SUNDAY RACE DAY
Another cold and crispy morning awaited on race day. It was even colder than Friday had been and windy as well, with a hard frosty biting edge that sent cold all the way through. There was barely a cloud in the sky though, and this meant similar conditions to the practice day, which was a good thing from the mechanics perspective. The data collected then should correlate well to the race sessions.
Warm Up Practice | 10min | P14 Group 1
The same pace from Friday couldn’t quite be found however, in the first practice session. The front end seemed twitchy and made it harder for Deven to be smooth on turn in. He managed to put himself in P14 Group 1, and 26th overall, but hopefully the qualifying pace would be better.
Qualifying | 8 min | P14 Group 1
The pace in this session was better. By more than half a second. Unfortunately, this was the case for most of the group. Deven’s 58.296 was only good enough to maintain his P14 result from the earlier practice. He did improve to 20th overall this time, but the qualifying results would be staggered according to the international karting regulations, and so P14 in the group meant a P27 classification. Deven would be starting P18 in the two qualifying heats.
It was visibly evident that Deven was continuing to struggle with the front end as he tried to get the brand new tires to turn on. It was too much front end, causing oversteer on entry that he had to fight with through the apex of the corner, and he couldn’t get back on the gas as early or as smoothly as he wanted to. In the race tent afterwards the caster settings were changed to take out some front end from the kart and this would prove the correct move going forward.
The only real positive to take out of the session was that Deven is known to be more of a racer than a qualifier, so the hope was that he would be able to show his true pace in the races and work himself up during the day.
Heat Race 1 - B+C | 10 laps | P18→P11
Deven did not disappoint. From the outside of row 9 he made a great start, making up 5 positions in the first 4 corners, and another three going into the final twisty technical section of track, putting him in P10 by the time he crossed the start/finish line for the first time.
He pushed to catch the 5 karts fighting for 5th to 9th spot, and was able to catch the rear kart in the group. He couldn’t quite get a move done immediately though on the #10 of Tio Svensen and from behind was a hard charging Carl Nellegård, who was super quick after having crashed out in qualifying and not registering a time. Carl pounced on both Deven and Tio, with the #33 of Ebbe Raasum following through at the same time, and suddenly Deven had lost two spots instead of gaining one. Such was the competitiveness in the Mini 60 category.
Now though, Deven fought back, caught up and passed back Raasum and then got Tio down the front straight on the next lap to get back to 10th spot.
In the last part of the race he had a great battle with the #177 of Dane Silas Egedal, finally losing out the battle with 3 laps to go. He had a comfortable gap behind him after that, however, and P11 at the checkered flag was considered job done by the team. Another performance like that in his second heat race and he would be setting himself up well for the Super Heat to come.
Heat Race 2 - A+C | 10 laps | P18→P11
The second heat was the same result, Deven showing he can really hack it here in this category at international level. This time the start did not go quite as well, Deven right on it, but only able to make up 3 places through the first 4 corners this time around and it stayed that way has he missed the apex out of the final corner and lost some time to the group ahead at the end of the first lap. It meant he would have to race his way forward this time around.
This he was able to do in fine fashion. He spent laps 2 and 3 catching back up to the big group of karts vying for the top ten and on lap 4 he got them and started making moves. Timing perfectly to those fighting hard ahead, he made a triple pass at the sharp left handed turn 5 getting Raasum, the #5 of Viggo Vestergren, and the #69 of Liam Secall down the inside. He had to sacrifice his exit to do it though, and Secall was able to regain his position momentarily at turn 6, but he had to dive in to do it, and Deven got a better exit going into the final sector of track. Patiently waiting on Secall’s bumper through the final sector, a slight mistake by the man ahead gave Deven all the opportunity he needed and he moved to the inside and took the position away again. Now 12th with 6 laps to go, it was time to see what more he could do.
Again it was Tio Svensen ahead and Deven knew he had the measure of him. It took him two laps but he made the move at turn 4 down the inside and was 11th. Now he had a bit over a second gap to make up with 4 laps left to the next karts.
Suddenly the #111 of Zackarias Ringström slowed and it was apparent motor problems were the cause. Deven sailed by on lap 8 and with 2 laps to go he was 10th. Again it was a battle for 10th spot with fellow B Group racer Egedal, who was showing good speed all day. HE had just enough pace to get away from Deven who again took the checkered flag in 11th spot.
Mission accomplished. The two results meant that Deven had earned a P7 starting grid position for the Super Heat B race that would decide the starting grid for the Final.
Super Heat | 10 laps | P7→P7
Deven’s performances earned him a P13 overall classification going into the Super Heat round of racing. He would start on teh 4th row of the grid on the inside, P7 in the second Super Heat, and had a real chance at a great Final position if he could at least hold this position to the checkered flag.
It was an inside spot for the first time today and it meant he could really push if the pole sitter nailed the start. This is exactly what happened. The outside front row kart, the #4 of speedy Ludwig Granquist, missed the start completely, and the inside line of kart whizzed on by. Deven was right on the back of the #2 Benjamin Poulsen and was P4 through the opening corners. Unfortunately, our driver missed the apexes at turns 4 and 5, and wasn’t able to keep on the bumpers of the front 3 because of this, and got caught up in first lap mayhem as a result.
Granquist had recovered and made a late lunge down the inside of turn 5, making it stick as they entered the last sector of track. This lost Deven momentum and the #199 of Rasmus Ydrefalk got him on the final corner out onto the front straight. He finished lap 1 in 6th spot. He would have all to do to maintain this to the end if he wanted that 6th spot!
At the end of lap 2, the #35 of Charlie Jonasson made a run at him at the entry to the final corner, and managed to get a nose in front momentarily, but Deven smartly got the over/under on him, getting the better exit and retaking the position on exit and onto the start/finish straight.
On lap 4 an out of position lightning quick Dane, Matteis Stigsen in the #65 machine put heavy pressure on Deven, who succumbed a bit too easily down the front straight, but thought the better of fighting him and tried to follow instead.
Deven started running tighter lines, not using all of the track, possibly to try and defend his position, but it was too early for this. He lost touch with Stigsen and Jonasson came back to challenge again for 7th. This became a battle royale as they were all alone with not much pressure from behind and as they battled the kart ahead pulled away as well.
In a seesaw battle that saw them switch positions 4 times in the next two laps, it was Deven who finally came out ahead and built a few tenths of a second gap to be more comfortable and drive proper racing lines again, putting in his personal best lap times of the race in this final stint of the race. He cleared a final hurdle of lapped traffic cleanly on the penultimate lap and crossed the line in a hard fought P7.
The result meant he would maintain his overall P13 classification after all the preliminary racing and would start on the inside of row 7 for the Feature Final race.
Final | 13 laps | P13(27)→P16
They say that anything can happen in the Feature Final, and almost everything that could happen did in this one. It was a miscalculation that cost Deven a top 10 finish and it happened right at the start.
Slow getting out of the pre-grid on the formation lap, Deven found himself almost at the back and as he picked his way through the field to retake his starting position, he made a fateful mistake, marking out the wrong kart to get behind. He mixed up the #117 of Svanholm with the #177 Egedal who he should have been behind. He started the race in P27 instead of P13, and he was completely unaware of this until after the race. It was a cruel circumstance as would be shown, he would have been in a position for a landmark result given his performance in the final
From his incorrect grid position at the rolling start he navigated his way through 7 positions as there was a coming together in the turn 2 and 3 chicane that he was lucky to avoid and push through and already make up 7 spots directly. The rest of the 1st lap was trying to get up to the next group and find a way past those he had already proven he was faster than. He made one more pass going through the final corner and crossed the 19th, but then lost the position back into turn one as he had compromised his exit a bit on the final corner, and was fighting out a drag race off the racing line through the straight.
So into the first corners of lap 2 he was 20th. This is how that lap would end as he recovered lost momentum and chased the group back down again. Right when he was up to them, he got a fortunate break, as on lap 3 the #313 of Leeroy Malmross made slight contact with Svanholm ahead in the final sector and he spun out, giving Deven the position and a good run on Svanholm whose kart was unsettled from the incident. Deven took full advantage and was through up to 18th going down the start/finish straight to start lap 4.
Chasing down the #10 of Tio Svensen again, this time he couldn’t make a move stick and at the end of lap 5 he got punished for it getting passed up by the #56 Ward Racing machine of Alexander Frykberg and Svanholm to be back to P20. He was able to take back a spot in the first sector right away from Svanholm, and then late in the lap followed Frykberg through to pass Svensen.
Meanwhile at the front, the #81 Carl Nellegård made an ill judged and extremely dangerous lunge at AD Motorsport teammate #3 Jonathan Landström from several kart lengths back. It was only ever going to end in serious contact, and that is exactly what happened. He went up over the rear of Landström, tearing off his chain guard, and crashing himself out in the process, not only ending his race, but Jonathan’s as well, who would be forced to retire do to a technical flag for his missing rear chain guard. Nellegård would quite rightly be disqualified from the final completely for unfair and dangerous driving, but that was no consolation for Landström, who would have been fighting for the outright win had Carl kept his head screwed on properly.
The mayhem at the front meant that Deven crossed the line after lap 6 in 17th position. On lap 7, Viggo Vestergren caught and passed Deven, but this was the same lap that Landström retired due to the technical flag, so he maintained 17th with 5 laps of the final to go.
The rest of the race was not quite as eventful. Not troubled from behind, Deven made too many mistakes and didn’t use the whole track on corner entry and so couldn’t really hang with Vestergren either. He crossed the line in P17 but was promoted to P16 after penalties.
On pace he could have theoretically finished around P8 had he started in his correct grid spot, but we will never know. As it was it was another highly competitive result for the fledgling race driver, who continues to hone his skills at this higher level.
A super positive weekend in which Deven showed he is capable of being up amongst the front runners, and despite the rookie mistake at the rolling start in the Feature Final race, a very satisfying weekend that bodes well for the rest of the season.
The result sees Deven 5th in the Swedish Kart League Mini60 Driver’s Championship, 15th in the Southern Sweden Kart Champion Cup Mini60 Driver’s Championship and actually leading the unofficial standings after two rounds of the IAME Series Sweden Mini60 Driver's Championship! (Unofficial standings include all engine manufacturers, as Grabko GP and AD Motorsport are not running IAME engines in the Mini60 category).
I am so disappointed right now, I thought I had done a great final, and then I came into the weigh station and my mechanic tells me I started in 27th instead of 13th!! It makes me so angry to think about, I thought I was well within the top ten! I made a great start and did a decent race - and those karts looked exactly the same, and the numbers were so similar. I messed up that one - but just want to say thank you so much to AD Motorsport and Energy Corse Racing Karts for the awesome racing machine, and Fasberg for the engine. Everything was good today.”
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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