Mantorp Park race track, 2018
A memorable day of speed with friends
Mantorp Park race track is something all old boys and girls knows about who are interested of cars and racing. Our famous Formel 1 race driver Ronnie Peterson raced here in his early career.
At Wikipedia there is more information about Mantorp Park:
I have been watching drag racing a few times, but not car racing since I was very young, 55 years ago. I followed my dad to Skarpnäck to watch car racing. In 1960s it was Swedish Volvo PV and Amazon, there was also English and German cars. My friend Roland told me that their son Niklas and Jürg who is a friend to the family will race at Mantorp Park at the following weekend. Why not, I ask my girlfriend Gunilla if she wants to visit Mantorp Park where the race is, she said yes!
We arrived at Mantorp Park just before 2 pm, at the entrance of Mantorp Park we meet our friend Roland who led us to the pit stop.
Here we found Jürg, he sat there waiting to drive the race car. The group Team1 has five members and of them it's Jürg and Niklas we know. Niklas took the first race 10 am, this is a 24 hours race and each of the drivers drive about two hours each time. Jürg starts his driving about 3 pm.
Jürg is the old gentleman of the team, very experienced, he has raced since he was young. He has a special build Opel Commodore race car with a potent slant six, lot of powers, 350 hp! He had raced in Germany and Finland too apart from Sweden. One lately project is to built a copy of this Opel race car, but this new one shall be street legal.
On the yellow sign to the left you can read:
Drive slow, Playing retirees.
The car leading the competition so far is a BMW station wagon. BMW has always made potent cars. What's special about this competition is when the race is over, all cars has to be scrapped! No one should win because he/she has a lot of money to spend on the race car.
It's not easy to recognize the cars, but this one looks like a Ford.
Jürg and Niklas has tactical talk. What gears should I have in third curve or how to pass the BMW. What do you think? I just guessing.
A Mercedes has come in to the pit stop, even Mercedes has a need of service. What's interesting with this car is that it has a similar chassis as my Crossfire. The Mercedes has a smaller engine but with a compressor. Maybe I shall challenge the others and race with my car?
The start track out from the pit stop.
This car seems to had an accident, the cooler is just hanging in place with belts, but it still runs!
The owners of this car are serious, a wing on the roof.
The tires squeaks and smoke in the curves, we felt the smell, like it :-)
An Alfa Romeo hunt the evil Ford.
Even big cars like the Volvo race here.
This Ford needs some service and drives into the pit stop.
All cars need to be equipped with powerful lighting as this is a 24 hour race and they drive in the dark. This car and many others has these LED lights on the roof and hood.
Here is the race car that belong to Team1, that's the car Jürg and Niklas race with. Very light and maybe 160 horse power, it's a Peugoet.
What surprised me was that it wasn't more cars in the pit stop. They have now raced for more then five hours, doesn't they fall apart?
Here is more information at Wikipedia about Ronnie Peterson who raced here in the 1970s:
When Ronnie Peterson raced here it was in the clas Formula 2 among others. Rickard O. Lindström has more deeply information (only in Swedish):
Team1 no 15 is very successful, they have the second place with only the BMW no 7 before them. Until now after 5 hours of driving they have completed 100 laps, still 19 hours left to race.
Inside the restaurant the prize trophies are waiting for the winners, the top one winner also get 1000 Euro. It's an expensive hobby even if you win the first prize because you have to scrape the car afterwards.
Here is an overview of the track, we are at Depå 1 (pit stop 1), the grey area in the middle.
The race continue lap after lap, the day after we saw that they who had cars that survive had driven about 800 laps.
Safety is very important, they have ambulance and firefighters on place in case of accidents.
In the pit stop all racers have prepared to solve most of the problems that could occur with the car.
Gunilla who has been here in the 1980s didn't remember this building, maybe new. The other building behind in white and yellow was here already then. Up on the roof we had a good overview of the track, and behind the glass windows there is a restaurant where we could eat.
The Alfa Romeo still running.
Team1 advance one position.
All time there are fights against the cars, how to hunt others.
Time closing in for Jürg to start his race. Jürg told me that many years ago in the 1970s he raced against Ronnie Peterson here at Mantorp Park.
Before Jürg enter the car they filled it up with gasoline, the car is behind the fence. But do they use gasoline or ethanol?
Jürg is ready with the important water bottle in his hand. It's very hot inside the car, no A/C of course, no extra weight.
Here the car comes into the pit stop. Now everything goes very fast, Jürg instruct me how I can help him.
In the pit stop the speed limit is walking speed, one man walking beside the car with a hand on it.
Every person in the team stands ready for the driver change.
Suddenly Jürg sit their in the car, what happen with old Jürg and his stick? Jürg transformed to a teenager!
Here he go, out on the track. Earlier Jürg told us, this is life!
Out and hunt the Mercedes and other cars.
The little lightweight Peugeot is a fast car in the curves but lack some powers on the the straight tracks.
The Volvo need some service or driver change and has to go into the pit stop.
See the smoke on the right side? We saw a lot of cars that had problem with overheating of the breaks, mostly on the right side.
Here Jürg come in full speed on the straight track.
The parking place at Mantorp Park is full of vehicles, service cars and even MP vehicles to stay in, remember, this is a 24 hour race.
Now it's almost 4 pm am the sun is on way to set. We felt it started to be a bit cold and that make it easier for the drivers.
In the background, the Paris curve.
Jürg have full control of the car and we could follow him how he advance forward.
New problems for the car with the replaced cooler.
If windy and cold you can sit inside here. But the windows make it impossible to take photographs.
More cars comes in to the pit stop, is it all the hours of driving that cause this?
I'm used to take photographs of slowly classic cars, these high speed running car needs another technique. You need to pan or follow the car and then push the button to get a sharp photo of the car. Not so easy with a telephoto lens.
Gunilla and Roland follow Jürg around the track.
This was the last lap Jürg could complete, he must drive into the pit stop and another driver take over. The water bottle was empty and with no water you get dry and feel bad very quickly inside the hot car. One hour and 45 minutes of driving, according to the plan it should have been 15 minutes more. Next time Jürg is driving is not until 10 pm.
Next driver takes over and here he go. Now we feel that even we need some service, food!
We have 200 km to drive home, we meet our friends at a nearby restaurant before we leave.
This Ford had very strange front wheel angles.
The day after we could read that the Team1 has stopped after about 500 laps, something must had happen to the car during the night. I will come back with information about that.
This was an exiting day for us all.