Mikaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky and Andreas Wernersson have won the first two races of the 2019 TCR Scandinavia Touring Car Championship at Knutstorp, with Åhlin-Kottulinsky setting new records in TCR, while Wernersson leads the championship for his new Brink Motorsport Audi team.

The race day was as dramatic as Friday’s qualifying, with snow starting to fall ahead of the first race, which quickly turned to rain, forcing the field to start the race on wet Yokohama tyres.

Åhlin-Kottulinsky got away well from pole position in her PWR Racing – SEAT Dealer Team CUPRA TCR, while touring car stalwart Mattias Andersson made a terrific start in his Honda Racing Sweden Civic TCR, to launch from seventh to almost second around the first corner.

The Honda driver couldn’t hold the position going around the outside of the first corner, dropping in behind the Audi RS 3 LMS of Tobias Brink, and slotted into third, but then was involved in contact with the second PWR CUPRA of Robert Dahlgren, with Andersson’s Honda turned around into a spin.

Brink was now up to second place, while the safety car was called after the Brovallen Design Audi of Estonian racer Andre Kiil had failed to get away from the start line.

After the restart, Åhlin-Kottulinsky began to pull away from Brink, while Dahlgren was hot on the Audi driver’s tail, making his move up to second at Turn 2 on lap six, and the Skellefteå Kraft-sponsored car was quickly starting to catch his team-mate’s CUPRA.

After a few laps however, the wet tyres were feeling the strain as the rain had ceased soon after the race’s start, and Dahlgren’s tyres started to fade. The 2017 touring car champion fell back into the clutches of Brink’s Audi, and an exciting battle ensued, but Dahlgren was able to hold Brink off at every turn and keep hold of second to secure a 1-2 finish for the Vikmanshyttan-based team.

Åhlin-Kottulinsky won the race by over two seconds ahead of Dahlgren, her second career win and her first from a conventional grid, and at this point stood at the lead of the standings, also a first in TCR competition for a female racer.

The weather again played its part ahead of Race 2, as rain fell in the run-up to the start, only to be replaced by sunshine just as the race began.

11 of the 12 runners opted for wet tyres from the outset, which proved to be the right call at least at that point, with Experion Racing’s Albin Wärnelöv the only one gambling on slicks.

Hannes Morin started from pole position in the Brink Motorsport Audi RS 3 LMS, but the 16-year-old, making only his second competitive TCR start, fell behind team-mate Andreas Wernersson through the first corner, while Robert Dahlgren kept his PWR Racing CUPRA in third ahead of the Audi of Tobias Brink.

Brink fell behind the Volkswagen of Andreas Ahlberg on lap two, and then two laps later he was under attack from Race 1 winner Åhlin-Kottulinsky, which resulted in contact and with the PWR Racing driver spinning off into the gravel trap at the hairpin and out of the race, with the first of two safety cars deployed.

At the restart, Dahlgren, who had already been warned for being overaggressive at the start, pushed his way past Morin’s Audi at Turn 2, which allowed Ahlgren through into third at the same time.

The race was soon suspended behind the safety car for a final time when Danish newcomer Louise Frost beached her Insight Racing Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR in a gravel trap.

When the race resumed, it had been confirmed that Dahlgren would now receive a a ten second penalty and was certain to lose his second position, but the CUPRA driver kept the pressure on Wernersson until the end of the race.

Brink, who was now up to fourth, was then pushed wide by the second Micke Kågered Racing Volkswagen of touring car veteran Tomas Engström on the final lap, which also allowed the Honda of Mattias Andersson through. Andersson had dived into the pits during the first safety car to fit slick tyres to the front of his Civic TCR, and they were now the tyre to have and he was carving his way through the field.

Wernersson went on to win the race, while Dahlgren and Engström’s penalties saw the podium comprised of both Ahlgren’s Volkswagen and Andersson’s Honda.

The result means Wernersson now leads the championship on 36 points, just two points ahead of Ahlberg, while Åhlin-Kottulinsky and Brink are tied for third on 30 points, with Dahlgren two points further behind.

Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky, PWR Racing – SEAT Dealer Team, Race 1 winner, said:

“The start of this season has been fantastic. I could not have dreamed about taking pole position, winning the first race from pole and also having good speed. I also had good speed in Race 2, but unfortunately there was an incident and then I was out of the race, but sometimes that’s what happens – but I’m still super-happy with our performance this weekend.”

Andreas Wernersson, Brink Motorsport, Race 2 winner and points leader, said:

“It feels great to win the race and with a new team. They have high expectations of me, and it’s nice to live up to them in the first race.

“Over the weekend, we’ve had everything from snow, and rain, to sun – every condition. It’s been a very strange weekend. It was only in Free Practice 2 have we ever really run a dry set-up, and after that it’s been rain tyres on drying tracks

“I kept pushing in Race 2, even when I saw Dahlgren overtake Hannes. I’d seen he’d already had a warning, and I thought maybe he’d get a time penalty, but I didn’t know, so I just tried to keep him behind me. I was quick at all the right places at the track – he was close sometimes, but I actually had pretty good control over the situation.

“To be leading the championship is good news. Our aim is for victory in the championship, so it’s good to be there at the start.”

The next round of the TCR Scandinavia Touring Car Championship takes place at the Anderstorp Raceway on June 1st-2nd.

Race 1 result

Pos – Driver – Team – Car – Gap
1 – Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky – PWR Racing – SEAT Dealer Team – CUPRA TCR – 19 laps
2 – Robert Dahlgren – PWR Racing – SEAT Dealer Team – CUPRA TCR – 2.073
3 – Tobias Brink – Brink Motorsport – Audi RS 3 LMS – 2.506
4 – Andreas Ahlberg – Micke Kågered Racing – Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR – 5.767
5 – Andreas Wernersson – Brink Motorsport – Audi RS 3 LMS – 6.005
6 – Tomas Engström – Micke Kågered Racing – Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR – 14.664
7 – Mattias Andersson – Honda Racing Sweden – Honda Civic Type R FK2 TCR – 28.4
8 – Hannes Morin – Brink Motorsport – Audi RS 3 LMS – 29.12
9 – Peter ‘Poker’ Wallenberg – Poker Racing For Charity – CUPRA TCR – 33.413
10 – Louise Frost – Insight Racing – Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR – 33.893
11 – Albin Wärnelöv – Experion Racing – Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR – DNF
12 – Andre Kiil – Brovellen Design – Audi RS 3 LMS – DNF

Race 2 result

Pos – Driver – Team – Car – Gap
1 – Andreas Wernersson – Brink Motorsport – Audi RS 3 LMS – 19 laps
2 – Andreas Ahlberg – Micke Kågered Racing – Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR – 3.369
3 – Mattias Andersson – Honda Racing Sweden – Honda Civic Type R FK2 TCR – 7.382
4 – Tobias Brink – Brink Motorsport – Audi RS 3 LMS – 8.279
5 – Tomas Engström – Micke Kågered Racing – Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR – 8.677
6 – Robert Dahlgren – PWR Racing – SEAT Dealer Team – CUPRA TCR – 10.412
7 – Hannes Morin – Brink Motorsport – Audi RS 3 LMS – 12.529
8 – Peter ‘Poker’ Wallenberg – Poker Racing For Charity – CUPRA TCR – 45.819
9 – Albin Wärnelöv – Experion Racing – Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR – 69.359
10 – Louise Frost – Insight Racing – Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR – DNF
11 – Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky – PWR Racing – SEAT Dealer Team – CUPRA TCR – DNF
12 – Andre Kiil – Brovellen Design – Audi RS 3 LMS – DNF

Drivers’ championship standings

Pos – Driver – Team – Car – Points
1 – Andreas Wernersson – Brink Motorsport – Audi RS 3 LMS – 36
2 – Andreas Ahlberg – Micke Kågered Racing – Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR – 34
3 – Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky – PWR Racing – SEAT Dealer Team – CUPRA TCR – 30
4 – Tobias Brink – Brink Motorsport – Audi RS 3 LMS – 30
5 – Robert Dahlgren – PWR Racing – SEAT Dealer Team – CUPRA TCR – 28
6 – Mattias Andersson – Honda Racing Sweden – Honda Civic Type R FK2 TCR – 21
7 – Tomas Engström – Micke Kågered Racing – Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR – 18
8 – Hannes Morin – Brink Motorsport – Audi RS 3 LMS – 10
9 – Peter ‘Poker’ Wallenberg – Poker Racing For Charity – CUPRA TCR – 6
10 – Albin Wärnelöv – Experion Racing – Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR – 2
11 – Louise Frost – Insight Racing – Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR – 1

Teams’ championship standings

Pos – Team – Points
1 – Brink Motorsport – 66
2 – PWR Racing – SEAT Dealer Team – 58
3 – Micke Kågered Racing – 52
4 – Honda Racing Sweden – 21
5 – Poker Racing For Charity – 6
6 – Experion Racing – 2
7 – Insight Racing – 1

LÄMNA ETT SVAR

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