First podium in STCC – but not the last!

After the huge crash in Gothenburg city race, my team PWR Racing worked very hard to get a completely new car ready for the Falkenberg race weekend. They finished working on Wednesday evening. So we came here with no testing and just hoping that the car will stay in one piece and that we will find some good setup for the new stiff chassis.

On Friday we had some technical issues and the car felt difficult to drive. I managed to get the 10th fastest time in qualifying, a position that I wasn’t very pleased with, but I felt that I was just happy to be in Falkenberg and to have a car to race with. Thanks to the reversed grid I started in pole position for the first race. I learned that it was a historical pole position as I was the first female driver to get a pole position in STCC.

This time I really nailed the start, it was almost perfect. After two laps I looked in the mirrors and I must say that I was surprised how big the gap was, because I couldn’t see anyone behind me. But the lead disappeared when the safety car came out. Again it was Richard Göransson involved in a crash. This time with Fredrik Ekblom. I had a pretty good restart but I lost the grip in a very fast right-handed corner because of the cold tires and the car slid from side to side a couple of times. I drove through the gravel with full throttle as a best choice to survive, and I handled the car like a Finnish driver should do and lost only the lead to Philip Forsman.

I am very happy to finally get a good result. A second place was more than expected baring in mind that we came to Falkenberg with a new car, no testing and no expectations. I am also happy that I managed to defend my position under pressure from Thed Björk, who came in third. The second race of the day ended with a rear tyre puncture just a few laps before the end. It would have been great to take the car to the checkers flag and get some more points, as I was in the seventh place after some tough racing and had started tenth.

But I can’t be disappointed. We proved something this weekend. We have the speed and on a good day we win races. I’m so happy that we got the car to work well for the races and I even drove 0,20 sec faster lap-time in the race 2 than I did in the qualification, with damn old tyres! And I had the 3rd best lap-time in both races. So we really do have the pace!

The coming three races are on tracks, Ring Knutstorp, Solvalla and Mantorp, that should suit us well. Now when we have figured out how the new car and chassis behave, we should be able to find a fast setup. So I can’t wait for the next races.

My first podium in STCC feels great, but I want more.

I want WINS, and I’m sure we will get some!

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