The car is in one piece, and I got some points

What a dramatic race weekend again. There was a lot going on in both races, but for once I wasn’t fully involved. I did not wreck the car, it is in one peace. I also got some points, for finishing sixth in race one and seventh in race two.  So in overall, the race weekend at Ring Knutstorp was OK.I started fourth in race one but I missed the start, my mistake, and fell down to eight. I had a good pace and the car felt really good. Then it started to happen. Linus Ohlsson tried a “mission impossible” move on Richard Göransson. Suddenly there was cars all over the place. I was hit from behind by Mattias Lindberg, I spun and ended up on the grass. The car was ok, I started the engine again and continued driving, but I dropped to last.

The Safety Car came out and we did quite many laps behind it. I had a good restart and pushed hard to overtake Carl Philip. It’s very difficult to overtake at Ring Knutstorp and he did a good job, but I passed him and finished sixth.

In the race two I was fourth coming in to the first corner. I chased Thed Björk, Fredrik Larsson and Philip Forsman. I dived in on Forsman and tried to overtake him on lap five. The track was very slippery and I had to put my right front wheel on the gravel, I locked it and slid to the side of Forsman’s car. It was not a hard, but enough to push Forsman off track. I was penalized with a drive trough and I think I deserved it. After that I found myself in seventh place back on track, behind Carl Philip.

The reminding laps I tried my best to overtake Carl Philip. I did not succeed, I tried on the inside and outside, but he closed every door effectively. All credit to Carl Philip, he deserved sixth place. I can’t be too disappointed, but without the incidents I could have finished higher, at least in race two. We fought well again and learned some more about the car.

I can’t wait for the Solvalla race, it is a narrow track, so everything is possible again. I will do my best to put up a great show for all the fans, and hopefully get a new podium and THE FIRST WIN!I hope to see many fans at Solvalla,
Stockholm because it’s going to be a
special event!

 

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!

 

Fifth in Super Pole and good pace in the race

It was the crash with the Swedish prince Carl Philip Bernadotte that caused the headlines after the first race in the STCC-series, but for me personally the strong race and qualifying pace was the most important confirmation. We have the speed and pace to fight for podiums and even wins!

Going in to the Friday qualifying session at the Ring Knutstorp track in southern Sweden I didn’t really know what to expect. The 3 day test a few weeks earlier confirmed that I am not far from the pace, but still, testing is testing. Sixth fastest in the first qualifying session and fifth in Super Pole was I guess a big surprise, but not for me. I feel very comfortable in the STCC-car, it is very similar to a formula car.  My driving style suits the 460 hp Saab well.

I haven’t raced for almost four years and never driven an STCC-car in a race, so it was very exciting lining up the car for the first race on Saturday. I need to practice starts, because I missed the start and fell back to ninth in the first corner. But it was the incident on lap nine that caused big headlines in Sweden and Finland.

I followed Thed Björk when he dived on the inside to overtake Carl Philip Bernadotte. I was suddenly hit hard from behind by Richard Göransson. There was nothing to do, I was crushed between the two cars and the race was over.

With only one hour between the races I thought my race weekend was over. But the PWR boys did an amazing job. It was mission impossible but they did it. I am so impressed with the PWR Racing Team. They are so professional! I love them!

I missed the start again in race two. And again I was hit from behind, this time by Carl Philip. We talked about it after the race and he could not shift down, so he missed the braking point. I spun and thought that was it.  The car fired up and I started the chase again. I caught Philip Forsman and Mattias Lindberg, the top two in race one, but overtaking was very difficult. I settled for ninth and some points. Even though the car was difficult to drive, the steering wheel was not in the right place and turning left was almost impossible, I set the sixth fastest lap time in the race.

It was an exciting and dramatic first race weekend in the STCC series. I learned a lot, especially that STCC is a full contact sport, not like driving an open wheel formula car. I also learned that PWR Racing is a fantastic, amazing and professional racing team. We have the pace and we can fight for podiums.

I really look forward to the next race in Gothenburg
6-7 of June. It is a new  track, so that will cause 
some adaptation.

But the STCC-boys need to watch out.

Super Emma is on the loose!

 

Emma Kimiläinen to Scandinavian STCC

Almost four years of waiting is over, Finnish racing driver Emma Kimiläinen returns to international racing. She does it with PWR Racing, a Swedish touring car team. The series is STCC, the Scandinavian Touring Car Championship, one of the toughest touring car series in the world.

– It has been a long wait, but now it’s over and I’m so happy. This is a dream come true. I’m very grateful to PWR Racing that they gave me this opportunity in cooperation with SAAB Cars, also as known as Nevs.

– STCC is a very competitive series. Most of the tracks are familiar to me, but there is also a race in Stockholm Solvalla and one city race in Gothenburg that are new to me. There are a lot of STCC-fans and the races are televised, so it makes the driving even more exciting and fun.

Emma Kimiläinen is the first female racer in the STCC-series in 15 years. No Finn has ever driven the series either.

– I guess the fans love to see this blonde chick race head to head with the guys on track, and that is what I am going to do, she smiles.

Experienced champions Fredrik Ekblom, Thed Björk and Richard Göransson, but also the prince of Sweden Carl Philip Bernadotte, is among the drivers in STCC.

Emma Kimiläinen, 25, is a proud mom to a daughter Fanni.

– I think I am a better driver today because I’ve gained a lot of calmness throughout these years. After the first tests that were held on 22 – 24th of April, I really look forward to race again because everything went great and I proved to myself and everybody else that talent doesn’t disappear. Remember to watch the first race live on SVT Play on 9.-10 of May!