Fighting our friends from Finland...

What a fantastic event! I didn’t think I could have this much fun with my pants on – really.
After having spent two days at a conference center (work..) with the mini sitting outside on the trailer, I was jumping to get going. I arrived at the track Friday afternoon, and unloaded. The event already looked good – the paddock was already filled to the brim with race cars.

I unloaded, tanked, and put a wild amount of air in my tires to make the last practise session. The car was all over the place, and apparently had gotten a rev limiter fitted along the way. The tailhappiness was due to the pressures – that was ok – but I had to think a bit to find the misfire. It was just a matter of what was changed since the last race, and I decided to swap the coil and charge the little race battery.

Doc arrived with the Lorry, and camp was set up. It was nice for once to not sleep in a tent! The truck will be a fine base when it’s all done.

Saturday arrived, and I set the tire temps, and out we went for qualifying. I did two easy laps to get a feel for the car, and then put in 4 quick ones. I didn’t have much left on my vintage tires, so I didn’t want to risk it by doing more laps. The car felt way better than last year, and I was very surprised to find I’d slashed my personal best by over 4 seconds into the 1:10 bracket, right on the pace with the best minis – and 3 secs clear of the next, though Rapid Edwin didn’t make qual due to some problems with his new Wortz wheels. The time was good enough for 5th overall, and 1st in class in the 18-car strong grid. To top it off, I was just 0.4s off the quickest saloon – Arne Berg’s Lotus Cortina, fresh from success at Goodwood. Chuffed.

…our friendly finns had stockpiled on Lapin Kulta..

Race one: I was immediately swamped by Loti. I had a super fight with Hekki in his Cortina, and found a way past after a few laps when he had a slip up. The rest of the race was more or less just keeping a steady safe pace, I did think about getting Rolf in the Elan – but after one attempt I figured it wasn’t worth it – the class win was in the bag after all. I did expect Edwin to join the fight, but he had some issues with a Cortina and a Porsche and some Alesi-style braking, and made the race a blast for the spectators as he carved his way through the field.

The evening was super – after a yummy barbecue set up by the organizers – our friendly finns had stockpiled on Lapin Kulta, and there was nothing happening on Sunday until 13.00, my race around 15.00 so we had a couple of beers, and socialized until um..bedtime.

Race 1:

Sunday was dreadfully wet, and I was worried I’d be totally lost on my old tires which were by now not road legal by far. I thought a bit about doing some small setup changes, but in the end settled for a pressure adjustment , rain-x and some race tape up front to protect the dizzy.

At the start I was supposed to line up next to Edwin, but the procedure went a bit off, and I ended up starting too far back. As soon as the start went, the car had it’s rev limiter back at 6000 RPm and I was cursing like a madman. It took me a full lap to realize that maybe this was an electrical issue, I switched off the lights, and presto! 7000RPM again, and the race was on. I tried all kinds of ways to find my way past the others which got by me at the start, and had to sell a few dummies and do some Days of Thunder outside passes – but after a handful of laps I got by them all, and started chasing down Edwin. I did catch up, but not enough, and had to settle for 2nd in class, 3rd overall. The bonus was, though, to get the fastest lap of the race overall by a nice margin, and of course – to go home with a car as nice as when I arrived.

Race 2:

The event was the best I’ve ever attended in Scandinavia, even topping Velodromloppet. I’d never imagined an event in Norway of these proportions! Now I’m off to get a NSK membership..