Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky has claimed her first pole position in touring cars, and a record first in Swedish racing in a dramatic session at Ring Knutstorp, which saw her pip the Volkswagen of Andreas Ahlberg in the final moments in her CUPRA TCR.
The first qualifying session started in the dry, and it was a PWR Racing – SEAT Dealer Team 1-2 to start, with Robert Dahlgren leading the way ahead of Åhlin-Kottulinsky in second, with the two drivers safely through into Qualifying 2.
All three of the Brink Motorsport Audis also made it into the second segment, but before the second session started there was a sudden and unexpected hail shower, which rendered the track extremely slippery.
The eight cars which made the Q2 cut-off ventured out, but times were now nearly ten seconds from the ultimate pace, with no new lap records going to be set today.
The field tried a variety of tyre combinations, with some trying full slicks, others slicks on the front and wet rears, but it was Åhlin-Kottulinsky’s four wet tyre set-up which proved to be the right call.
Andreas Ahlberg, who had topped the first practice session in the morning, which had been held during light snow, that seemed to have the best pace in these conditions. The Micke Kågered Racing driver led the way through much of the session and seemed to have the pole position all sewn up.
It was Åhlin-Kottulinsky though, who was sixth at the time and set to repeat her reversed grid pole position feat from Karlskoga last year, who produced a final shock to go fastest of all in her CUPRA TCR, outpacing Ahlberg by just over a tenth of a second to score her first career pole position in Scandinavian touring cars.
Ahlberg would qualify second, while Tobias Brink was third in his Audi RS 3 LMS.
Robert Dahlgren was fourth fastest in his PWR Racing CUPRA, while the Brink Motorsport Audis of Andreas Wernersson and Hannes Morin qualified fifth and sixth, and therefore have secured an all-Audi front row for Race 2.
Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky , PWR Racing – SEAT Dealer Team – Pole position:
“That was a crazy qualifying. It was quite tricky. We tried with slicks on the front and rain tyres on the rear, but I just had no grip on the front. When I came in, they asked what I wanted and I said rains on the front. It was still quite slippery.
“It was really all down to the the last lap – the team told me to push a little on my out lap, but I also made a mistake on my lap, so I told them when I crossed the finish line ‘oh, it was not good, I made a mistake’ and they came back to me and told me I was P1!”
“It’s a good feeling, I’m super-happy for myself and the team.”
Pos – Driver – Team – Car – Time
1 – Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky – PWR Racing – SEAT Dealer Team – Cupra TCR – 1:09.294
2 – Andreas Ahlberg – Micke Kågered Racing – Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR – 0.120
3 – Tobias Brink – Brink Motorsport – Audi RS 3 LMS – 0.286
4 – Robert Dahlgren – PWR Racing – SEAT Dealer Team – Cupra TCR – 0.416
5 – Andreas Werrnersson – Brink Motorsport – Audi RS 3 LMS – 0.599
6 – Hannes Morin – Brink Motorsport – Audi RS 3 LMS – 1.755
7 – Mattias Andersson – Honda Racing Sweden – Honda Civic Type R FK2 TCR – 4.390
8 – Albin Wärnelöv – Experion Racing – Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR
9 – Andre Kiil – Brovellen Design – Audi RS 3 LMS
10 – Tomas Engström – Micke Kågered Racing – Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR
11 – Louise Frost – Insight Racing – Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR
12 – Peter ‘Poker’ Wallenberg – Poker Racing For Charity – Cupra TCR
Race 1 – 13:10 CEST
Race 2 – 15:25 CEST
Both races will be live streamed on SBF Play at https://sbfplay.solidtango.com/live/scandinavian-racing-league and also at http://www.tcr-series.tv