02 July, 2007

EC Höljes: Eklund black flag in B-final

Friday June 29
I arrive at the Finnskoga racetrack in Höljes. All the drivers are at the scrutenering.

Saturday June 30
First practice.
The drivers start with a dry track. Eklund drove a fast time in the morning. But there were some turbo pressure problem. The team had some work to do.After a while it started to rain very heavy, so the car setup had to change to rain setup.The team changed the suspension and some electrical adjustments.

Second practice.
This practice was very wet. There was a lot of water on the track.Eklund drove about a 9th time overall.
After the practice the team changes the differential. The turbo pressure problem is still there.

Time practice.
The track is drying up and is almost dry. It was Larsson before Hunsbet, Jernberg and Eriksson.Eklund drove a 10th time overall,

Heat 1:
At the start of this heat the track is dry. Eklund had to start with Anne, Walfridsson, Pauwels and Holte, Eklund is on pole. When the red light went off, it was Anne and Holte who took the best start.In the first corner most drivers came together, Eklund at the inside. Walfridsson and Anne came to the inside, but there is no room. Anne and Eklund came together and Anne could not control his car and went of the track making some rolls. He ended on his roof! The red flag was out. At the second start it was Eklund who took the best start and went first into the corner in front of Walfridsson, Pauwels and Holte.In the last lap, Eklund took the joker lap, but was just to slow to stay in front of Walfridsson.It was Walfridsson before Eklund, Pauwels and Holte.After his heat, it started to rain and the next drivers could not set a good time. With this second place Eklund took a third place overall!

1. Radstrom, Hyundai Accent, 2.30.83
2. Walfridsson, Renault Clio, 2.31.61
3. Eklund, Saab 9-3, 2.31.97
4. Pauwels, Ford Focus, 2.32.74
5. Jokinen, Peugeot 207, 2.32.77
6. Nöttveit, Ford Focus, 2.33.08

Sunday, July 1
In the evening it was raining again. The team did a full check of the car and turns back the car for dry weather.
Sunday morning it was still cloudy but the track was dry.Eklund took his car out and did a nice warm-up to check the car. There are still some electronic adjustments needed.

Heat 2:
All drivers are qualifying on the same dry conditions.Eklund had to start with Radstrom and Jokinen. The start is for Radstrom and Eklund. Eklund is early on the brakes to avoid Radstom, he is second in the first corner. Eklund takes the jokerlap and comes out third. In the second lap Jokinen takes the jokerlap and Eklund moves up to second place. He is chasing Radstom, who has to take the jokerlap in the last round. Eklund cannot manage to overtake Radstom and so he is second over the finish.With this result he takes a 9th time overall.

1. Larsson, Skoda Fabia 2.26.30
2. Isachsen, Ford Focus, 2.26.97
3. Jernberg, Ford Focus, 2.27.28
4. Radström, Hyundai Accent, 2.27.70
5. Hansen, Citroen C4, 2.27.80
6. Bermingrud, Citroen Xsara, 2.27.95
9. Eklund, Saab 9-3, 2.28.56

Heat 3
The team is still looking for the right setup by adjusting the electronics.Eklund has to start only with Hansen in the last qualification heat.Hansen has the best start and Eklund is just following Hansen to get a good time.Eklund has a 6th time overall.

1. Larsson, Skoda Fabia 2.23.77
2. Bermingrud, Citroen Xsara, 2.24.92
3. Isachsen, Ford Focus, 2.25.01
4. Hansen, Citroen C4, 2.25.04
5. Holte, Volvo S40, 2.26.14
6. Eklund, Saab 9-3, 2.26.96

With these results, Eklund has a pole position in the B-final, a 6th position.

Eklund is on pole, together with Holte, Walfridsson, Nöttveit, Hunsbet and c-final winner Sachweh.
When the red start light went of, it is Holte and Hunsbet who had the best start followed by Eklund and Nöttveit.Eklund takes the jokerlap and comes out on 4th place. Holte and Hunsbet are fighting for first position. Next lap, Nöttveit takes the jokerlap and Eklund moves up to 3rd position, Holte can overtake Hunsbet when he takes the jokerlap.Holte takes the jokerlap and is still on first position, followed by Eklund, Hunsbet, Nöttveit, Sachweh and Walfridsson.Eklund is pushing very hard to get to Holte. Holte makes some wide turns, so Eklund and Hunsbet are on his tail.In the last corner in the last lap, Holte leaves a small gap,
Eklund pushes his car between it. But Holte is closing the gap.Eklund is holding his position and he lands almost on top of Holte. The two slowing down and Hudsbet is the laughing third and takes the victory.

For this action Eklund gets a black flag and gets the 6th position in this b-final. A disappointing result after a quite good weekend in Höljes.

Eklund and his team have a lot work to do in Arvika, also preparing the second Saab 9-3 for Ola Frøshaug for the next race next weekend in Norway.

Mike Jager

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