This past weekend I attended round #2 of the 2015 Swedish National 1/10 Buggy Series in Skarpnäck, Sweden. This would be my 3rd visit in 3 years to this astro track just outside of Stockholm. We arrived on Friday afternoon for a scheduled 4 hour free practice session and got everything setup before the track opened.
Unfortunately due to some electrical problems on the 4WD I only got to run 2 battery packs through it and ended up doing most of the practice session with the 2WD. And since this would be the only free practice session until race day on Sunday with the 4WD we left the track a bit unsure on my speed compared to the others. For the 2WD on Saturday the forecast predicted rain from the morning.
Saturday & 2WD:
Arriving on track on Saturday morning it started to rain in time for the practice heats to start. It was decided to postpone the start for a short while to let the track start drying. We had two 7 seven minute heats of practice to try some settings on the still wet track.
#1, I managed a 2nd place for the round with a couple of small mistakes costing me a few seconds.
#2, the track was starting to dry up in places and the times were dropping. My run was more consistent and faster than the first one and I managed another 2nd for the round.
#3, it had dried up even more and we decided to revert back to our dry setup. This paid off and I were closer than ever to the very fast local driver Niclas M?nsson who was starting to look unbeatable. My run was very consistent with just one small mistake costing me a couple of seconds. So we were very pleased with the result.
#4, we made a couple of small changes and managed to take the TQ by only 2/10 of a second ahead of Niclas who made a mistake on the second to last lap.
This gave me starting position #2 for the A-finals out of 39 drivers.
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Come finals time it started to rain once again just minutes prior to the start of A-final #1. We only had time to put on an uncut set of tires and change over to the ready built set of shocks I had been using in the wet earlier in the day.
#1, I got off to a good start and tried to stay with the #1 car even though he was slightly quicker on the wet track. Unfortunately on lap 4 I had a small slide just as I was approaching the small double and lost some time missing my line and having to go back around. Another mistake going into the wall on lap 7 cost me another couple of seconds and I would in the end finish in 2nd place 4 seconds behind the winner.
#2, the track had dried up and I got off to a great start, but just as I crossed the line to complete the first lap I cut the corner and flipped my car which put me down to 3rd. And then another mistake by me on lap 4 jumping short put me down into 5th. After putting my head down and passing 2 cars in front of me I was able to finish 3rd for this second final.
#3, for the last A-final I started as #1 as Niclas had already won the first two finals and decided not to run the last one.
It was wide open as 3 drivers would fight for the remaining two podium spots. I needed a win to secure a 2nd place finish.
I got off to a good start once again and was able to run consistent fast laps to keep the #3 car behind me. And even though I made a mistake going onto to the straight on lap 6 I was able to take a comfortable lead to secure a 2nd place finish in the 2WD class.
As there were no free practice on Saturday for the 4WD class on Sunday we headed back to the hotel to celebrate my 10th birthday.
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2WD final results:
1. Niclas Mansson 2. Malin Karlsen - XRAY XB2
3. Wilhelm Skjoldebrand
4. Mattias Fransson 5. Martin Johansson Nielsén - XRAY XB4 2WD
6. Alexander Landén - XRAY XB4 2WD
7. Henrik Karlsson
8. Johnny Sageborn
9. Frank Holmgren
10. Lars Jonsson
Sunday & 4WD:
Upon arriving at the track Sunday morning we were greeted with a dry track. The grip was really high and we made some small changes throughout the 2 practice heats to get ready for the qualifiers. Even though I didn’t have the single fastest lap in practice our car felt really good and I topped the timing sheets after the practice rounds were done. And with only a few small adjustments we knew I would be very competitive once qualifying got going.
#1, I got off to a good start and only had one real mistake during the 5 minutes. I put in my best lap time of the day and my medium time was a full second faster than the next one on the list which gave me a comfortable TQ by 10 seconds.
#2, once again I got off to a really good start and left the field behind me to take another TQ run 18 seconds ahead of the #2 driver. My car was feeling really good and I was able to push without fear of traction rolling. I also lowered both my fastest lap and medium time in this run.
#3, on the warm up laps for the 3rd qualifier I had a problem with the sensor board on my motor resulting in it stopping and turning on & off the timing/boost. With no time to try and fix anything we decided that I would just try to get going from the starting line. Luckily I was able to get my car going on the sound of the tone but I quickly made a small mistake as it was really hard to drive never knowing if the timing would kick in or not. Dropped down the list in my heat but decided to put my head down and with nothing to loose I was able to TQ the round with a 3 second gap to the number 2 car.
#4, with the TQ position secured we decided to try out a setup change in the last qualifier. Although the car felt pretty much the same in terms of speed it was just much harder to keep it clean being a bit more nervous to drive. Still managed a 2nd for the round but we decided on reverting back to our previous setup that I was really happy with.
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#1, Got off to a good start and was able to slowly pull away at the front. I then made a small mistake on lap 8 and then again on lap 10 needing marshaling which cost me 4-5 seconds of my lead. I then put in two decent last laps to finish almost 4 seconds ahead and take the win.
#2, Started out with an opening lap that would put me 2.3 seconds ahead and from then on I was able to put together a string of relatively fast laps to build up a decent lead. Made a small mistake on lap 5 and 11 but was still able to take the win by over 15 seconds controlling the race from the front.
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4WD final results:
1. Malin Karlsen - XRAY XB4
2. Niclas Mansson 3. Alexander Landén - XRAY XB4
4. Wilhelm Skjoldebrand
5. Michael Kronostrom 6. Klas Bredberg - XRAY XB4
7. Martin Johansson Nielsén - XRAY XB4
8. Hugo Bjurman - XRAY XB4
9. Mattias Fransson
10. Per Lidén
And with this win I also secured the overall victory for 2015 in the 4WD class in the Swedish National Series.
A huge thank you to my dad and mechanic for all the time and work he put in to help me, my wonderful mom, all of my sponsors and not to forget all of my supporters.