final race of the 2017-18 season in Barcelona. It also puts him back atop the driver standings.

Launch’s second place finish gives him two on the year and extends his record for most career podiums to 19. Interestingly, the only other time that Jaap and Launch finished on the top two steps of the podium was Jaap’s Barcelona victory just mentioned. Whiplash’s 3rd place gives him 10 career podiums, and means that he and Launch switched places from Suzuka.

From a team standpoint, Regency Motors now have a healthy 15 points advantage on Force Ravenswood. Scandinavian Blitz’s struggle in the first two races this year are a marked contrast from last season, as they sit in last place.

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