He took it extremely easy the first half of the session. A bit too easy actually, looking like he was breaking in an engine, and wasn’t getting enough heat into the tires under these slippery conditions. This made it harder on himself and didn’t help when he was meant to be going faster and faster. He never really got up to speed, but the second half of the session was better, and he managed to do enough to work the tires satisfactorily, but only just. They should be ready for qualifying. Except they wouldn’t be used until the Super Heat, as the weather suddenly had other plans.
Qualifying | 8min | P6 Group B - P12 Overall (Wet)
Just as the drivers and mechanics gathered outside the technical area for the driver meeting, a misty drizzle started to roll in over the track. This was not according to plan. Mobile phones out and checking the forecast. No rain on any of the weather sites or apps. In to check the rain radar websites. Nothing showing at all on live radar. Yet, there it was. It was more than enough to descend the circuit back into full wet mode, and that is the way it would be for qualifying.
Out on a scrubbed set of rain tires, because there was no time to run in the brand new set. Frantic changing of kart setup to wet, as the timetable was tight, even with Deven being in the 2nd group to go out.
Mechanics hurriedly went about their work just outside the pre-grid as they followed the progress of the first group. Gearing decisions made, it was on with the sprocket and chain, and bolt on the tires.
With a couple of minutes to spare, Deven was down in his seat and ready to go out. Start your engines, here we go. The drizzle was coming down harder now and the track would most likely get a bit slower, so early laps could be crucial. This proved to be the case, with 6 of the top 10 times set on the very first flying lap.
Deven, for his part, went out and put down a P6 time on his first lap, but you could see he was feeling his way around, searching for grip, and didn’t realize the time to push was immediately as the rain increased slightly. When he finally got going, on his 4th flying lap, his first real effort was only good enough for P8.
He was going faster and faster now, but had to make overtakes on all 4 of his remaining laps in the 8 minute session, lap 8 being the most painful. On lap 7 he set a time good enough for P6, and going into his last lap you could see he was going visibly faster. The weather had changed again around lap 5, and there was barely any drizzle left in the air at this point. Through the first half of the lap he was over a half second up on his own best time, but from the mechanics area you could see what was going to happen about 10 seconds in advance. Two slower karts were just two turns ahead, in the slower technical section that completes the lap at Klippan. He caught them going through the 2nd turn of the 3 corner sequence and had to slow down considerably to get by them.
It was very unfortunate, and meant that his lap 7 time would be his best, and it would be P6 in the group. P12 Overall and he would start P8 in each of his two qualifying heats. Overall an ok result where we should be able to fight, but having seen there was so much more in it, it was still hard not to feel disappointment.
Qualifying Heat B+C | 12 Laps | P8 → P8 (Wet)
The first qualifying heat was a full wet race, as the drizzle refused to go away completely, holding the track in a static wet state that wasn’t really getting any worse, but wasn’t getting any better either. The team decided to gear aggressively for this one on the chance it would start to dry up during the race. This didn’t help on the start. It was slow off the line for our man, Deven, who didn’t really miss the start but was trying to find a way to get back to the inside instead of powering his way through on the long radius right handed turn 1. He got hit on his back right tire, pushing him out and making him lose momentum, and then got rammed from behind because of it. All out of place and out of balance and speed, he lost in the end 8 positions back to 16th before he could settle himself out of the first hairpin and back onto the long straight.
He immediately made back a few places at the turn 4 hairpin, netting him P13 after the start mayhem, and now he had to start to chase back up to the top 10. He then started to set about his race and put in the laps, making measured and steady progress back through the field as the race unfolded, executing some nice clean overtakes to work his way back through the field. In the end he crossed the line in P9 having caught P8 but not able to make a move. He would make another place after penalty assessments to P8.
In essence, job done for the first heat, where based on pace, if he had gotten a cleaner start he would have been fighting right at the top 5.
Qualifying Heat A+C | 10 Laps | P8 → P13 (Wet)
Here is where the bad SKCC series luck started to kick in for The Kid. This was a significantly wetter race than the first heat and the setup was changed slightly accordingly. It would also be shortened to 10 laps due to the conditions. Everything looked set and Deven was ready to go. The team had gone through the start with him and he had a plan.
When the lights went out he made a great start, much more aggressive and was able to slot into the inside, avoid a coming together at the entry to the turn 3 hairpin and accelerate down the back straight in P5.
Then he got hit from behind hard by the #69 Danish driver Liam Secall, who effectively used Deven as additional brakes to make the turn 4 corner, which he had approached at much too high a speed to have made the corner himself. He would curiously receive no penalty for ruining Deven's race, even though an identical incident had received a heavy 10 second penalty in the previous heat. What it meant for Deven was disaster.
He was spun around and slid off the track up the hill. Luckily, the engine started again right away, but the rear wheel was spinning. Deven used all of his might to jerk forward to get the kart to go, and miraculously, it worked. He was back on track and moving again.
On the other hand, he was now a half lap behind the trailing karts, let alone the top 10, and had a real mountain to climb to salvage anything from the race. But, he set about it as best he could. If there is anything to know about Deven as a race driver, it is that he is a fighter, and NEVER gives up. The only real positive now though, besides the fact that he was able to get going again, was that he had 9 laps to make whatever amends he could.
He was fast. Setting top 5 lap times lap after lap he was catching the pack at break-neck speed. By lap 6 he had caught up all the way from a 17+ second gap. Making overtake after overtake he made his way through first the back markers and then the midfield. It was inspiring to watch how he never gave up and applied his race craft and speed to make clean and tidy passes without losing too much momentum.
With only two laps to go he had caught up to a group of 5 karts fighting for 10th spot. He was able to make it by the trailing kart in the group on lap 9 and was P15 going into the final lap. He made it to P14 by the time they were coming out of turn 4, but then the kart ahead, the #132 of Kevin Gharib, started defending heavily, changing lines and swerving about the track, blocking in what Deven felt was unfair driving. Gharib was not penalised for the swerving, though, again making Deven really feel hard done by. In the end, The Kid was thwarted until the last corner, where he lined him up and won the drag race to the checkered flag, taking P13 in the end.
It was a great fight back after an unjust and unpunished punting off the track from P5, which based on pace alone again would have seen The Kid up in the top 5 in the results list.
Super Heat B | 12 Laps | P6 → P8 (Dry)
After the heat results were tallied up, Deven would be classified 12th in the 37 kart field, and would start from the outside of the 3rd row of the grid in the second super heat.
The weather had dried up completely during the lunch break, and the races before had dried up the track, so it was slick tires no questions asked for the race that would determine the Final starting grid.
Most of the grid was on unused racing slicks, and it was away they went with lights out. The start was uneventful for a change, Deven making a good start to hold his position around the outside of turn 1 and maintain P6 through the first lap.
But we could see right away that the full dry setup was not quite there on the track, which had extremely low grip. Deven lost out two positions on lap two but then found a rhythm and made his way through the first half of the race in P8, even though he couldn’t quite find the pace to challenge back for his starting position.
On lap 6 he made a slight mistake in turn 7 and then left the door wide open in turn 8 for the #19 of Gustav Christensen to come through at turn 8. A better invitation was never going to be given, and the CRG driver took it without asking twice.
Now in P9, Deven consolidated his position well, but never could find the 2 tenths he needed to fight back, and in the end had to settle for P9. Again penalties ahead promoted him to P8. The final preliminary results dropped Deven back to P14 out of 37, where he would start the Final, and hopefully be able to fight from there.
Final | 16 Laps | P14 → P27 (Dry)
It just wasn’t meant to be in the Final, yet again at an SKCC series event, where Deven can’t seem to buy a break.
The start went well and clean enough, Deven making a competitive start, with the shuffling around seeing Deven up to P11 at one point, and after crossing the start/finish line for the first time in P13, Some fun racing in lap 2 saw Deven gain 2 and lose 2 positions, showing he was in the fight for a top 10 position.
Some momentum was lost in the jostling though, and the #16 of Alve Strömberg took advantage, coming through on Deven in lap 4. Now P14, Deven and Strömberg found themselves just under a second behind the 4 kart group ahead fighting for P9. They worked together and made their way back towards the group ahead, and by lap 7 were only a few tenths behind them. Strömberg had caught the trailing kart and they were having a back and forth battle the first half of lap 8 as Deven caught them from behind. Then on turn 8 disaster struck. The #127 kart of Alex Stasiak and the #111 of Zackarias Ringstrøm were fighting for P7, and came together at the exit of the corner. Ringstrøm got sideways, while Stasiak went off into the grass but escaped and was able to drive off and continue his race.
However, this started a chain reaction. First the #9 of River Nilsson ran right into Ringstrøm and was stationary right in the racing line. The the #35 of Charlie Jonasson tried to avoid it as he was unsighted coming around the corner, but clipped River’s rear left tire and was sent up into the air, landing sideways. Frykberg’s #56 then crashed into Jonasson, and somehow the #313 of Leeroy Malmross was luckily pointed enough in the right direction to scrape through on the left after ramming into the back of Frykberg, and continue.
Strömberg was next into the mess, and he was not so lucky as Frykberg was now blocking the whole left side of the track, and Deven right behind Strömberg had absolutely nowhere to go and no time to slow down, ramming into the back of Strömberg.
It all happened so fast, less than 3 seconds from racing to a 6-7 kart pile up. Deven had received a pushed in front bumper as well as a bent steering rod, and his race was completely ruined. Again. All the karts further behind had enough time to see the crash now and were streaming by as Deven desperately tried to unentangle himself from the mess.
Despite his situation, he wasn’t ready to call it a day just yet. He used his arms to roll his rear tires and backed himself out of the accident, got his motor started, and got himself rolling again. Now, however, he was last with only half the race to go, sitting back in P29 and again more than half a lap behind.
After two more laps of racing, the slow flags came out in a late decision by the race director. The full course yellow lasted three laps. By the final lap of the slow period Deven had caught up to the single file line, and so maybe all was not lost. Just maybe he could make back some positions, even with a front bumper penalty and a bent steering rod?
Well initially it looked like that would be the case. On lap 14 Deven got off to a good start when the green flag came out again, and had made up 4 positions when he made a clean pass on the #8 of Fredd Thordin to take another. Fredd, though, decided he didn’t want that, and drove right into Deven at turn 7. Deven's rear wheel went over Fredd's front wheel, and Deven lost all the places he had gained again. Again, no penalty assessed, and Any comeback hopes dashed. With only one lap to go and bent steering, the kart just wouldn’t do anymore. He crossed the line in 27th with the checkered flag waving, and the day was over.
Another bitter end to a promising weekend, where even though we didn’t have the ultimate pace, battling performances in mixed conditions deserved so much more. Cracking the SKCC code will have to wait until the next round in Jönköping, where we know Deven can be dangerous. In the meantime, next week is coming fast already, and Deven is looking forward to putting his disappointment behind him as he prepares himself for the Gothenburg Grand Prix, one of the biggest races in Sweden, which will also serve as the 4th round of the Swedish Kart League, and 6th round of the IAME Series Sweden.
I can’t believe it, bro! Again, I work my face off in these difficult conditions, get myself in a position to fight and then I am in the wrong place at the wrong time, and get my Final destroyed. Not to mention that guy who just sent me off at the end of the straight, going way to fast into the corner entry in my first heat. And the guy who just decided to drive into me after I cleanly passed him at the end of the final! I feel like every SKCC round this year, something has gone wrong. I just want a clean weekend so I can show my potential!”
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