A Struggling Weekend for Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky in STCC
It wasn't an easy STCC round for PWR Racing's Mikaela Ålin-Kottulinsky, as the Swede struggled in qualifying and could only collect a P8 a P10 in the second round of Scandinavian TCR championship.
The qualifying sessions were dominated by Robert Dahlgren who broke the quali lap record by eight tenths of a second despite a 60 kg of compensation weight on his PWR Racing Cupra Leon. In Q1, Dahlgren was followed by Andreas Ahlberg (Kågered Racing) and Hannes Morin before he left the track with a broken steering arm and caused a red flag. In Q2, Dahlgren was followed by Tobias Brink and Robert Huff.
Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky finished the qualifying sessions in P8 and P5, as the young Swede struggled in the second round of the 2020 STCC season.
"It has been a tough weekend for me here in Skellefteå." - she said. "We are not where we want to be in terms of results, but Robert shows what potential the new CUPRA has and that is positive! We continue to work for Mantorp and make sure to come back stronger with the number 19" - explained Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky.
Race 1 was led by Dahlgren who defended his first position on track. Morin (Brink Motorsport) passed Ahlberg on the start for P2, but Ahlberg lost one more position to Rob Huff (Lestrup Racing Team), just before being overtaken by Brink as well.
Morin then had a hard fight with Huff, who increasingly closed the gap before ultimately passing him on lap 7, while Brink and Morin battled for the rest of the race. Morin and Brink touched in the final turn of lap 10; Ahlberg made advantage of the situation to pass Morin for fourth position and Oliver Söderström followed for P5.
Dahlgren finished the race in first spot ahead of Huff and Brink.
Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky reached the chequered flag in 8th position.
Race 2 wasn't such an easy win for Dahlgren: he started again from pole position, but damaged his front suspension in the opening lap and fought with a severe vibration building up throughout the race.
Albin Wärnelöv had more troubles, as he had to retire before the formation lap because of an engine issue, just as Mattias Andersson suffered a broken right front suspension on his way to the grid before the start.
When the race began, Dahlgren pulled away while Brink was under pressure from Huff, but Brink managed to gain a gap and hunted down Dahlgren. He could close in significantly, but he found no way to pass and finished second behind Dahlgren and ahead of Huff.
After an incident on the opening lap with Söderström, Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky lost positions and had a tough race finishing in 10th place at the chequered flag.
In race 3, reverse grid pole was grabbed by Magnus Gustavsen (Brovallen Design), ahead of Mikael Karlsson and Andreas Ahlberg.
Gustavsen had a bad start as his Audi RS 3 LMS stalled and dropped to the end of the field as all drivers managed to avoid him.
That meant that Karlsson slipped into the lead while Morin and Brink passed Söderström for P2 and P3. Winner of the first two races this weekend, Robert Dahlgren, had no luck as he was forced to retire on the first lap following a contact with Söderstörm as he tried to overtake Huff.
For PWR Racing it was a black race as Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky also retired on the opening lap and Peter Poker Wallenberg was disqualified as he stopped on track to check a technical issue and then rejoined the race.
But there were more accidents on track: Huff made a mistake and hit Ahlberg as he returned on track. Both had to come into the pits and while Huff resumed the race, Ahlberg retired with a rear suspension damage.
In front, Karlsson defended his lead hard against Brink, but the Volkswagen driver managed to save his first win and took the golden place ahead of Brink with a 0,281 second margin and Morin in third place.
"A tough end to an otherwise strong weekend here in Skellefteå." - commented the PWR Rcaing team. "Both Mikaela and Robert's race ended on the first lap. Meanwhile, Poker was on his way to the first points of the season, only to be ruled out by the judges having left his car due to a technical issue on track. Well, sometimes things don’t pan out the way you want them to. But Robert Dahlgren leaves with the championship lead. Let’s have some time to reflect and come back stronger on Mantorp 2-3 of October!"
The third round of the newly re-branded STCC TCR Scandinavia will in fact take place from 2nd to 3rd October at Mantorp Park.