Qualifying | 8min | P4
Qualifying has proven itself a bit of a bogey for our driver this season, and this session was no exception. Pace peaks too early, and the pressure of setting a lap doesn’t sit well with the kid. He’ll definitely have to develop this part of his skill set as the season progresses in order to give himself the maximum possible opportunities during the race day. As it was, he set his best lap on his 5th attempt, which at the time was good enough for 3rd spot. After hitting traffic the next two laps, he had one last chance to improve his time, but couldn’t do it, his rivals for pole able to make their fastest laps in the best possible track conditions at the end of the session. However, we all know Deven’s biggest strength is his race pace, so P4 would be something the team could work with going forward through the heats.
Heat Race 1 | 10 laps | P4→P3
Deven delivered out of the box. Despite having to start on the outside, which is particularly tricky here in Uddevalla, Deven went into the first hairpin at turn two in 5th spot, and when the #56 of Frykberg went wide at turn 4, he was up to 4th. Crossing the line after lap 1 in 4th, Deven began to hunt down the current P3 of #13, Abelmann, with whom he had already had some good racing with back at the first race of the season at Klippan Cup.
After a lap of analyzing, he pounced on lap 3, getting a run on him out of the final corner onto the front straight, and was bumper to bumper into the fast turn one. He made the move down to the inside of turn 2 and made the move stick on the exit and into turn 3.
From there it was a matter of hunting down the #35 of Charlie Jonasson who was running P2, and his pace was good, he was catching the driver ahead. Unfortunately, just as he was closing within a half second of the man ahead, he ran into lapped traffic at the exact wring possible moment, having to let off massively down the two part back straight as the lapped kart didn’t get out of the way.
This invited Abelmann back to within a tenth or two, and ruined any chance Deven had of catching Jonasson ahead. He was able to gap Abelmann again, but had to settle for P3 at the checkered flag. It was a great response to the qualifying result.
Heat Race 2 | 10 laps | P4→P3
In the next and final heat in the Kart Cup West format, Deven matched his result. This time he got an even better start, managing to maintain 4th through the first 3 corners and then a spin by Jonasson going into the turn 4 and 5 “S” section gave Deven 3rd. Unfortunately his evasive manoeuvring gave both Frykberg and Eklund ahead a gap that he wasn’t quite able to manage, the two ahead working together to pull a gap with Deven all alone in 3rd with no support to work his way toward the two leaders.
It was a lonely race for the lad, who lost a bit of focus during the middle stint due to being all alone, but another P3 in the books, and it meant an inside grid position for the final, where these two results would guarantee a 3rd place start in the only race that mattered, the Final.
Final | 14 laps | P3→P9
Besides qualifying, the Final race had also been a struggle. Having moved forward all day again, could it finally be time for Deven to make his mark on a Feature Final Race?
It looked very well like it could be his turn at the start. After the pole sitter, the #94 of Eklund, failed to make a fair start twice in a row, causing 3 formation laps to be performed before getting an acceptable start, Deven managed to keep himself close and was on the ball to follow through and take 2 place for his own through turn 2 and 3, and getting up on Eklund ahead.
But it wasn’t meant to be yet again for the determined young pilot. As he pulled out of turn 5 in 2nd place, he felt no power from the engine. Charlie Jonasson easily cruised by before the turn 6 kink in the back straight, and it was all a downhill nightmare from there. Even bore the end of the first lap Deven was desperately defending as a train of karts lined up behind him in his crippled race machine.
Racing hard, hoping against hope that the engine would come back to life, any lesser driver would have simply pulled into the pit and aborted the race completely. Not our man. He drove bravely on, fighting tooth and nail for every single position and didn’t make it easy for anyone to take him.
After lap 2 he was 7th as a group of karts all took him on the back straight at the same time. From there he drifted back and back into the clutches of the latter half of the top ten. For 2 more laps he fought for 8th spot until losing the position on lap 5. Then he had a huge battle for 9th for 6 laps, an incredible back and forth race where he unbelievably hung in there until finally succumbing to the faster kart behind on lap 11.
From there he managed to take the checkered flag, still pushing hard, crossing the line in P10 and being promoted to P9 after a front fairing penalty ahead.
After the race, back at the tent, it was discovered what had been the culprit. A leaking head gasket that burned itself out had meant loss of compression and as a result, any meaningful power.
In a crucial twist of fate earlier in the day, it was a technical inspection that may have cost the team in the Final. The top three finishers in the second heat were required to remove the cylinder head from the engine for scrutineering. This was of course no problem for the team but on reinstalling the engine, the copper head gasket that seals the top of the cylinder to the piston block maybe have picked up a foreign object or been ever so slightly misaligned, because the result was what happened in the Final.
It was a cruel twist of fate that robbed our up and coming race driver of his 2nd podium in 5 races, and an extremely tough result to take for both team and driver. Showing top speed again on practice day, and setting himself up very well for the Final, and on his home track as well, it would have been a special result for Deven, who was crushed at the turn of events that unfolded before him, and was inconsolable in the aftermath. His race helmet didn’t com off for 45 minutes.
Kind of speechless right now. The scene was set for us, and to have this fluke technical failure at exactly the wrong moment, you just are gutted for the Kid. He did very well all weekend. Of course we have things to work on but that result he deserved would have been such a good confidence booster for the next middle phase of the season. There is nothing you can do but push on. This happens to everyone at some point, but between this and last week where we got lost on the formation lap in the final, and Malmö where we sent him out with the wrong setup, we’ve had more than our fair share of bad luck, and just hope it can come good for him before the summer break, so we can go into the Swedish National Championships with some momentum.”