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Austin Recap

Texas has a reputation for hot weather, and while it isn’t always hot in October, Austin lived up to that reputation during the SBMRL’s visit. The track hosted the SBMRL for the 5th time, having never had a repeat victor. Switch Motorsport, who took a surprise victory in their first ever SBMRL race to start the year, was looking to continue that form and keep the track’s history of having a new driver atop the podium alive.

With just one race in the books, the grid lined up as follows:

P1 –  The Stig (SB)
P2 – Luigi (SM)
P3 – Rask Sjofar (SB)
P4 – Whiplash (RM)
P5 – Jaap Snellrijder (RM)
P6 – Delilah Whipplefilter (FR)
P7 – Launch Bornado (FR)
P8 – Mario (SM)

A clean start saw the field heading uphill to the blind left at the end of the pit straight. The field bunched up quickly, with Luigi and Jaap leading everyone through Turn 2.

Wheel to wheel in Turn 2

Launch would join Luigi and Jaap at the front as the three pulled slightly ahead. At the back, Mario was struggling to keep up with the rest of the field, who had nothing to distinguish them.

Down the back straight, Jaap was able to pull slightly head and get a leg up in Turn 6. Behind him, Whiplash and Rask also found speed to burn, joining Launch and Luigi in the battle for second place. Whiplash was forced to back off in Turn 7 as the others were blocking up the corner, and it really threw his drive off for the third sector.

Rask tries to pass Luigi on the inside

At the front, Jaap had a measured drive through the third sector, operating smoothly and without mistake before diving to the pits for fresh rubber. The same cannot be said for Luigi, who suffered body damage while battling with Launch and Rask in Turn 7. The result was that he fell back to the pack that contained Delilah, the Stig, and Whiplash.

As the field rounded Turn 10 and headed for the pits, Mario was the only car not on the pit straight. Jaap was just coming out of the pits and starting his second lap when everyone but the Stig pitted. Launch’s pit crew was able to give him a jump and he was soon battling his former teammate for the lead. While Rask and Delilah were not far behind, the Stig wasn’t able to find the speed he needed on the pit straight as his gamble did not pay off.

Despite not pitting, the Stig didn’t make up any ground

The first sector of the second lap was characterized by a trio of battles. Jaap and Launch at the front, Rask and Delilah for 3rd place, and Whiplash, Luigi, and the Stig fighting for 5th. Mario was just hoping to catch anyone at this point.

While the battle at the front was white hot in the first sector, Launch got through Turn 5 smoothly and then flew down the back straight. Jaap, however, was not to be denied. He flow down the straight like a man on fire and made up a tremendous amount, catching Launch at Turn 6 to ensure that the third sector would truly be a fight.

Launch’s large lead would be short lived

Mario’s travails at the back of the pack took a bit of a boost when he caught the also-rans around Turn 5, however his engine simply refused to give him the boost he needed down the back straight and he never had much hope of catching anyone as a result. However, the battle for 3rd place took on a whole new dimension when Whiplash and Luigi joined the fun at Turn 6.

Four cars try to squeeze through Turn 6

Coming out of Turn 7, Jaap edged ahead of Launch for the lead, while both front runners gave everything they had. They continued to push, wearing through tires on every turn. However, it was Jaap who managed to stay just ahead, with a frustrated Launch even clipping the rear of Jaap’s before he finally won the race.

Among the group of challengers, it was Whiplash who was making the most dramatic move. Having run as low as 7th for much of the second lap, he now found himself all the way up in 3rd. Delilah continued to push, while Luigi had red cars in both of his mirrors.

Delilah in 3rd while Luigi is pressured from behind

While Delilah strived to keep Whiplash behind her through the final three corners, Luigi was getting passed. First it was the Stig around the outside in Turn 8. Then it was Rask around the inside of Turn 9. Luigi simply didn’t have the pace to hold them off.

The battle for 3rd place would come down to a drag race between Delilah and Whiplash. Delilah was in front coming out of Turn 10, but Whiplash was right behind. Slip streaming behind Delilah toward the finish, Whiplash pulled past with a last second plunge to the right, and crossed just ahead to claim the final podium spot. A pair of similar drag races would take place between the pair of Scandinavian Blitz drivers for 5th and 6th as well as the pair of Switch Motorsports drivers for the final two spots, but neither team was satisfied with their result.

Whiplash slipstreams past Delilah for 3rd

Final Results

Jaap Snellrijder (RM)511
Launch Bornado (FR)622
Whiplash (RM)773
Delilah Whipplefilter (FR)454
The Stig (SB)135
Rask (SB)346
Luigi (SM)267
Mario (SM)888

Jaap records the 8th win of his career, to break free from a tie with the Stig as the SBMRL’s winningest driver. It’s his first victory since the final race of the 2017-18 season in Barcelona. It also puts him back atop the driver standings.

Launch’s second place finish gives him two on the year and extends his record for most career podiums to 19. Interestingly, the only other time that Jaap and Launch finished on the top two steps of the podium was Jaap’s Barcelona victory just mentioned. Whiplash’s 3rd place gives him 10 career podiums, and means that he and Launch switched places from Suzuka.

From a team standpoint, Regency Motors now have a healthy 15 points advantage on Force Ravenswood. Scandinavian Blitz’s struggle in the first two races this year are a marked contrast from last season, as they sit in last place.

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Austin Preview

The SBMRL’s October race will take place at the now traditional venue of Circuit of the Americas in Austin, TX.


The track was purpose built for Formula 1 in 2010, and played host to its first Grand Prix in 2012. The SBMRL has raced there every season, and we have yet to see a repeat victor.

COTA’s starting grid faces uphill into a blind left hander for Turn 1 followed by a quick right hander. Both turns are fairly easy to get right. It’s the next two corners that will start to trip people up. The esses through turns 3 and 4 aren’t necessarily challenging in and of themselves, but the combination is tricky to get right.

The best place to make a move on someone ahead is through the second sector. Coming out of Turn 4 with speed to hit the Turn 5 hairpin right and fly down the back straight can really give a car an edge. The end of that straight is quite abrupt, though.

Turn 6 is a very quick left before immediately moving into the winding Turn 7. The rest of the third sector is a series of short quick bends with small straights between them. Getting a feel for these corners is harder than it looks. In contrast to the second sector’s long straights, these corners are where laps go to die. Getting the third sector wrong is as detrimental as getting the second sector right is helpful.

Starting Grid

With one race in the books, the starting grid for Austin is the reverse order of Japan’s finish.

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

Pit selection is always in the order of the team standings.

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

Austin will be Whiplash’s home race.

Track History

In four different visits to Austin, 4 different drivers have won. Three of those drivers will be on the grid this year, Jaap, Launch, and the Stig, who won last year’s race. Interestingly, Whiplash is the only other driver on the current grid to have scored a podium, with a 3rd place finish two years ago.

The other two drivers who’ve raced at COTA are Rask and Delilah. Neither of them fared will last year, with Delilah being knocked out very early and Rask coming in last among those who finished.

SBMRL @ Circuit of the Americas

Austin Recap

Despite miserable weather prior to race day, the sun was out in Austin on the big day as the SBMRL prepared for the second race of the 2018-19 season.  With just one race in the books, everyone still had the chance to make a big impact.  The biggest story heading into the race was how Scandinavian Blitz would respond to having last year’s driver champion, the Stig, finish in last place, and rookie Rask Sjofar winning in his first time out.

Here’s how the grid lined up:

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

Ready to roll!

This race marked the fourth time in his career that the Stig had started on pole position, and in the past three instances he won twice and finished second, so there was plenty for him to be positive about.  That all went out the window when he stalled on race start.  It hardly took any time at all for Sheila, Whiplash, Jaap, and Delilah to all pass him by the first corner.

First corner approach

Sheila took the early lead but the Stig was not to be down for long.  He managed to get by all three of Whiplash, Jaap and Delilah at Turn 3.  Those three cars were battling hard throughout the first sector, ultimately resulting in a collision between Jaap and Delilah, leaving the latter to retire before even reaching Turn 4.

The Stig caught back up quickly

As the field barreled down the long back straight, Sheila maintened a slim lead while Jaap and the Stig began a battle in earnest for second place.  Behind them, the Sprite Racing duo of Whiplash and Bubba made a charge that saw them join that battle at Turn 6.  Rask and Launch were bringing up the rear, but close enough to catch the others in the event of a mistake.

Third sector battles

As predicted, the third sector jumped up and bit someone right at Turn 8.  Or perhaps more accurately, it bit three someones.  Jaap, Whiplash, and Bubba all found this corner a bit too tricky.  Jaap was thrown off his rhythm into Turn 9 as well, forcing him to watch the others pull away and allowing Launch to catch up.  Suddenly, in the space of two corners, he went from battling for 2nd to trying to avoid falling to 6th.

The Stig, meanwhile, was busy catching up with Sheila at Turn 1 thanks to an exceptionally fast pit crew.  The two would continue to battle back and forth through the first sector, exchanging the lead as they went.  Behind them, Launch was able to catch up with Whiplash and Bubba by not pitting, and putting himself in position to battle for yet another podium.

The start of Lap 2 with Jaap languishing in the pits

Jaap’s struggles in the third sector of the first lap were reversed with sublime driving through the first sector of the second.  He was able to get around both Sprite Racing cars at Turn 3 and then catch back up with Launch at Turn 4.

As the field charged down the back straight, there really was nothing between Sheila and the Stig.  Launch and Jaap were too far back to catch the front runners, but Bubba was close enough to join the battle for third at Turn 6.  That left Whiplash to fade and give Rask some hope of catching somebody… anybody.

Battles for 1st and 3rd remain tight

Navigating through the third sector a second time, the field had clearly learned from their mistakes on the first lap.  Sheila and the Stig came around the final corner with the Stig ahead by just a nose.  In the end, he was able to carry the momentum down the finish straight and take the checkered flag.

The Stig wins!

Jaap, Bubba, and Launch were similarly neck and neck.  Jaap had the slight edge coming out of Turn 7, but Launch held it coming out of Turn 8.  Bubba took an inside line at Turn 9 to pass them both.  He was able to carry that momentum around Turn 10 and down the finish straight to take the final podium.  While Jaap was slightly ahead of Launch around the final bend, Launch passed him down the straight to snatch 4th place out of his grasp.

Final Results

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

The Stig bounces back from a last place finish to win in Austin for the first time.  It’s his 6th career victory, which is now just 1 shy of Jaap’s SBMRL record.  The win marks the third time in four tries that the Stig has won from pole position.  His victory also gives him 10 podiums, which ties Jaap for second on the career list behind Launch.

Sheila led a race for the first time in her career, but she wasn’t able to bring home the victory.  This is her 4th time a bridesmaid, and she’s never had any other podiums.  Bubba’s 3rd place finish makes him the only driver with a podium in both races this season, and puts him in first place in the driver standings.  It’s the first time a Sprite Racing driver has held that position as he continues to make Force Ravenswood regret firing him.  Like Sheila, it’s the 4th time he’s finished in this particular place.  Unlike Sheila, he now has 6 podiums to his credit, which is 4th on the career list.

With consecutive wins to start the season, Scandinavian Blitz has given themselves a small cushion in the team standings.  The rest of the teams are all bunched up behind them.

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