Warm Up Sessions | 10min x2 | P18 & P8
The extreme weather conditions didn’t directly affect Sunday’s running, as the track personnel did an amazing job of draining the flooding overnight and by morning the sun was back up, with a brisk wind to help, and by the time the first warm up session were underway, it was a toss up whether or not to go out on slicks or throw on a set of used rain tires.
As has been the case this year, the team opted for the adventurous route and put on a set of scrubbed slicks. This proved to be a throw away session, as it ended up being rain tires that were the way to go, Deven finishing in the lower half of the midfield being on the wrong tire.
The second session was all about running in the new set of race slicks, and the track was still damp, being about 4 seconds off full dry pace, but now everyone was out on slicks . Deven went about his program efficiently, never really pushing hard, but making sure to get the tires up to good working temperature. P8 was a pinch of salt result, a mixed bag of tire choices and strategies. Now it would be qualifying.
Qualifying | 7min | P11
The qualifying shootout was exactly that, a shootout. With the extreme track evolution during the session, it was always going to be whoever got it right on the final lap. Deven started the session very strongly and was fighting for pole the whole session. 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 2nd - only a thousandth of a second in it right until the end to the final lap, lap 8. As he crossed the line, he could see there were only 30s left of the session on the digital counter above the start finish line, and that this would be the final lap. It might have been better if he hadn’t known. He pushed just a little too much, and tipped the balances into overdriving. Going just a hair too deep into the braking zones and losing a few hundredths here and there throughout that last lap.
Ending up P11, and 3 tenths off of pole position was a disappointing result given the pace we knew he had and that he had shown. But it was still far enough up in the field to be able to fight, as we would soon see.
Qualifying Heat 1 | 8 Laps | P11 → P3 (P9)
Deven immediately put the qualifying behind him and got back into his groove for the first heat. He got an excellent start and powered his way through to P6 through the first turn, when a seemingly innocuous bump on the back of new teammate, Alexander Frykberg, resulted in the front fairing being pushed in. It was a strange one, a seemingly very weak touch causing the front bumper to push in like that. It was an unfortunate occurrence, because Deven was on a tear.
Putting it out of his head, Deven was now in P5 and hunting down the front runners. He had excellent pace and could feel he had the speed to catch them. It was a 5 kart lead pack that was fighting for the heat win. Deven was at the tail of the group, but on lap 4 he was able to make a move at the first hairpin of turn 2 and get past the speedy #199 of Rasmus Ydrefalk, and continue his progress.
With 4 laps to go he was P3. The final hairpin at turn 7 was where he got it done, on the exit where he just got better traction and was able to power his way through as the #99 of track record holder, Eric Bondarov-Naperotti, found himself compromised on the exit, having to turn more as Deven got alongside.
Now it was a 3 lap dog fight for P1. On lap 6 Deven made his bid for P2, beating the Ward Racing ace, River Nilsson, to the apex at turn two under braking, making a clean pass. River tried to hit back again at turn 7, but outbroke himself slightly allowing Deven to execute a smart over-under move to regain the position and as they came across the line for lap 7, it was P2 for The Kid.
River though, was not giving up and he hit back right away at turn 2, got the inside line and beat Deven to the apex in a copy of the move Deven made the previous lap. The pair realized that their fighting was letting the leader, Jack Salomonsson, get away, and they decided to go after him instead.
They caught him on the final lap, and it was a toss up, but in the end going out of the final turn, the drag race ended with Deven in P3, the top 3 all within 2 tenths of each other. Deven had driven the 3rd fastest lap of the race and it was a signal of intent for the day.
Unfortunately, the soft front bumper push in from the start would be a 5s penalty and would drop Deven down 6 places to 9th in the tight field. But the race itself was very satisfying.
Qualifying Heat 2 | 8 Laps | P11 → P12
The 2nd heat was from the other side of the coin. This time the race start didn’t quite go as planned. During the formation lap Deven was jostled from behind and into the kart ahead, and bizarrely his front bumper was forced under the rear of that kart, and start dragging on the ground. This popped a hole in it, and pushing in the bumper almost flat. However, the front fairing was never pushed in as it was properly secured this time, and so while it was a nuisance, it wouldn’t cause any penalties this time around.
In the start chaos, Deven emerged only two places up, in 9th, and would fight from there. However, at the end of lap 2 he got a bit wide on the exit of the final corner during a good battle with Naperotti, and put two wheels in the grass. It was a costly moment. Not only did Naperotti get away but Deven lost momentum down the entire front straight and the long high speed turn 1, and got eaten up by kart after kart, losing 5 positions by the time he got back to the exit of turn 4 on lap 3. He made back one place before the end of the lap, but now was stuck in a tough midfield battle with a bunch of karts on similar pace to the front runners.
In a battling performance, he made it from P15 back up to P10 in the intervening 6 laps before losing 3 places in a hectic final lap where he just lost out, getting in the wrong spot on the track at turn 6 and losing the slight bit of momentum crucial to the final hairpin. He would cross the line P13, but be elevated to P12 as Nilsson ahead would receive a false start penalty.
Pre-Final | 10 Laps | P9 → P4
The heat results would put Deven in P9 for the Pre-Final. This was not a super heat, so the result of this race would alone determine the grid for the Final. It meant that absolutely anything could happen. Now sporting a pure white front bumper after the previous plastic had been completely destroyed in the 2nd heat, Deven was determined to put himself in a good position in the Final.
He got off to a good start as well, pushing himself through on the inside line to P6 through the first two corners, and then taking advantage of a slowing #114, Simon Karassas, and opportunistically gaining an additional position over the Norwegian #18 driver, Patrick Kristiansen. He then got a good run on Ydrefalk and got under him at turn 6 to make it to P3.
He quickly made a bit of a gap behind and the next 3 laps were spent trying to close in on P1 and P2 ahead. However, instead the two galloped away as Deven struggled for ultimate pace, and the pack behind started to close in on him again. By lap 5 they had caught him and an epic battle for P3 ensued between Deven and Ydrefalk.
It was a great racing battle between two drivers who kept it clean, hard, fast, and fair. The next 5 laps were an absorbing battle that the track commentator was fully focused on. Neither driver was giving an inch and in total there were 10 changes of position between the two racers, as Deven had an answer to every overtake that Ydrefalk made. It was epic, and an advertisement for the sport.
On lap 9, though, it was finally Ydrefalk that made the mistake that would decide the battle. He dove in from far behind at the turn 2 hairpin and outbroke himself, which not only allowed Deven back through to P3, but also cost him P4 and P5 as well, as Krstiansen and Stasiak were able to push through on him as well, the pair having caught up to the trio due to the enthralling battle for P3.
Now in third going into the final lap, it was Kristiansen who was the new threat and was right on Deven’s bumper. Deven went defensive into turn 2, but then made the exact same mistake as Ydrefalk had done the lap previous, missing his braking point and going deep in the corner. This unfortunately gifted Kristiansen the position, as Deven desperately tried to fight back before the checkered flag.
He couldn’t quite do it, and would have to settle for P4 in the Pre-Final. It was a good result that cemented his position for the final, but now he would have to start from the outside of the grid as well, even if it was from the 2nd row.
Final | 16 Laps | P4 → P8
The Final of the Gothenburg Grand Prix. Starting P4. Not a bad place to be.
Deven took full advantage of his start position in the beginning of the race. He survived starting on the outside and was able to make it through the first part of the lap having only lost one position back to P5. He tried to stick up the inside of Naperotti at turn 4 but nudged his back bumper instead and lost momentum on the run up to the turn 5 & 6 combination.
This allowed both Ydrefalk and River Nilsson to get through and he was back to P7. Naperotti started to slow, however, and Deven found himself in P6 again. Unfortunately Eric would retire at the end of this lap due to motor issues. IT was unfortunate for the home track star, and Deven knew the pain of that feeling as the same had happened to him at his home race in Uddevalla. Deven though, looked like he was up for the race. He was right on River’s rear bumper going into lap 2 but here you could already see that maybe Deven was pushing a little bit too hard. He was gaining a little bit on entry to the corners, but losing more than he gained on the exits, which pointed to a bit of overdriving. Deven's achilles heel.
He was losing a tenth or two to the top 5 with every lap and the gap he had created to those behind also was shrinking. This only exacerbated the overdriving problem for Deven, who tried to push even more to compensate, when he should have taken a deep breath and re-centered his focus. By lap 7 he had fallen more than a second behind the top 5 ahead and the group of karts behind had caught him as well. New teammate Alexander Frykberg, who had switched over from Ward and was making his debut in AD Motorsport colors, was the first to force his way through.
Two laps later it was the CRG of #19 Gustav Christensen who was knocking on the door, and was able to make the move on Deven at the entrance to turn 4. At this point it stabilized a bit as he put in 3 decent laps to stay close to the pair ahead, but as he started to try and push back up to them his overdriving tendency kicked back in, and he was going too deep into the corners and losing tenths again.
This went on for another 3 laps and with only 2 to go it was Norwegian friend and rival Noah Antonsen in the #533 Parolin who was able to take advantage. He also was able to get Deven at the turn 2 hairpin, and Deven didn’t seem to have an answer in this race, staying close to the rear bumper of Noah, but not able to make a move in the last two laps to get back the position. The race had sadly gotten away from our lad. So it was P9 over the line, elevated to P8 due to a technical infringement penalty ahead discovered during post race scrutineering.
Given the earlier pace shown and the backwards movement in the final, it was a relatively disappointing end to a very strong race day overall.
The overall performances are getting stronger and stronger with every race weekend that goes by, and it feels like a matter of time before there is a breakthrough. While the technical skills, talent, and pure pace aspects are not in question, it is the consistency and inner self confidence that will take our up and coming race driver to the next level.
We march on to the next race in Linköping, Sweden where the final round of the IAME Series Sweden will be decided!
Feel for Deven today. He produced some of the best performances of his season today against a really strong field, and then just didn’t trust himself in the final and was visibly pushing too hard, overdriving. We all know how much he wants it, so it is hard for us to take as well, but hopefully we can learn from these things, recenter ourselves, and go on to the next one. He will be at a brand new track next week, so it is going to be a real test for him to get up to speed with only one testing day, but we like a challenge, so will take it head on.”
Grabko GP would like to extend a special thank you to our sponsors, without whose support and trust, this journey would not be possible.
Brunbergs | Trollhättans Oljor | Chassis Autonomy | The Grabko Group
Until next time, thank you all for the support!
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