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Norway’s Pleasure Of Machine: Gatebil Rudskogen Half 1

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Taking It Simple On Thursday? No Method!

There’s one occasion in Norway that I’ve all the time needed to go to: Gatebil Rudskogen.

Yearly, automotive fans arrive on the Motorsports Heart in Rakkestad, AKA Rudskogen, and annually the occasion will get larger and higher. After making our way from Sweden, I thought I used to be going to have a quiet Thursday night, strolling across the paddock and scouting the realm out for the times to come back. Oh how unsuitable I used to be…

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Nearly as quickly as we arrived at Rudskogen, my buddies and I headed out onto the observe to catch Thursday’s observe classes forward of the occasion’s correct begin at 8:00am Friday morning.

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Longtime Speedhunters pal Fredric Aasbø was again in Group Toyota and able to tear it up alongside his Formulation Drift colleague Ola Jæger and Tor-Anders Ringnes within the Tremendous 3 (three-car workforce drift) competitors. Simen Olsen, one other FD driver, was additionally current with Group Rymax.

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It was good to see loads of Swedish drivers and automobiles within the ranks too.

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Probably the greatest issues about Scandinavia’s drift scene is the range of automobiles. At this occasion, there was all the pieces from the in style Japanese platforms to an American rat rod.

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Earlier than lengthy, the drivers obtained the decision to go again to the pits for automobile security inspections. As soon as these had been accomplished, Tremendous 3 qualifying runs might start.

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Within the pit lane, drivers and crew members had been in excessive spirits. For a lot of, this was their first occasion in two years and the thrill was actual. It was clearly going to take some time to get by means of all of the automobiles, so I went and took a fast peek on the paddock and one of many campsites.

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I bumped into the Gatebil media workforce and the blokes over at Robyworks as they had been establishing their BMW digital camera chase automotive. They drove all the best way from Latvia in a Fiat Multipla, so kudos to them for that alone. The Fiat has a livery with unicorns, so there’s some bonus factors too.

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The campsite, which was far larger right here at Rudskogen than the one at Gatebil Mantorp last month, had began to refill properly, and the principle stage for the afterparty was coming collectively. I needed to discover extra, however at this level I spotted I’d want to come back again later, as I solely had a few minutes to get again as much as the observe and get into place for Tremendous 3 qualifying.

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What precisely is Tremendous 3? As I discussed, it’s a three-car workforce drift. Merely talking, all three drivers attempt to keep as shut to at least one one other as potential, whereas sustaining excessive velocity and angle through the corners to the ultimate exit.

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Since this was the primary run, errors had been to be anticipated. Group Toyota’s Tor-Anders Ringnes learnt that the arduous means, spinning his A90 Supra into the gravel. The Toyota suffered some slight injury that wanted to be repaired within the pits, however quickly sufficient Tor-Anders was again out on observe.

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This time, Group Toyota drifted superbly and secured their place in Friday’s competitors.

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Regardless of it solely being Thursday, the grandstand seats had been largely stuffed. The group went nuts when a near-perfect run was accomplished.

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It was enjoyable studying the place to face at Rudskogen, however trying again, the observe shouldn’t be that totally different from Mantorp Park. The one distinction is, Mantorp is quicker with longer corners. The structure may be very comparable, and even the principle nook known as Pariskurvan, similar to at Mantorp Park.

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Ultimately, I couldn’t have requested for a greater begin to the weekend. After the drift session, it was time to hit the hay. I knew that for the subsequent couple of days, sleep could be an absolute luxurious.

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Enjoyable Friday

My Thursday night time sleep was a luxurious too, as a result of at 8:00am sharp the subsequent morning, the racing began.

Every part appears to be a lot louder whenever you’re half asleep, at the very least it was in my case. I’d beforehand by no means had a possibility to sleep close to a observe, however doing so within the media middle was wonderful. Brushing your tooth in your underwear, when you look down on the time assault session beneath appears like the right begin to a race weekend, don’t you assume?

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These grips classes had all the pieces from basic Audi Quattros constructed for the observe to modern-day Porsches, the latter making up the vast majority of the sphere.

It didn‘t go too nicely for some drivers. Gatebil Xtreme favourite Kai Roger Bakken‘s Lotus Esprit broke down quarter-hour into observe, and Vidar Tømmerås Audi TT spun out when the precise rear wheel got here flying off. A tough begin of the morning, however nothing that couldn’t be mounted – it was solely Friday in any case.

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It‘s not solely wild time assault automobiles that race right here although; something goes within the Straight Line (no drift) session. Seeing a Peugeot 206 sustain with a 2JZ-swapped Mazda RX-7 isn’t one thing you witness on a regular basis.

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Rudskogen may be very photographer-friendly, the elevation of the observe making for some fascinating angles. But it surely’s additionally arduous to succeed in among the extra distinctive spots. At occasions it was nearly unattainable as a result of razor-sharp rocks and tall grass, however with some persistence I finally made it to the again straight.

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The T3 nook is the observe’s quickest and the place automobiles push for optimum velocity and angle, completely demonstrated right here by Simen Olsen and Joachim Haugenes. It‘s additionally a nook the place nearly nobody treks out to, most likely due to the effort wanted to get right here.

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My mountain climbing efforts had been lower quick although. The observe grew to become quiet, and with no automobiles passing for a very good 10 minutes I questioned what had gone unsuitable.

Because it turned out, one of many rivals had accomplished an total lap with an unknown fluid leaking from beneath their automotive. It even obtained messy within the pit entrance and all the best way to the paddock. Because the observe crew would spend a while mopping up the mess with sand, the session was stopped, so I made a decision to hike again to the pits for a go searching.

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Earlier I spoke about Robyworks and the automotive they had been establishing. Many movie crews select an SUV with loads of house for the digital camera operators to work, however Robyworks have gone with a BMW M4. There’s three occupants – a driver, an arm operator, and a digital camera operator. The M4 looks as if the right automotive for a observe as quick as Rudskogen.

Robyworks have produced a few of Gatebil‘s most memorable films from previous occasions, so I extremely advocate you test a few of them out.

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I misplaced all sense of time whereas working across the pits, and didn’t discover that the racing had resumed. Because it was nonetheless early on Friday, it made sense for me to proceed testing the paddocks and see what I missed on Thursday.

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I can‘t stress sufficient how essential the liberty of working across the paddocks is for the general public. For any newcomer to motorsport, that is the right alternative to look at how all the pieces works behind the scenes. One of the best half about all of it is seeing youngsters taking an curiosity in automobiles. I used to be that child as soon as, and I do know full nicely that if I had the identical entry as kids have right here at Gatebil, my information of automobiles and engines could be on one other degree as we speak.

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I all the time see these tattoo retailers at Gatebil occasions, however hardly ever with something taking place. Granted, it was nonetheless early within the day, so I’ll come again to this in a while.

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As I walked across the paddock, admiring the builds I had by no means seen earlier than, one thing reasonably spectacular caught my eye.

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Laying in bits and items was Kai Roger Bakken’s Lotus creation. This was the aftermath of the fluid leak that had stopped the observe motion earlier on. Given what number of items the automotive was in, and the actual fact the Audi 4.2L twin turbo V8 able to 680hp and 800Nm was totally on present, I guessed there was a significant difficulty.

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Once I spoke to Kai after the occasion, he advised me an engine block fault led to an enormous oil leak, and that the downside wanted to be resolved earlier than Saturday. It was the primary time that they had run the automotive with the brand new engine, and to have the ability to proceed they wanted to revamp the breather field underneath the consumption.

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Whereas Kai and his workforce had been making an attempt to kind out that difficulty, I discovered one other driver altering the gearbox of their E46.

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The primary paddock is large, and for Gatebil there’s even one other one in use on the opposite facet of the observe. I spent hours photographing right here, and I’ve nonetheless obtained that to share with you. However now it was time to go again to the observe, as a result of the Tremendous 3 finals had been about to start.

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Out of 27 groups, 12 groups battled it out throughout Friday night. This sub-event shortly grew to become my favourite factor to {photograph}, so it’s a disgrace it solely lasted two days.

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Seeing the automobiles go door-to-door and the gang going loopy when the automobiles practically touched was one thing. The roar from the spectators was typically louder than the automobiles, which was a spectacle in itself.

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Enjoying tag along with your workforce mate isn’t all the time the perfect concept, but it surely’s all enjoyable and video games and the Gatebil crowd certain appreciates it.

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To my shock, there was no sight of Fredric Aasbø’s Group Toyota, which meant the Tremendous 3 title was nicely and really up for the taking.

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The victorious three: Group Datsun took dwelling the principle prize, exhibiting everybody the way it’s accomplished with good synchronization and elegance. Second place went to Group Europa with 17-year-old Nikolass ‘Nik Nak’ Berans. And eventually, third place went to final 12 months’s champions, Group Fullfinans.

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In true Gatebil style, when the final occasion is completed the social gathering begins.

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You must know by now that when night time falls at Gatebil, the animals come out to play. Seeing this sight makes me wish to take part myself subsequent 12 months. I imply, I type of did this 12 months, digital camera in hand, however in my very own little space in entrance and on the facet of the stage reserved for media and safety.

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The highest three groups from the Tremendous 3 had been offered their trophies and cheered on by the gang. That is some subsequent degree stuff; it’s like that they had simply gained an F1 race, which was superior.

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Pyrotechnics, dwell DJs, flying beer, hip hop in a language I can barely perceive – it was all well worth the sore muscular tissues and confused thoughts I’d expertise in a while.

Saturday morning rolled round very quick, and earlier than lengthy there was solely 4 hours until I wanted to be up once more. Keep tuned for half two…

Alen Haseta
Instagram: hazetaa



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