Tag Archives: Monaco

Monaco Preview

Another December, another trip to Monaco for one of the league’s two evergreen tracks (Austin has also been raced at every season).

Monaco (D)

Monaco is, of course, nothing new to the SBMRL and nothing new to racing. It’s hosted a Formula 1 Grand Prix since 1950 and racing on the famed streets dates back to the 1920’s.

The short start-finish straight always results in tight, wheel bumping action in Sainte Devote on the first lap. The straight that follows lets drivers open it up a bit… more so on the second lap for those who haven’t pitted.

The second sector starts slow and then gets fast in the tunnel. Coming out of the Loews hairpin complex with speed for the tunnel is key, and the Nouveau Chicane is a favorite passing spot.

The final sector is trickier than it looks at first glance. There isn’t a break anywhere. Hardly anything separates one corner from the next. The key here is the exit. If drivers can get Rascasse and Anthony Noghes right, they can fly down the start-finish straight.

Starting Grid

Monaco’s grid will see cars line up in the following order:

  1. Luigi (SM)
  2. Rask Sjofar (SB)
  3. The Stig (SB)
  4. Delilah Whipplefilter (FR)
  5. Mario (SM)
  6. Launch Bornado (FR)
  7. Whiplash (RM)
  8. Jaap Snellrijder (RM)

Luigi had best be on his form at the start. Despite starting on pole position, he’s got two excellent drivers around him in the Stig and Rask. The Scandinavian Blitz pair finished 1-2 here last year, and the Stig has taken 3 of the 4 wins to be had.

Pit selection in order of team standings looks like this:

  1. Regency Motors
  2. Force Ravenswood
  3. Scandinavian Blitz
  4. Switch Motorsport

Delilah and the Stig both claim Monaco as their home race this year.

Track History

As mentioned above, the Stig has 3 wins and easily the most points. It shouldn’t be much of a surprise, either, that Jaap and Launch follow him in that regard, with Jaap taking the remaining win. Whiplash is the only other driver on the grid with more than one start, and he has yet to finish higher than 5th. Rask, who starts 2nd this year, also started 2nd last year when he took 2nd place. In fact, the driver starting in 2nd has never finished lower than 4th.

SBMRL @ Monaco

Monaco Recap

The SBMRL made their annual trip to Monaco for December’s race, with a typically comfortable day in store.  The grid featured penalties for the Stig and Jaap, which resulted in the following starting positions:

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

The field got off to a clean start with the pecking order seeing no substantial changes through the first corner.  The field remained tightly packed, largely as predicted, with the first sector not revealing any particular changes of note.  The field only began to separate a bit once they were in Casino and Mirabeau.

Early race action

The Stig and Sheila led the way into Loews but nearly the entire field was jockeying for space behind them.  Only Whiplash lagged behind.  The Stig led the way through the tunnel with Sheila struggling to keep pace.  Delilah led Launch, Rask, Bubba, and Jaap behind them.

Through the tunnel

The Stig kept up his pace into the third sector, but Sheila was caught up by the others at Tabac.  Launch also began to struggle, with Whiplash recovering from a miserable first half lap to put himself back in the mix.

Sector three saw Regency Motors start to make their move.  While the Stig pulled into the pits ahead of the field, Rask, Jaap, and Sheila rounded the Anthony Noghes corner.  Delilah and Launch were now in a direct battle with both of the Sprite Racing drivers.

The Stig leads over a tight group of challengers

Sheila stayed out instead of opting for fresh rubber, which had her passing the Stig around Sainte Devote at the start of the second lap.  The others all went in, with Rask emerging first, followed by Jaap and Bubba.  Force Ravenswood were the ones that came out at the back and would have the most ground to make up over the final lap.

Sheila and the Stig jockeyed back and forth through the first sector, but the Stig pulled ahead at Mirabeau.  Behind them, a similar battle between their teammates was raging, and soon all four cars were slogging around the Loews hairpin.

Sheila can’t keep up

Whiplash, Launch, and Delilah fought behind them, and soon disaster struck.  Launch tried to take the inside line in Loews and get ahead of Whiplash, but a small misjudgment meant a collision and the end of the race for Launch.  Adding insult to injury for Force Ravenswood, Bubba was able to take advantage of the mayhem and catch up with Delilah.

Launch crashes out

The driver who was able to take advantage of the crash induced caution was Jaap, who flew down the tunnel at speed in an effort to catch up with the Stig.  The race’s long time leader suddenly found himself passed at the chicane, but Jaap’s momentary brilliance was undone with a poor approach at Tabac.

Jaap’s temporary lead

While the Stig pulled away at the swimming pool, Jaap was soon accompanied by Sheila and Rask.  Stig took the checkered flag as Rask got an edge on the others in the final two corners.  He would hold on to take second place with Jaap just fractions of a second behind.  Sheila was comfortably fourth.

The Stig on his way to victory

As for the rest of the field, Whiplash, managed to run a smooth third sector, but it wasn’t enough to threaten the others.  In the end, it was a quiet 5th place finish.  Less quiet was the battle against ignominy that Delilah and Bubba were mired in.  The two went back and forth in the third sector, with Delilah initially ahead, then Bubba, then back to Delilah.  Bubba managed to find a better line through Rascasse and Anthony Noghes, leaving Delilah just short.

Final Results

Driver Start Lap Finish
The Stig (SB) 4 1 1
Rask Sjofar (SB) 2 3 2
Jaap Snellrijder (RM) 6 4 3
Sheila Dinkum (RM) 3 2 4
Whiplash (SR) 7 6 5
Bubba McQueen (SR) 8 5 6
Delilah Whipplefilter (FR) 1 8 7
Launch Bornado (FR) 5 7 8, dnf

The Stig gets his 3rd Monaco victory in 4 races, which also makes him the first driver to win at three times at a single venue.  It’s his 7 career victory, which ties him with Jaap for the SBMRL career lead.

Rask snatched the second podium of his short career thus far.  It marks a fine turnaround from the last two races, where he finished 7th and 8th.  Jaap’s third place finish matches his performance last time out in Singapore.  Despite his track record of success, the only other time he’s had consecutive podiums was three in a row near the end of the SBMRL’s inaugural season.  The top three finishers now sit as the top 3 in the driver standings.

Scandinavian Blitz’s 1-2 finish marks the 5th time that has happened in SBMRL history.  They are also now the only team to have done it more than once, having previously accomplished the feat at the Nurburgring in the 2016-17 season.  Given that we’ve only had five 1-2 finishes, it’s no surprise that this is the first time that we’ve had each team see their cars cross the line in consecutive order*.  As a result, Scandinavian Blitz has taken a healthy lead with Force Ravenswood falling to the back after their disastrous result.  Sprite Racing was far enough ahead of Regency Motors that those teams now sit tied in the middle.

* Note that at Austin in the 2016-17 season, 4 of the 5 teams saw their cars cross the line one after the other.  The only team that didn’t was Red Bull, who saw Mater win and Danger Wheel finish 4th.

Race Gallery

Monaco Preview

The most glamorous race of year is Monaco, and it takes its customary slot in December.

Monaco (D)

For any of the drivers who’ve raced in previous seasons, they’ll be well familiar with Monaco’s layout.  For Delilah and Rask, who are new to the league, it’ll be a unique challenge.

The start-finish straight leads into the first corner, Sainte Devote, and it’s fairly straight forward.  It’s a corner that always gets jammed up at the start of the race, so don’t be surprised to see some damage come out.  The following straight is long enough to get some higher speeds and leads into Massenet and Casino, a pair of fairly easy to navigate corners.  Overall, the first sector is one that drivers should not get wrong.

The second sector features the Loews hairpin and the long tunnel straight.  The combination of bends that precede the tunnel, including Loews, make for an extremely slow section and getting it right with speed for the tunnel is key.  The straight leads into the Nouvelle Chicane, which is there to just throw drivers off their speed heading into sector three.

The final sector is the most technical, featuring Bureau de Tabac and ‘S’ de la Piscine at the start.  Those corners will send speeds back down before heading into the final combination of Rascasses and Anthony Noghes.  Cars that can avoid a pit stop and come out of the final corner with some speed will gain a big advantage and the potential to pull away or make up some places.  Those that don’t can rest assure that the circuit has enough places where things can go wrong that they may still have a shot at catching up.

Starting Grid

This month’s starting grid will be the most complicate the SBMRL has ever seen as there are a number of unusual situations to account for.  According to league rules, the starting grid for the race is always the reverse order of the current driver standings.  Given that the entire field sits just 7 points apart, there are some ties to be broken.  Rask, The Stig, and Jaap all sit at 35 points currently, which ties them all for 5th place.  Launch and Whiplash both sit at 39 points, tied for second.  For drivers who are tied on points, the tie breaker is the order of finish in the last race.  Here’s what the default grid would look like.

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

Now, The Stig and Jaap both have an unusual set of conditions affecting their starting positions.  First, the Stig will recieve a 1-grid place penalty for causing a crash that resulted in the elimination of another driver at our last race.  In his case, this is adding insult to injury since not only was it his teammate Rask that he knocked out of Singapore, but the accident also resulted in the premature end of his own race.

Jaap’s case is an unprecedented one.  Jaap caused the collision that eliminated Delilah in Austin.  However, race stewards failed to assess the penalty for the starting grid in Singapore.  As a result, the league has decided to impose a 2-grid place penalty on Jaap for Monaco.  The first is the result of his on track actions in Austin, while the second is for failing to report the error in Singapore.

The final starting grid then looks like this:

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

Pit selection will then be in order of team standings:

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

Monaco is the Stig’s home race this season.

Track History

Like Austin, Monaco is one of the two tracks that the SBMRL has raced at every season.  The Stig has won twice, both times from pole position.  The other victory was Jaap’s stunning drive from 9th on the grid in 2016.  The Stig crashed in that one.  Other podium positions have come from all over the grid, but in all three races, the driver who started in 2nd finished in the top 4.  Among other drivers on the current grid, Launch, Sheila, and Bubba have all finished in the top 3.

SBMRL @ Monaco