Tag Archives: Interlagos

Interlagos Recap

Interlagos played host to the SBMRL for the second time after first hosting the league last season.  Last year’s race was marked by a large number of retirements and some tremendous passing on the second lap.  Would this year’s race have more of the same?  Here’s how the cars lined up at the start:

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

As the lights went out, so did Captain Slow’s chances of maximizing his first row starting position.  He stalled on the grid and was soon passed up by everyone in the field spare Sheila.  Stevie, on the other hand, made the most of his start and established an early lead with the Stig and Jaap following close behind.

The field comes through the Senna S

Through the second sector of the first lap, the field began to stratify, with most cars spread out.  Launch Bornado and Whiplash were the two drivers to make moves in this part of the circuit, gradually inching their way up the field in an effort to catch the front-runners.  At the back, Captain Slow had recovered slightly to get a leg up on Bubba and Sheila.

As the field came down the pit straight, The Stig’s pit crew put him ahead of Stevie with a tremendously fast stop.  This gave The Stig an early lead heading into the second lap.  Whiplash, meanwhile, decided to pass up the pits entirely, and this vaulted him all the way into 3rd position and a tight battle with Launch. Captain Slow, who looked like he might be recovering, flubbed the third sector and was a distant last place in crossing the line.  He was so far behind his teammate that The Stig was already half way around lap 2 by the time he pitted.

The Stig and Captain Slow as polar opposites

The Stig drove smoothly and confidently around the second lap, and he really didn’t have much to worry about.  The Sprite Racing teammates were fighting with Launch for second place and it was Whiplash who made good in that battle. Meanwhile, Jaap came charging around the others to wrest 3rd place away from them.  The three would fight it out throughout the remainder of the lap.

Jaap, Launch, and Stevie battle for 3rd place

The Stig took a comfortable victory with Whiplash coming home in second uncontested.  However, the former teammates, Jaap and Launch would fight for the final podium spot.  Launch took the edge in Bico de Pato, and from there, it was essentially a drag race to the finish line.  Jaap couldn’t find the speed to keep up, and that was their order of finish.

Launch leads Jaap home

Behind them, Stevie and Bubba were similarly fighting for 5th place, but this time it was the Force Ravenswood driver that was lacking in pace.  Stevie edged out Bubba, leaving only Sheila and Captain Slow to sort the final two places.  The latter, again lived up to his name, and despite the Stig’s victory, or perhaps because of it, rumors of dissatisfaction with Captain Slow’s performance emanated from the Scandinavian Blitz garages.

Final Results

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

The Stig managed to get past his rivals in the pits and then drove a clean 2nd lap for his second consecutive victory.  Only Launch Bornado has done that before, and a 4th place or better finish in the next race will give him the best three race stint in SBMRL history.  The wins put the Stig at the top of the SBMRL driver standings for the first time in his career.

Whiplash may have started farther back, but his second 2nd place was well deserved after the gamble of not pitting paid off.  Launch records a second podium on the year.  Both drivers can thank Stevie’s miserable second lap for their fortunes.

At the other end of the spectrum, Captain Slow took a bad start and made it worse with an uninspired performance.  Bubba and Sheila didn’t look at all like the drivers they’ve been the rest of the season, resulting in even tighter standings than before.

The team standings can hardly be any closer, with Regency Motors and Force Ravenswood tied at the top and Scandinavian Blitz and Sprite Racing just a few points apart.

Race Gallery

Interlagos Preview

Race five of the SBMRL season means a return trip to Brazil to race Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace.  The track, commonly known as Interlagos, first hosted the SBMRL last year and resulted in a wild race with a surprise victor.


Interlagos features some of the fastest racing of the season and will really tax each car’s engine and brakes.  A decent run up the the Senna ‘S’ means cars at the back of the grid will have some leeway to play catch up right out of the gate, but it could also mean some bumping and scraping along the way.

The long straight that marks the first sector leads into Descida do Lago, a sharp left-hander that is followed by another long stretch.  There’s plenty of opportunity to get his wrong.

The infield section has a series of relatively unremarkable corners before the Juncao corner spits the cars onto the extremely long pit straight.  Yes, there’s some curvature to this part of the track, but it can be taken full out so there will be little expectation of caution here.

Starting Grid

Officially, the SBMRL lines up the grid in reverse order of driver standings, but we currently have 4 drivers all tied for 3rd place on 49 points.  Whiplash, Launch, Jaap, and the Stig all can make that claim.  Historically, the league has used the order of finish in the previous race as the tiebreaker, with the car finishing the farthest back getting the highest grid slot.  That leaves the following for Brazil:

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

Pit selection is order of the team standings:

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

Track History

With only one race in the books at Interlagos, there isn’t a ton of history to go on, but what a race it was.  Osito Racing Company’s Jaronimus and Jamonito finished 1-2, respectively, after lapping in 7th and 9th place.  Launch Bornado, who started 8th, was in 1st after a lap and rounded out the podium.  Launch is also the only car in this year’s field to finish higher than 7th last year.

Three cars failed to finish (including both Scandinavian Blitz drivers) thanks to engine failure and debris scattered all over the track.  Jaap had a blazing first lap but was the last of the finishers to cross the line.

Scandinavian Blitz will be hoping to carry their Monaco momentum over to Brazil to earn some redemption for last year, while the drivers who are all currently tied know that a solid finish here can give them a strong leg up in the standings.

Brazil Recap

The January leg of the season took us to Brazil and Interlagos, a new track that the SBMRL hadn’t yet raced on, but one that promised some of the fastest racing to date.  With everyone eager to put the pedal to the floor, here’s how the grid lined up:

P1 – Nero (Lonny)
P2 – The Stig (Jason)
P3 – Captain Slow (Jason)
P4 – Ice (Lonny)
P5 – Mater (Ryan)
P6 – Danger Wheel (Ryan)
P7 – Jamonito del Verde (Geoff)
P8 – Launch Bornado (Frank)
P9 – Jaronimus Maximus (Geoff)
P10 – Jaap Snellrijder (Frank)

The race got off to a flying start for both the Stig and Mater, each of whom timed the lights perfectly.  The Stig took advantage of Nero’s inability to get his engine up to speed and was the first into the Senna ‘S’.  Captain Slow and Ice followed closely.  Behind them, those who started at the back of the grid used the long run up to turn one to get up to a higher entry speed.  That had almost the entirety of the rest of the field piling into the bend.  Danger Wheel bumped a bit with Nero, as Jaap played things safely, watching from the rear.

The long first straight

The long straight between turns 1 and 2 meant high speeds.  Ice and Captain Slow found their lines, leaving the Stig trailing.  Jaronimus strained his engine but didn’t lose position as a result.  The two leader’s suffered similar engine trouble on the approach to turn 3, Ferradura.  Launch Bornado and Mater both were perfect in this section, joining the leaders at the front.  In contrast, while Jaap was able to do some catching up through here, Jamonito found himself struggling to keep up.

Throughout the second sector, there was a lot of shifting in the relative positions.  Captain Slow who had been leading found himself falling back to 4th place, behind the Cobalt drivers and Mater.  The Stig went from hanging with the top three to running in 9th.

Jockeying at the end of lap 1

As the cars hit the final corner and plowed onto the long pit straight, Nero led Ice and Captain Slow by less than a car length.  Mater’s approach to that final corner left him wanting, allowing Jaap to pass him by.  Launch and the Stig bumped in their efforts to pass the suddenly slow Red Bull car, leaving the Stig with minor body damage, and Jaronimus was hot on their heels.

The three front runners dove for the pits and were soon followed by Jaap, Jaronimus, and the Stig.  Launch took a temporary race lead by skipping the pits entirely, but he couldn’t find the proper approach into turn one at that speed.  Mater was caught up by the two backmarkers, Danger Wheel and Jamonito.

Tightly packed in the Senna ‘S’

The entire field was tightly packed going into the second lap, but it was Nero who got the advantage.  He carried speed from the Senna “S” onto the long straight to turn 2, but his tyres paid the price.  As he was pulling away, the Scandinavian Blitz cars battled with Ice and Regency Motors while the cars from the other two teams did their best to keep up.

Nero’s engine suffered a hit into the third turn, forcing him to lose some speed there.  Behind him, the Stig couldn’t quite find his line in Turn 2 and had to slow as well.  In contrast, the yellow liveries of Jaap and Launch were smooth through the bend, with Ice just ahead of them.  The big move, however, was from Jamonito and Jaronimus.  Not only did they hit the second corner just right, but they sped past everyone and right on by in Ferradura.  This put them in spitting distance of Nero.

Osito on the move

As the leaders charged forward, the first casualty of the race was Captain Slow.  On his efforts to get past Red Bull and keep up with the middle pack, he hit debris left on the track earlier in the race. He lost a wheel and was forced to retire.

Danger Wheel and Mater pushed on and soon found themselves caught up with Jaap and the Stig.  At this point, Launch and Ice had pulled slightly ahead of that group and were doing their darnedest to keep up with Jamonito and Jaronimus. Instead, it would be the boys in green that made the next move.  With Nero nursing home some badly worn tyres, they managed to catch him in the final corner and then pass him on the pit straight.

Nero is caught!

Jaronimus charged home with his teammate close behind him.  Nero, on the other hand, was suddenly finding himself having to watch out for Launch in his mirrors.    Fighting to avoid losing out on a podium after having been so far ahead earlier in the lap, his Cobalt engine gave out and he was forced to pull off the track with the finish line in sight.  Launch cruised home uncontested.

The Stig crashes out

That left the other five cars still on the track all with a shot at 4th place.  Ice took the last corner first, but was slow through it.  Jaap found himself in a similar place.  Mater had speed and carried it through onto the straight.  The Stig attempted to do the same, but was unfortunately blocked off by the rest of the traffic already in the corner.  He carried a bit too much speed through the corner and clipped the back of Mater, sending him off the track.  Danger Wheel was close behind and narrowly missed crashing into him.

From there, it was simply a drag race to the finish.  Danger Wheel had the speed to scoot past his teammate, while Ice wasn’t quite up to the task of keeping pace.  With poor judgement through the final corner slowing him down, Jaap was the last to cross the line, but at least he could be thankful that he crossed it.

Final Results

Driver Start Lap Finish
Jaronimus Maximus (ORC) 9 7 1
Jamonito del Verde (ORC) 7 9 2
Launch Bornado (RM) 8 1 3
Danger Wheel (RB) 6 10 4
Mater (RB) 5 8 5
Ice (CO) 4 5 6
Jaap Snellrijder (RM) 10 3 7
Nero (CO) 1 2 8, dnf
The Stig (SB) 2 6 9, dnf
Captain Slow (SB) 3 4 10, dnf

Jaronimus’ victory is his second in the past three races and puts him solidly in front of Jaap at the top of the driver’s standings.  Jamonito’s runner up finish has him up to 3rd place and marks the third time in the last four races that he’s stood on the second podium step.  Launch rounds out the podium for the second time in three races as well.

At the other end of the grid, Jaap had his worst finish ever, after suffering a miserable second lap.  However, that isn’t nearly as troubling as the trio of Nero, the Stig, and Captain Slow.  All three failed to complete the race for the second consecutive race.

Also of note for this race was the amount of passing that took place.  Mater, who finished in 5th place, actually held every position, 1 to 10, at some point.  Launch and the Stig were nearly as diverse.  Both drivers held all positions except 10th.  Seven different drivers all held the lead, even if only briefly, and that includes all three of the cars that didn’t finish.

At the team level, Osito Racing Company recorded the SBMRL’s second 1-2 finish to take back the team standings lead.  Cobalt is the only other team to have taken the top two steps, accomplishing that at Sebring last year.  Unfortunately, their struggles this year leave them with about half the points of ORC, and Scandinavian Blitz is even further behind.