Tag Archives: Buddh

India Recap

In February, the SBMRL field traveled to India for race six of the 2017-18 season.  With only a few drivers having raced here two seasons ago, it was anyone’s guess as to how this race would play out.  The starting grid was as follows:

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

A clean start saw the field take off in pursuit of glory, with Captain Slow doing his best to cut off Stevie and solidify his pole position.  Launch Bornado forced the issue as well, joining the two front runners for an early 3-car lead pack.  The one car that fell behind early was Whiplash, who couldn’t quite find his lines in the early going.

Jockeying for position early

The first laps’ second sector saw Stevie and Launch pull away from Captain Slow, with the former getting a leg up on his rival.  The Stig, meanwhile, had a brilliant start to the race, working his way through the field such that by the middle of the first lap, he was all the way up in 3rd place.  The other car on the move in the early going was Sheila Dinkum, who was trying her best to keep up with him, while Bubba and Jaap did their best not to get left behind.

Launch was able to get around Stevie in Turn 8, with the two frontrunners well ahead of the rest of the field.  Captain Slow and the Stig battled it out for third place, with the Regency Motors drivers and Bubba fighting to join them.  Again it was Turn 8 where a shift occurred, and this time it was Jaap Snellrijder getting it wrong and being left behind by Sheila and Bubba.

Intrateam battles

As the second lap began, Launch held the lead but the Stig had caught up with Stevie after an extremely quick pit stop.  Behind them, the crowd were roaring their approval for the trio of Captain Slow, Bubba, and Sheila, who were coming around Turn 9 three abreast.

Not giving an inch at Turn 9

At this point it’s worth noting that for the first time this season, every car made a pit stop, and that allowed Jaap and Whiplash to once again catch up with the others.  The Stig had meanwhile passed Stevie and set his sights on Launch.  The two flew down the long, first sector straight while Stevie could do nothing to keep up.

The Stig in hot pursuit of Launch

In reality, Stevie had more to worry about from behind than he had hopes of catching up.  Bubba was hot on his heals and Captain Slow wasn’t far behind.  The three would be neck-and-neck down the straight, with Bubba getting a slight advantage.   Captain Slow couldn’t quite keep up.  Ahead, the Stig passed Launch at Turn 4, the Force Ravenswood driver not quite getting full cooperation from the engine.

These events resulted in a pair of pairs… with the Stig now being hunted by Launch, and Stevie and Bubba battling for 3rd place.  Captain Slow’s misfortunes of the last few races continued, as he suddenly found himself surrounded by Whiplash and yellow liveries.  The good news is that he was only surrounded temporarily.  The bad news is that was because he was watching those cars from progressively greater distances.

The opposite fortunes of Scandinavian Blitz

The third sector for the front runners was anticlimactic.  By the final corner, the Stig had pulled out enough of a lead that he nursed his engine across the finish line.  Launch was a close second, but only for that.

Rewinding a bit, Bubba and Stevie battled hard in the second sector.  In Turn 4 Bubba head a slight edge, then it was Stevie and Turn 5.  Bubba was ahead, then Stevie had the edge coming out of Turn 6.

Bubba and Stevie in Turn 6

However, it was at Turn 7 where Stevie made a mistake and Bubba capitalized.  Stevie was a bit too cautious about his line, allowing Bubba to take a commanding 3rd position with just a few corners to go.  Behind them, Sheila, Jaap, and Whip were ready to pounce.  Seeing the opportunity, Jaap and Sheila both made good and soon caught up.  Whip, on the other hand, overcooked Turn 6 and spun out.

Stevie’s mistake proved costly in the end, with Sheila and Jaap passing him at the final corner.  Whiplash’s gave Captain Slow hope to recover a tiny bit of what had been a disaster of a race.  He passed Whip at Turn 8 and was all set to avoid last place when his engine blew.  For the second time in the last four races, he was out with the finish line in sight.

Final Results

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

No SBMRL driver has ever had a run like the Stig’s, as he wins his 3rd consecutive race to take a commanding lead in the driver’s standings.  Launch’s 2nd place finish is a second consecutive podium.  Bubba’s 3rd place finish is his third of the year.  Sheila just misses the podium, and drops into a 2nd place tie with Launch and Bubba.

Down in the cellar, Captain Slow’s poor performance this season is starting to cause some grumblings within the team.  He’s not been shy about his displeasure with the car’s reliability, either, going so far as to cite preferential treatment of his teammate.

At the team level, the Stig has pulled Scandinavian Blitz into range of Force Ravenswood and Regency Motors.  The former’s double podium finish is their first, and gives them an edge on the suddenly struggling Regency Motors.

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India Preview

February takes the SBMRL to India to race Buddh International Circuit.  Buddh was inaugurated in 2011 and held Formula 1 Grand Prix races from 2011 through 2013.  The SBMRL makes a return here after a hiatus last season, having previously raced here in 2015.


Buddh’s pit straight is quite short, and the run up into the first corner is a bit of an in-between distance for those on the front row.  The key consideration here is the need to come out of turn 2 with speed for the circuit’s notable long straight.  Those at the back of the grid will have to deal with congestion through these corners that may add to the challenge.

The circuit’s heaviest braking spot is the approach to turn 3, where cars will hope not to lose too much speed heading into the second sector.  Turns 4 and 5 slow the field down considerably, meaning that car setup will require a balance between the long open straight and the congestion that follows.

The third sector is easily overlooked as the most boring part of the track, with each corner looking simple in isolation.  However, the rhythm of this part of the track is what will trip drivers up, making it likely the hardest sector to get just right.

Starting Grid

Captain Slow has started in the top 3 every race this season, but has yet to record a podium, thus testing team management’s patience.  Stevie will start alongside him on the front row.  Jaap continues to slide in the standings after winning the season opener in Portland, moving his grid position into the top 3 for India.

Whiplash and Bubba, who are currently tied in the standings, have their tie broken in reverse order of finish at Interlagos, which gives the edge to Bubba.  The Stig’s consecutive victories have vaulted him all the way to the top of the driver standings and his first start at the back of the grid since the SBMRL’s inaugural race at Austin in 2015.

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

Pit selection will be in order of team standings, and for the second time this year we have a tie atop the standings.  The tiebreaker is the team with the worse average starting position, and that is leaves the following:

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

No driver has India as their home race this season.

Track History

While the Formula 1 races produced the same winner each of the three years it was held there, that will not be possible in the SBMRL as Danger Wheel won our race two years ago.  Launch finished 2nd that year with none of the other current drivers managing a podium.  It’s worth pointing out that our previous race produced no retirements.

SBMRL @ Buddh

India Recap

Buddh International Circuit was the ideal setting for the third contest of the SBMRL season.  With sunny skies and temperatures around 70 degrees, the stage was set for an action packed race with cars getting pushed to the limit.  This race delivered on its high speed promise and then some.

Danger Wheel sat on the pole followed by the Stig and Launch Bornado, who started 2nd and 3rd, respectively, for the second race in a row.  The only other driver to start in the same position as in Singapore was Jaap Snellrijder, at the back of the grid.

P1 – Danger Wheel (Ryan)
P2 – The Stig (Jason)
P3 – Launch Bornado (Barb)
P4 – Mater (Ryan)
P5 – Ice (Lonny)
P6 – Captain Slow (Jason)
P7 – Nero (Lonny)
P8 – Jaap Snellrijder (Frank)

A clean start saw the field gunning for the first corner right away, with Danger Wheel and the Stig battling each other right off the bat.  Despite a fair amount of jockeying for position and wheel to wheel racing, the cars came through cleanly and began to set their sights on the long front straight.

Several cars were able to take advantage of their engine’s full potential, pushing all the way into 6th gear.  What was a bit less forgiving was the need to downshift at the end of that straight for the corner that awaited.  The cars that hit it just right found themselves passing the less accurate drivers.

Coupled with the more technical turns of the second sector, the original starting order was already starting to shake up.  Danger Wheel dropped all the way to 5th, where he battled it out with the charging Nero who could do no wrong.  That left the Stig and Launch Bornado at the front, with Mater hot on their heels.  The Cobalt duo, Danger Wheel, and Captain Slow made up the challenging group, while Jaap Snellrijder languished in last place.

Buddh - Lap 1 spacing

In the third sector, the Stig and Launch pulled away from the field while Captain Slow struggled, allowing Jaap to pass for 7th.  Between those two pairs, the Green Team and Cobalt battled.  After what had been a relatively clean lap for most cars, the pits would play a more significant role in this race than any that had preceded it.

Launch had managed to eke ahead of the Stig, but wore out some tires to do so.  Despite a clean lap, Launch opted for a quick pit to change tires in anticipation of a hard fought second tour.  For the Stig, this is where everything went wrong.  Needing to downshift in the final curve, he was unable to carry momentum into the pits.  It didn’t help much that his pit was the farthest along pit lane or that he needed a technical stop for minor repairs.

Buddh - Launch Bornado leads the start of lap 2

As Launch crossed the starting line first in preparation for a second go around, the trailing pack was just coming through the final corner.  Ice and Danger Wheel were the first to get there, and each took a different tack.  While Danger Wheel need to stop, Ice had run a clean first lap and decided to stay out, gunning it down the front straight in 5th gear.  Behind him, his teammate Nero went in.  The most significant move, however, was Mater’s decision not to pit.  Mater hit the final corner just right and blew past the pits in 6th gear, jumping all the way into 2nd and hot on the heels of Launch Bornado.

Buddh - Mater's gambit

With Launch and Mater well ahead, and Ice forgoing the pits, the Stig found himself in 4th place to start the second lap.  Danger Wheel’s quick pit stop had him close behind, while Nero pushed to catch up in the first two turns.  The Stig struggled with his car, which was unresponsive to his commands.  Conversely, Danger Wheel managed to reel in the front runners to take the lead he’d lost on the first lap.  Mater also passed Launch on the long front straight, but his gambit came at the expense of his brakes and gearbox.  The Cobalt cars, meanwhile, were able to join the front pack with the pedal to the floor.  After babying his tires on the first lap, Ice wore his tires heavily rounding Turn 3 in a desperate effort.

Buddh - Ice and Nero catch up on lap 2

Danger Wheel and Launch found separation in Turn 4 as the challengers worked to keep their more heavily abused cars on the track.  The two front runners found perfect lines through turns 5 and 6 and it quickly became clear that only a disaster would see either car finish lower than third.  Meanwhile, Nero managed to find an edge on Ice, who looked far better poised to take 4th than Mater given the conditions of both cars.  Behind them, the Stig marched along steadily with Captain Slow and Jaap both living up to the Captain’s name.

Buddh - Lap 2 battles

At the front, Danger Wheel and Launch charged hard into the final two turns.  Danger Wheel had the edge and chose a tight line in turn 9.  Launch, who’d run a clean second lap and had tires to burn, simply couldn’t match it.  Despite coming in faster, Danger Wheel’s edge was too great as he took the checkered flag.  Launch was left to settle for second.  Behind them, Nero established a comfortable 3rd position that would not be relinquished.  The rest of the field, however, was nowhere near set.

Ice, who was comfortably enough ahead of Mater and looked destined for 4th place, suddenly lost all feel for his car.  Captain Slow and Jaap, who had been so far behind over the first two sectors, suddenly started finding their lines.   They sped past the Stig and looked to add more.  Ice and Mater, both forced to drive cautiously, were no longer well in the distance.

Buddh - Late race action

Jaap managed to catch Ice in Turn 8, which Captain Slow was also able to take at a much higher speed than Ice’s all blue Cobalt.  Mater, meanwhile, wasn’t able to take speed into turn 9, and it was there that Jaap and Captain Slow passed him as well.  Jaap took the inside line that Danger Wheel had taken earlier to stymie Launch’s attempt for a pass, and this time Captain Slow was the victim.  Despite coming in at higher speed, he was forced to the slower, outside line.  Jaap took 4th and the Captain 5th.  Mater was able to limp home behind them.

Buddh - Jaap charges for the finish

At the back, the Stig did finally catch Ice, whose third sector can only be described as disastrous.

Buddh represented the first time this season that a car chose not to pit, with both Ice and Mater forgoing the chance to improve their vehicles.  Despite Ice’s last place finish, one can’t point to his pit decision as impacting the final result.  His tires were pristine and he had taken minimal damage.  It was really a combination of pushing hard on the second lap and simply not being able to maximize his car’s potential.  Mater, on the other hand, found himself in rather dire straights and having to drive conservatively.  He may regret his decision not to pit, but it was an understandable choice at the time.  Despite this, Buddh also represented the first race where all cars crossed the finish line.

Final Results

Driver Start Lap Finish
Danger Wheel (GT) 1 5 1
Launch Bornado (RM) 3 1 2
Nero (CO) 7 6 3
Jaap Snellrijder (RM) 8 7 4
Captain Slow (WT) 6 8 5
Mater (GT) 4 2 6
The Stig (WT) 2 4 7
Ice (CO) 5 3 8

Danger Wheel earned the Green Team’s first victory of the year, while Launch and Nero both claimed their second podium in as many races.  Jaap’s amazing comeback, from last place in sector two to 4th place at the flag, keeps him atop the driver standings, but Nero continued to close the gap.  Like Captain Slow’s victory in Singapore did for him, Danger Wheel’s victory catapults him into 3rd.

From a team perspective, Regency Motors maintains a comfortable lead over the field.

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