Ah… Gatebil Rudskogen. There is no such thing as a different automotive occasion in Scandinavia that may fill my lungs with tire smoke and depart my physique damaged like this one can. That is the place it’s at, however when you missed it, I’m right here to assist.
Now that I can lastly breathe contemporary air once more, it’s time to share my expertise of summer time 2023’s largest Gatebil celebration.
Driving 5 hours from my dwelling in Linköping (roughly two hours from Sweden’s capital, Stockholm) to wherever isn’t that a lot of a thrill, however when it’s a competition with quick automobiles, loopy automobiles and much more automobiles, you may’t assist however really feel excited the entire method. That’s till you you attain your location – on this case Rudskogen Motorsenter in Norway, and the skies open up like a scene from The Day After Tomorrow.
From the circuit’s outdated race management constructing – now its media heart and our humble abode for the three-day occasion – we may see the primary automobiles rolling out onto the monitor. Some wasted completely no time sliding their method into what can be an unimaginable weekend.
Given how moist it was out, I spent chunk of Thursday afternoon watching the Tremendous 3 three-car workforce drift observe and qualifying periods by means of the media heart home windows.
Final yr’s Tremendous 3 winner, Crew Datsun, seemed like that they had every part below management; the moist circumstances actually appeared to favour the lower-powered automobiles. Excessive-powered trios like Crew Toyota, nevertheless, wanted to be a bit lighter on the throttle.
The rain stopped utterly as soon as the qualifying periods got here to an finish, so I took the chance to stroll round and preview what had turned up for the festivities.
Present attendees, drifters and time attackers all had their automobiles wanting high quality, ready to strike come very first thing Friday.
And because the solar set issues obtained quiet, and for a short second I felt at peace. However as I stood there admiring the view earlier than heading again to our makeshift accomodation to catch some shut-eye, a thought hit me like a freight prepare: Sleep? What sleep? The subsequent time I’ll sleep shall be on Sunday evening, after I’m again in Linköping.
Solar’s Out, Weapons Out. It’s Friday!
It’s not like I may have slept in anyway, even when I needed to. The collective sound of a full area of Gatebil Time Assault Xtreme automobiles woke me up like an adrenaline shot. Then, at 8:00am sharp, the monitor went stay for Gatebil Rudskogen 2023.
Among the best issues about Gatebil occasions is you can rock up and participate in no matter you drive. For those who simply need to have time on monitor, the Open Line periods are the proper alternative to take action.
As soon as the Gatebil yellow cabs are out on monitor, you understand issues are about to get loopy.
White smoke shortly engulfed Rudskogen, and mixed with some insane warmth we had ourselves the equal of Burning Man. Minus the sandstorms, in fact.
With so many automobiles on monitor directly, accidents are going to occur. However with rescue and restoration employees round each nook, crashes and breakdowns have been shortly cleaned up so the shenanigans may resume.
A few Tremendous 3 groups used the whole day to observe for the finals, which have been held later within the night. As that they had initially practiced and certified within the moist on Thursday – however Friday was utterly dry and extremely popular with monitor temps within the excessive 40°Cs – a special strategy was wanted. This was very noticeable as soon as the finals began, however extra on that quickly.
Monitor clear up occurred every so often, which offered a possibility to move all the way down to the paddocks. As I made my method over on one event, I snapped this image which hit me greater than I’d prefer to admit. This was precisely me 25+ years in the past after I started to appreciate that automobiles are life. Who is aware of, perhaps the child within the image will turn into a next-generation Speedhunter…
The paddocks have been at all times packed, which is an effective factor. It undoubtedly felt like extra folks attended the occasion this yr than they did in 2022, and whereas I can’t personally touch upon an extended time interval, most Gatebil Rudskogen regulars I spoke to stated it undoubtedly appeared rather a lot busier than years previous.
There is no such thing as a scarcity of the bizarre, wacky and downright insane in terms of Gatebil engine swaps, and I’ll be having a look at a few loopy builds in some upcoming posts. However simply to provide you a sneak peek…
I’m fairly certain this was the largest turbo setup at Gatebil Rudskogen this yr.
A brand new addition to the venue is the AutoTech Sport workshop, the primary and solely considered one of its form in Norway. Right here, you may hire out a spot to service, repair up or modify your automotive utilizing the most recent gear.
Inside, the shiny new ground was already getting conversant in its new occupants, considered one of them a purple Ford GT40 duplicate.
By this time within the day the Tremendous 3 finals have been shut, so I began the lengthy trek to the photographers pit in the course of the T14 flip, nicknamed Storsvingen. This spot put me proper within the thick of the motion.
The group have been hyped for the battles. Some wrestled for leisure whereas others introduced their stuffed animal alongside. The spectators by no means disappoint at Rudskogen, very similar to the Tremendous 3.
The foundations for this competitors are easy: Every workforce of three drift as shut as doable to at least one one other whereas sustaining the very best drift line by means of the judged part. The primary nook is commonly the trickiest and could be the decider for the rest of the run.
Those that get left behind within the first nook keep left behind. Pace is clearly one of many fundamental components of line, and with the monitor being utterly dry the low-powered automobiles didn’t stand an opportunity.
Solely 12 groups out of 24 entered certified for a spot within the Tremendous 3 last, so the drifting was of a excessive commonplace. FD driver Simen Olsen was in Crew Rymax together with his A90 Toyota Supra, and as soon as this trio crossed the end line I assumed for certain they’d take the crown. However that was till I noticed who else was again in motion.
Fredric Aasbø’s Crew Toyota returned sooner and stronger than ever, and as they entered the ultimate part of the nook the group went nuts.
As soon as the mud settled and the smoke cleared, the drivers parked their battle machines in entrance of the group to attend for the Tremendous 3 profitable workforce to be introduced.
Finally, Crew Toyota took again the crown. Crew Rymax positioned second and Crew Fullfinans third.
As I made my method again to the media room to seize some contemporary digicam batteries, within the distance, the trumpets of victory echoed and Gatebil Rudskogen’s Friday afterparty was formally underway.
The stroll to the primary stage is at all times enjoyable. As I used to be carrying a ‘Gatebil Media’ vest, I used to be continually requested to take images. When this occurs you take an image of a bunch whether or not you need to or not.
The Gatebil Zoo is the place the animals effectively and really let free. There was extra folks, extra flying beers and extra enjoyable than final yr’s Friday evening, so it was an effective way to complete up the primary day of Gatebil Rudskogen 2023.
There’s heaps extra to come back, so stick round…