Tuesday night is race night in Sweden, and with 5 TBR drivers in attendance, the hopes for a decent result were high…..sadly, things didn’t go quite to plan.
Quali it has to be said, went pretty well with Mikael “Buy my rigs!” Engstrome and Andreas “Sick boy” Olsson in 4th (2:14.847) and 7th (2:14.924) respectively, Rickard “loves everyone” Allardh just outside the top 10 in 12th (2:15.492) and Jocke “Commadore” Jlunggren in 13th (2:15.520) – a spot he was decidedly unhappy with having run 4th in practice just a few minutes preiviously! Jonny “Im still here” Wermelin was hanging on just inside the top 30 in 29th with a 2:16.907. The only man of the 39 car field in the 2:13’s was Andreas Dahlström with a 2:13.993.
Race start, and with 20 laps ahead of them Mikael had to lift slightly through Radillon to avoid a slow-down and lost momentum down the Kemmel straight, the guys following decided 3 wide would be a great idea so Mikael lifted slightly in to Les Combes and let them by. Andreas “No Fear” Olsson may or may not have been one of “those guys” and skipped ahead in to 5th spot. It wasn’t to last though as he got punted in to a spin a few laps later in to the hairpin at La Source, and whilst a close following Mikael was able to lift and avoid the flailing 488, someone behind was not (or didn’t bother trying…) and sent Mikael off track with a bunch of damage. Dropping to 19th and hindered by a lack of top speed, he would steadily climb back up to 17th before deciding to park it 4 laps from the finish. Andreas also decided to quit, claiming ill health….but we all know the truth…the cost of that new 2080ti was probably just making him sick!
Rickards race had gone pretty much to script. Climbing in to the top 10 by lap 6, an incident dropped him back to 17th,so since it had worked so well last week, he went for an early pit stop again. This time it worked equally as well, with Rickard finding himself up in 9th once the pit cycle had completed. An issue for Tomas Andersson gifted the Boss another position for a final place of 8th. Meanwhile, Jocke was having a similarly bad day as Andreas and Mikael. Starting off OK, he was in 12th when on lap 5 he got it all sorts of wrong heading in to Pouhon and had a self-spin of almighty proportions dropping 9 places to 22nd in the process! From here it was a case of damage limitation for Jocke. With a final position of 17th he refused interviews with any of the reporters waiting outside the garage and had just this to say to me this morning… “What reporters Bedford? I just went to bed?? You’re living in a dream world you silly old fart….” #SimRacingIsntRealLife
Continuing the trend of “having an off day” Jonny had got himself a decent start, climbing through the lower end of the field to 24th spot before an incident on lap 8 had him quitting the race.
So the final tally? 2 out of 5 finishers for TBR… not Team Sweden’s best day at the office if I’m honest (although Magnus “Totally calm” Vollström had an awesome day in the commentating booth!) and one which the boys will be sure to want to rectify at the next round at Daytona in a couple of weeks.
Incidentally, the chap who won did so by nearly 10 seconds, having lead from start to finish in a totally un-eventful race – well done Andreas Dahlström – remember the name chaps…. ;o)
Results are here.
SIL Official coverage by MV Commentating Services are here.
The view from Jocke is here.