Category Archives: Race Recaps

Watkins Glen Recap

The penultimate race of the 2018-19 season took place in upstate New York at Watkins Glen. A first time visit from the SBMRL meant that there was some question over how the race would play out. The first order of business was determining the track configuration, and the league decided to include both the Inner Loop chicane and the Boot.

The grid lined up as follows:

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

Bubba had a fast start with the rest of the field getting off the line cleanly, but soon found himself bumping into other cars as he jockeyed for position. The front four fought wheel to wheel through the first few corners until Sheila was able to pull ahead slightly. As she did so, the back half was right on their tails with the lone exception of Jaap.

Wheel to wheel in pursuit of Sheila

The Inner Loop chicane was where Bubba and Rask caught up with Sheila again, and the three of them battled back and forth throughout the second sector. Delilah and the Stig also started to make a move on Launch, with Whiplash and Jaap falling behind the others.

Into the Boot they went, with Sheila finding herself unable to keep up with Bubba and Rask. The Force Ravenswood pair continued to push, and caught up with Sheila at the Toe. The Stig, meanwhile, found his car responsive and flew down the sole of the Boot with such speed that he caught up with the front runners at the Heel.

The Stig crashes Bubba and Rask’s party

Delilah wasn’t far behind, making a move of her own at the Heel. She managed to get by both red cars and take the fight directly to Bubba. Like Stig in the Boot, Delilah found speed through the final two corners and then flew down the pit straight.

Jaap was the other big mover in the third sector. He pulled off a similar feat to the Stig’s and earned a few places as a result. The difference was that the Stig went through the third sector slowly while Jaap pulled off the same feat that Delilah did, flying down the pit straight. In the span of half a lap, Jaap went from last to second.

Delilah about to leave Bubba behind

Despite getting passed by several cars while pitting, Launch was able to catch up with them shortly. Delilah was in the lead, with Jaap in a solid second place, but behind them, Launch, the Stig, Rask, and Bubba all pursued.

Coming through the Esses

As the field came out of the Esses and into the back straight, a few drivers were able to change things up. First was Rask, who found enough speed on the straight to catch Jaap at the Inner Loop. The other driver to make a strong move was Whiplash, who hit the Esses just right and was up to fourth place after the straight.

Delilah was able to pull away in the second sector, putting a couple of corners between herself and the battle for second place. Jaap and Rask fought back and forth through the Boot with neither able to get an advantage, while Whiplash settled into 4th place. His teammate, Bubba, was less fortunate. Having fallen to the back of the pack, he made a hard charge through the chicane and was heading through the Outer Loop when Launch bumped him. The collision was enough to know Bubba out of the race.

Launch ends Bubba’s race

Delilah continued her charge through the third sector and no one would get close as she easily took home her second win of the season. Jaap and Rask fought neck and neck until the final corner, where Jaap was able to take advantage of fresher tires and pull away.

The other four cars were well behind Rask, led by Launch and Whiplash. The Stig and Sheila were right behind them, however, and just like in the battle between Jaap and Rask, the final order would come down largely to tire freshness. Sheila, having pitted for new rubber, was able to take the most advantage, followed by the Stig.

Sheila gets ahead to take 4th place

While Whiplash was able to come out of the corner ahead of Launch, his engine wouldn’t respond to the need for speed. This allowed Launch to finish just ahead of him in 6th place.

Final Results

DriverStartLapFinish
Delilah Whipplefilter (FR)
611
Jaap Snellrijder (RM)742
Rask Sjofar (SB)353
Sheila Dinkum (RM)174
The Stig (SB)
535
Launch Bornado (FR)
266
Whiplash (SR)
887
Bubba McQueen (SR)
428, def

Delilah’s victory is her second in three races and the second of the year for Force Ravenswood. It’s her fourth podium of the year and puts her just 5 points behind Whiplash for the driver championship lead.

Jaap’s second place finish makes it 3 consecutive runner-ups for him and 5 podiums on the year. He sits 7 points back of Delilah. Rask’s 3rd place finish moves him up to 5th place in the driver standings. He has 3 podiums this year, with one appearance on each step.

Bubba’s DNF means that he’s now in danger of finishing last, a position currently held jointly by Launch and Sheila.

At a team level Sprite Racing couldn’t have had a worse result. They had a very healthy lead that has now dwindled to 10 points over Force Ravenswood. Largely propelled by Delilah’s strong form of late, the white, green, and orange cars sit 7 points ahead of Scandinavian Blitz and Regency Motors, who are tied.

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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

DriverStartLapFinish
Whiplash (SR)841
Jaap Snellrijder (RM)532
Launch Bornado (FR)123
Bubba McQueen (SR)454
Delilah Whipplefilter (FR)615
Rask Sjofar (SB)366
The Stig (SB)787
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

DriverStartLapFinish
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)
577
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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