The team made the 3 hour trip south from our headquarters in Trollhättan, Sweden down to The Klippan Karting Ring, in Klippan, Sweden, which would host the 4th Round of the Southern Swedish Karting Championship Cup. After a fine top 10 finish in the first round, the double race weekend in Växjö did not go as planned through no fault of our racing driver, Deven, who put on some powerful performances in the heat races, but was hampered by motor problems and team decisions that let him down on the track. Here in Klippan it was hoped that the team could get it right and allow Deven to achieve to his potential. However, it just wasn’t meant to be this weekend.
Free Practice | 2x 10min | P15 & P25 The weather on Friday Practice had been warm and sunny, with high grip levels, and Deven had shown top 10 pace in the latter stages of the day. Race Day was completely the opposite. Cool and wet, with medium to heavy levels of rain. The two early morning sessions had the team scratching their heads. It was later discovered, later on after the 2 Sprint races, that the team had prepared the front axle in the opposite direction, lowering it instead of raising it, giving the kart less grip in the back and more oversteer. So again, the team was already compromising the performance of the kart nad making life harder for our racing driver. Did nothing for his confidence or his trust in the racing machine.
Qualifying | 10min | P35 This got even worse for him when it came time for qualifying. The team had problems with the qualifying set of wet tires as they were not sitting correctly on the wheel rims. Finally solving the problem just minutes from the session start, refueling the tank was completely missed. Unfortunately there was not enough fuel in the tank for the high levels of g-forces experienced in the turn 3 and 5 hairpins that exited out onto the two back straights that featured on this circuit. The result was engine cut out on the exits of these two critical places on the track. Deven had no chance. He was helpless in the kart as he waited for the engine to come back to him when the fuel settled back into the bottom of the tank. This was a 2.5s second per lap deficit that was unsurmountable. No matter how good he drove, he couldn’t better his first lap’s time because the fuel was getting lower and lower, and the engine cut out was getting worse and worse. He was driving better and better but getting worse and worse times. It ended up 2nd from last in the 36 strong field. The team had let him down crucially twice now on the day. How could he possibly come back from this?
Skövde Motor Club was host to Round 3 of the Kart Cup West Series (KCV), and was a joint event held together with Round 3 of the Central Swedish Kart Racing Series (MKR). The dual series nature of the weekend meant an extra large starting field with 37 karts registered to line up in our mini-man Deven’s class, Formula Mini. It would be an extra tough challenge then, with some excellent drivers we normally don’t have the pleasure of racing with in the MKR series. On top of that a track that despite being less than 900m long, is super quick, has 3 good overtaking spots, and requires a setup usually reserved for longer tracks.
The weather was also questionable. Forecasts showed rain would spit down sporadically during the day, so it was going to be nervy for the race mechanics and engineers all day long. However, this is a drivers track, with many in the field calling it one of their favorites, our driver Deven included. “It is so fast, almost all the corrners are high speed and I love the super quick changes of direction in the inside part, it’s so fun!”
The event would be run under the MKR series rules, meaning Qualifying, two Sprint Heats, a Pre-Final, and finally the Feature Final for all the beans.
Free Practice | FP1 - No classification FP2 - P7 The two practice sessions were day and night contrasts. FP1 was over almost before it began as Deven came in after one lap reporting engine cut out issues on the exits of the final corner as well as in the infield turn 2-6 complex. In between sessions it was hair pulling time as race mechanics went through everything to find the answer to the question. Eternally grateful for the help received from fellow Intrepid Driver Program and LK Racing reammates, Team Alehall Racing, for their help troube shooting and identifying a fuel line placement issue that was able to be corrected successfully in good time for the second practice session.
Finally able to push, albeit on old tires, Deven went out and was able to set the 7th best time in his group, 15th overall, and now it was time for qualifying.
Grabko GP is a grass roots race team whose main focus is on amateur and young driver development, from first forays into karting, through amateur racing series, with the aim of one day culminating in the minor formulas and beyond. The team aims to promote participation in and love for motorsport while enabling the development of elite racing drivers.