Scandinavian club competitors on same starting grid

For racing season 2016 many drivers headed from Finland to drive Porsche Sports Cup Scandinavia club racing series. Traditionally the series has been very popular among club competitors, but this year Scandinavian series could possibly be called truly Scandinavian series.

Porsche Sports Cup Scandinavia race calendar 2016 included 7 races, of which one was raced in Norway, one race in Finland and the rest five of them in different Swedish race tracks, respectively. Calendar seemed very tempting as Mantorp was included, which is familiar with many Finns, and also Gelleråsen. Also frighteningly fast Anderstorp, Norway’s beautiful Rudskogen, and a bit more unfamiliar Kinnekulle was included. From the word ‘go’ it was obvious that we could not participate all of those races during short Scandinavian summer, so choices had to be made.

Norway was interesting as a country of many fjords, beautiful sceneries, and spectacular race track, but was eliminated due to early spring date, and also because of long driving distance from Finland. The Mantorp spring race was ruled out because we were going to go there anyway, for the highlight of the season, the Scandinavian Finals race in September. Kinnekulle was chosen because of good timing; the race was driven during the Swedish national day in the beginning of June. Gelleråsen surely had to be included, just for the sake of its’ reputation. Such F1 greats as Stirling Moss, Jim Clark, Keke Rosberg, and Ronnie Peterson had competed there. Anderstorp was chosen as it is the only Nordic F1 venue, although it was located closer to Copenhagen than Stockholm.

Departure to Kinnekulle race was started from the Helsinki Katajanokka ferry terminal with timetable suitable for holidays. In Sweden Mariestad by the Vänern lake was chosen for accomodation. The town is pleasant and beautiful small town like Porvoo in Finland, in fact a perfect spot for summer vacation. Race at Kinnekulle circuit was started with a wave of the Swedish flag to honour the national day. Drivers considered the track quite demanding because of elevation changes, tight bends, and safety barriers close to track limits. Finnish drivers made it to chequered flag, so goals for the race were achieved.

Gelleråsen and Anderstorp are traditional grand circuits where straight speeds were high. One of the Finns claimed to have seen above 250km/h speeds. Other Finns did not even dare to look at the instruments. At the end of the straights, in bends, expensive Armco barriers surrounded the track. Perhaps because of this many Finns joined “Räckesfond”, which is separate to PCSR. Räckesfond was quickly nicknamed “barrier fund”. The idea behind the fund is a nice one, because possibly damaged barriers are paid for from the fund. Well, this time barriers were not damaged, which is of course purpose at club races, because in principle car should be under control of the driver.

Practical issues from far-away-races arise from unpredictable weather. Accurate weather forecasts are often unavailable when departing for the trip, let alone when making travel bookings. Hence, one needs to pack gear for possibly rainy weather. Further August after summer vacation is the busiest time at work, which creates other issues for planning schedule. Because of tight schedule some of the Finns left their race cars to Sweden to wait for the next race. That made possible to use fast and cheap Norwegian flights. Arrangement seemed to work well, and was not cost prohibitive at all.

The racing season was over in a flash, but in the end feelings were 100% good. Sports Cup Scandinavia series has enough participants to make volumous grid, so each competitor surely finds a bunch of cars who drive at the same speeds, and creates genuine competion. The number of race cars on the grid might for start cause an overwhelming feeling for those not so experienced, but anxiety disappears when one notices also the others drive so that they show they appreciate fellow competitors and their cars. After all, for most drivers the most important thing is participation and having fun, and it is an achievement to make it to the chequered flag.

Racing season involved summer vacation, lovely evenings together, memorable sceneries, new friends, and experience of new race tracks. Yet lots of things to experience for years to come. Race at Rudskogen, organised by Porsche Club Norge Racing, has been praised by many, would be experience some day.

Writers: Risto Ahokas, Olli Halttunen
Photographs: Per Jelensek, Risto Ahokas, Olli Halttunen

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