Only a few days after the frustration and disappointment of the last race in Jönköping, it was already time to reload, reset and get into the right headspace for the next one! This is the penultimate round of the Kart Cup West series, and with a 2nd place in the championship going into the second to last round, it was important to bounce back from the previous week’s drop in form.
Hosted by the Gothenburg Karting & Racing Club, Team 13, at their Gothenburg Karting Circuit in Gothenburg, Sweden, on the island of Torslanda, it is a sweeping track with very unique technical challenges. A super fast, slightly off-camber long and sweeping turn 1 leading into the turn two hairpin, and then a tricky and important double apex turns 3 and 4 that lead into a swooping straight and on to a mildly banked turn 6 that is tight at first and then unwinds out to the 2nd hairpin turn 7. Then turns 8 and 9 are another technical double apex combination that lead out onto the long front straight where you are full gas for more than 40% of the lap distance.
A challenging track where the team has not had a lot of opportunity to train previously, so the pre-race testing sessions on Thursday would be vital for learning the fastest way around the 1.1km circuit. Progress was made, but the times the team were putting up were not near enough to the top to give confidence going into race day.
Free Practice | 2x 5min | P8 & P12 Only two 5 minute practice sessions were scheduled for the morning before qualifying, instead of the usual 10 minute sessions, so it was hard to get a gauge on where the times were going to be. The most time was being lost in turns 3 and 4, as well as 8 and 9. The team were unsure how to proceed after these sessions as the pace wasn’t being found and hanging outside of the top 10 was not going to be sufficient to maintain the fight in the championship standings.
The 5th round of the Southern Swedish Kart Championship Cup was the first stop on the calendar after the Summer Break, hosted by Jönköpings Karting Club at the Axamo Ring in Jönköping, Sweden.
The team were looking forward to making as good a start to the second half of the season as they had to the first, when Deven recorded his first ever top 10 finish all the way back in April at the first round of the series in Helsingborg.
However, it just wasn’t meant to be. The weather was hot and sticky, with air temps getting to well over 40°C in the pit area on both the Friday practice as well as race day on Sunday. This meant nearly baking conditions on the tarmac, and grip levels that won’t be seen again this year.
The extreme conditions definitely did not play into the team’s hand, as Deven had a very difficult time getting a handle on the glue-like surface and being able to adjust his driving style to suit.
The Friday practice saw the team frustratingly way off the pace until very late in the day, when a combination of finding a useable chassis and engine setup with Deven able to discover something on track, getting within a few tenths of the midfield pace.
It gave the team some hope that Sunday would be better.
Free Practice | 2 x 10min | P31, P32 The hope was short lived though, as whatever had been found on Friday afternoon had been just as quickly lost again on Sunday morning. We were slow everywhere, in the tight first sector and in the free flowing and motor heavy 2nd and third sectors as well.
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.