Tag Archives: Barcelona

Barcelona Recap

A beautiful day welcomed the SBMRL to the Circuit de Catalunya for the final race of the 2018-19 season. After 9 months of racing the season’s champions were soon to be decided with one final race for glory. For one final time, the SBMRL grid lined up as follows:

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

The cars lined up and the lights went out and all but one car came off the line cleanly. Jaap found himself sitting still on the grid as the rest of the field began their race around him. He quickly found gear, but not before Delilah and Whiplash put him squarely in last place.

At the front of the field, Sheila, Launch, and Rask moved to the front of the pack as Bubba dropped back. The first sector saw the three front runners battling back and forth until Launch and Rask pulled out a narrow edge over Sheila’s yellow Regency Motors car. The real mover and shaker, though, was Whiplash. The season’s top driver continued to show the form that put him in the driver standings lead, charging past Delilah and Bubba to get in the fight for 4th place with the Stig.

Launch in the lead, Whiplash up to 4th

The Stig, feeling the charge, stepped up his race in the second sector. He caught up with Sheila and left Whiplash behind in his quest for 3rd place. With Rask at the front in a duel with Launch, Scandinavian Blitz was looking quite racy.

Rask leading in the third sector

At the very back of the field, the trio of Bubba, Delilah, and Jaap struggled along. Jaap, who’s season had been on the upswing after three straight second place finishes, looked spent. However, it was Bubba who would soon find himself out of the race. Pushing hard around the final corner of the first lap, he heard a pop and his engine had gone. Just like that, a second straight DNF to finish the year.

By this point, the front runners were already into their second lap, but to rewind for a moment, as Delilah and Rask came around the final corner, Delilah had a slight edge. In an effort to keep ahead of her rival, she skipped the pits and drove on down the straight, while Rask opted for fresh rubber.

The Scandinavian Blitz pit crew was up to the challenge, and Delilah wasn’t even into the first corner when Rask was coming out of pit lane. At the same time, Sheila and the Stig were heading in, with Whiplash trailing them.

Launch up front, but Rask is already out of the pits

Rask caught Delilah in short order, and found the fresh set of tires was more than up to the task of pulling away from her in the first sector. The Stig came out of the pits in 3rd place, and Whiplash caught up with Sheila at the first corner to round out the midfield. Jaap and Delilah puttered along at the rear.

As had been the case for most of the race, there were never any real challengers to Rask and Launch up front. Unlike the first lap, the two front runners lost touch with each other and Launch wasn’t able to mount any additional challenges to Rask. The two had rather uneventful drive to the finish line.

Rask starts to pull away

The Stig’s hold on 3rd place was a bit more tenuous, and it begins with the battle for 4th. As the midfield began the second lap, the Stig was ahead when Sheila was caught up by Whiplash. This arrangement, the Stig in front with Sheila and Whiplash fighting each other would last through the first sector until Wurth. It was there that Whiplash got the Stig within reach, and there that Sheila lost touch with both of them.

The Stig and Whiplash get distance from Sheila

What none of them fully gathered, was that behind them, Delilah was charging. The corner after Wurth is Campsa, and while Whiplash struggled here, Delilah caught him and Sheila. In fact, Delilah was charging with such speed and skill that she soon found herself in front of not just Sheila and Whiplash, but the Stig as well.

As a brief aside, Jaap’s exploits on the second lap are best left to the simple assertion that he did finish the race. The less said about his efforts to get there, the better.

The third sector, then was all that remained in the season for the four cars still hoping to claim 3rd place. Having seen Delilah’s aggression in the second sector, the Stig proceeded to tackle the third sector in kind. He charged through Banc Sabadell to get ahead of the group.

Launch rounds the final corner as the Stig, Sheila, and Delilah jockey for position

Delilah moved in front again in Europcar, with the Stig and Sheila each just a car length back. Whiplash had faded, leaving just these three to fight it out. As they rounded New Holland, the final corner, Delilah was ahead by just a nose over the Stig. Sheila was right there with them, and it would be a drag race to the finish.

The fight for 3rd place!

That drag race would see the Stig pass Delilah on the pit straight to put two Scandinavian Blitz cars on the podium for the second time this year. Sheila carried speed down the straight as well, but Delilah was ahead by just enough to pip her for 4th.

Final Results

Rask Sjofar (SB)421
Launch Bornado (FR)212
The Stig (SB)543
Delilah Whipplefilter (FR)764
Sheila Dinkum (RM)135
Whiplash (SR)856
Jaap Snellrijder (RM)677
Bubba McQueen (SR)388, dnf

Rask’s victory gives him bookend wins on the year, having taken the season opener at Road America. After struggling through the middle part of the season, it’s a nice way to end it and leaves him 3rd in the driver standings, ahead of his more experienced teammate.

Launch’s podium extends his SBMRL record to 17, now two ahead of Jaap. It’s only his 3rd of the season and his best finish this year, in what can only be described as a bit of a disappointing year. He finished down in 6th place, the first time he’s not been in the top 3.

The Stig edging out Delilah for third means that he gets his fourth podium of the year. However, there are much bigger implications as well. With Whiplash’s poor showing in the race, finishing in 6th place, Delilah ended up just 1 point shy of taking home the driver’s championship. Had she edged out the Stig for the final podium spot, she’d have won it. Instead, Whiplash backs into the win.

The Stig and Delilah’s finish also determined the team championship. By earning 3 more points for the race, Scandinavian Blitz won the title over Force Ravensood by those same 3 points.

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Barcelona Preview

It all comes down to Spain, as the final racer of the 2018-19 SBMRL season will take place at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona.


Formula 1’s offseason testing track, Circuit de Catalunya was built in 1991 and played host to the Spanish Grand Prix that very year. During the 1992 Summer Olympics, it hosted the cycling team time trials event.

The starting grid sits pushed back on the extremely long pit straight which means that starting position won’t be a significant factor in the race. The first corner the drivers will face is called Elf and is quick right-left combination that leads into a long, full throttle curve.

The rest of the track is simultaneously straight forward and nigh on impossible to get perfectly right. While each corner in and of itself isn’t particularly challenging, the constant acceleration and deceleration between them will result in some cars simply getting thrown off. The long straight into La Caixa is one that can make or break a lap.

This all culminates in the tight third sector, where the field can get bunched back up. The sector itself is probably the least complicated, but that will depend somewhat on having run cleanly prior. As we saw at Watkins Glen, don’t be surprised to see cars skip the pits between laps, as the long straight will tempt drivers to fly down it at top speed.

Starting Grid

With a tie at the bottom of the driver standings, by rule, pole position goes to the lower finisher at Watkins Glen. That would nominally be Launch Bornado, but Launch also has a one spot grid penalty for knocking Bubba McQueen out of the last race. Fortunately, he’ll still start on the front row.

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

Once again, each team will have a driver in the top four.

Pit selection is order of team standings. Scandinavian Blitz and Regency Motors are currently tied, so the tie is broken by average starting position fo the team’s cars.

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

Barcelona is the home race for Delilah Whipplefilter.

Track History

The SBMRL visited Barcelona last year for the season’s final race and it was tightly contested. Jaap pulled away on the second lap, but there were 5 different race leaders. Sprite Racing had a poor showing, but it was Bubba’s last place finish that caused him to be fired from Force Ravenswood. It’s a memory that the team has not forgotten, as it cost them the team championship.

SBMRL @ Barcelona

Barcelona Recap

Sunny skies and a moderate temperatures welcomed the SBMRL to Barcelona for the final race of the 2017-18 season.  The Stig came into the race with two challengers to fight off for the driver championship, Whiplash and Launch Bornado, but a large enough lead that finishing close to both would result in him taking the title.  From the team stand point, all four teams entered the race within 12 points of each other, so the championship was truly up for grabs.

With so much at stake, the starting grid lined up as follows:

P1 – Captain Slow (Jason)
P2 – Stevie Wondertyres (Jason)
P3 – Sheila Dinkum (Frank)
P4 – Bubba McQueen (Barb)
P5 – Jaap Snellrijder (Frank)
P6 – Launch Bornado (Barb)
P7 – Whiplash (Frank)
P8 – The Stig (Jason)

As the lights went out, the field pulled away down the long approach to turn 1.  Captain Slow made good on his pole position by establishing himself as the race’s early leader.  Throughout the first sector, the rest of the field jockeyed back and forth, but the only significant movement was Stevie falling progressively further and further behind.  Notably, the Stig was not able to do much passing and stayed at the back of the pack.

The second sector saw the first aggressive forays toward the front.  The Force Ravenswood team of Launch and Bubba were joined by Jaap in their challenge of Captain Slow.  These four cars made up the lead pack, while Sprite Racing’s drivers and the Stig began to pull away from Sheila a bit.

Three cars wide in Campsa

Former teammates Jaap and Launch battled through Europcar and into the final corner of the track, New Holland.  Behind them, Captain Slow and Bubba were caught up by the Stig and Whiplash as the tightness of sector three condensed the field.  Sheila, meanwhile, did her best to not fall too far behind.

Jaap and Launch complete the final turn of lap 1

The early leader of the second lap was decided quickly.  While Jaap charged down the start-finish straight, Launch dove for the pits.  A quick change of tires meant that Launch was able to come out just ahead of the Stig, who had copied Jaap’s approach, but both were well back of the Regency Motors driver in the first sector.  They were joined in the trailing group by Whiplash, who was the only other driver to stay out on track.

Pack separation due to pitting

It doesn’t happen every race, but now and then the pits catch someone out.  Here in Barcelona, it was Bubba.  Bubba’s pit experience wasn’t the worst example the SBMRL has seen, and he actually held up the three cars behind him.  However, he did get passed by two cars who didn’t pit.  After running no lower than 4th in the first lap, he didn’t run that high again for the rest of the race.

Back at the front, Jaap drove cautiously enough through the first few corners to give those behind him reason to hope of catching him.  Launch had the best shot in sector two, but the Stig was also mounting a charge.  This part of the circuit is where Whiplash began to fade a bit and Captain Slow and Sheila started to real him in.  Stevie held an edge over Bubba in the battle for last place.

A bird’s eye view of lap 2’s second sector

With a moderate lead and just the third sector remaining in the season, Jaap did not disappoint.  He took each corner of the third sector with ease, and cruised home with the win.  In contrast, the battle for 2nd place was far from over.  While Launch and the Stig fought for supremacy, Captain Slow caught them both around the outside of Banc Sabadell.

Captain Slow passes Launch and the Stig

From as far back as he had come, this was a rather surprising turn of events.  Bubba and the Sprite Racing team had lost contact with Sheila in the battle for 5th place, but little was as close as the fight for second.  Around the final corner, Captain Slow, Launch, and the Stig came side-by-side.

The fight for 2nd place

From here, it was a drag race to the finish.  Captain Slow’s hard charge to catch up left him with a little less at the end, and it was Launch who managed to eke out a photo finish 2nd place over the Stig.  Bubba’s efforts to fight past Stevie and Whiplash were also for naught.  Whiplash proved superior in the final sector, while Stevie had just enough speed down the straight to relegate Bubba to last place.

Stevie and Bubba at the finish

Barcelona was one of the most evenly fought races in SBMRL history.  Jaap was the only driver not to race in 7th or 8th place at some point.  Every driver spent time in 2nd place, and 5 different cars held the lead.  In fact, 1st place was the only track position not held by 7 of the 8 cars at some point.

Final Results

Driver Start Lap Finish
Jaap Snellrijder (RM) 5 1 1
Launch Bornado (FR) 6 2 2
The Stig (SB) 8 3 3
Captain Slow (SB) 1 7 4
Sheila Dinkum (RM) 3 6 5
Whiplash (SR) 7 4 6
Stevie Wondertyres (SR) 2 8 7
Bubba McQueen (FR) 4 5 8

Jaap records his 3rd victory of the season, bouncing back from a last place finish in Shanghai.  It’s his SBMRL leading 7th victory overall.  Launch’s 2nd place finish is his 4th podium in the last 5 races and 5th overall for the season.  That ties the Stig for most on the year after the Stig rounded out the rostrum in 3rd place.

Championship Results

The Stig’s 3rd place finish was more than enough to maintain his lead in the driver standings, taking home his first ever championship.  We’ve now had 3 different drivers win the title, with Jaap and Launch winning the previous two.

Jaap’s victory was just enough to edge past Launch for 2nd place by a paltry 2 points.  At the other end of the standings, Captain Slow came into the race needing to outscore Stevie by 8 points to get out of the cellar.  Instead, his 4th place finish was only worth 6 more than Stevie’s 7th place, leaving him in last.

Much was made over the team standings coming into the race, as only 12 points separated all 4 teams.  Force Ravenswood, sitting 7 points up on Scandinavian Blitz was in the best position, but that margin was so small that anything was possible.  With the top three teams all represented on the podium, the team championship was ultimately decided by how the cars finished lower down.  Ultimately, Sheila finishing in 5th and Bubba finishing last resulted in a 4 point championship edge for Regency Motors over Force Ravenswood.  Scandinavian Blitz saw their cars finish in 3rd and 4th place.  That scored them a sizeable haul of points, but not quite enough to finish any higher than 3rd.  Still, at only 2 points behind Force Ravenswood and 6 back of the title, they have nothing to hang their heads about.

Driver Champion: The Stig
Team Champion: Regency Motors

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