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
But the STCC-boys need to watch out.
Super Emma is on the loose!