Daniel Svensson, a.k.a. Lilleman, represented Grabko Grand Prix at the 2017 Hesus Autosport Spring Invitational, hosted by Gokartcentralen.
The non-championship competition was organised as a testing bed for the newly delivered high output electric motors that had been long awaited by the beleaguered facility, after being forced to cancel the 2017 Open GP Electric Karting Championship due to severe overheating issues with newly updated motors. Now, after 7 months of hard work, frustration and struggle, the new power unit packages have been installed and were ready for their first real test. Grabko Grand Prix was of course on hand and eager to put the new package through its paces.
The event itself was a GP format, with two 8 minute qualifying sessions, followed by qualifying heats for a place in the Final race. Hesus Autosport had gathered together 24 entries for the special one off competition, and it was an exciting spectacle with tight racing and very quick times!
The qualifying was a competitive affair, with times quickly diving into the 34s range during the final session after Grabko Grand Prix's Daniel Svensson topped the first session times with a 35.009s lap. The very quick Pontus Carlbom ended up beating Svensson to pole position by just over a tenth of a second, putting in an impressive 34.615s lap and forcing Daniel to settle for 2nd position on the grid for the final. The second row was filled out by familiar faces as well, with Jack the only other driver to manage a sub 35s time on 34.994s while 4th place on the grid was Koskinen on 35.121s. Mattias Horrdin and Adriano Voric made up the 3rd row, only separated by 0.001s, on 35.184s and 35.185s, respectively. The final two spots in the final went to Edo and the host of the event, Jonas Svanberg of Hesus Autosport, who scraped into the final with a fine 35.289s display.
Despite bogging down at the start, Daniel was able to maintain his position through the initial tight sector 1 and then set about hunting down the pole sitter, Pontus Carlbom. The Grabko Grand Prix driver showed himself more than up to the task, and made his attack on lap two into the heavy braking zone of the final sector 3 "S" turn, and accelerated away past the start/finish line.
From then on it was smooth sailing for Svensson, who managed his lead the rest of the way. As a bonus, Daniel was able to set the track record on the final lap of the race, clocking a 34.456s lap as he took the checkered flag, narrowly beating fellow Grabko Grand Prix driver Erkin Bour's previous record by only 0.021s.
Koskinen, having qualified 4th, showed his quality with excellent race pace. He took Jack at the start to move up to 3rd, and successfully passed Carlbom on lap 6 to take 2nd place, forcing Pontus to settle for the bottom step of the podium after having started from pole. Edo was the other big mover, moving up to 4th from his 7th place starting position, as both Voric and Horrdin struggled with their racing machines during the final, dropping to 7th and 8th respectively. Jack finished 5th after losing a spot at the start to Koskinen and unable to keep the hard charging Edo behind during the middle stint of the race, while Jonas Svanberg took advantage of Adriano's and Mattias' misfortunes to take home the 6th spot.
Daniel Svensson was understandably buoyant afterwards, "Yeah, that was definitely a good time. Would have to say that after all the troubles Gokartcentralen has had, the wait was well worth it. These are exciting karts to drive, and I can't wait until next season's Electric Gokarting Championship gets underway now! We new Martin and the gang would get through the difficult times and get it right, and they've delivered in spades!"
Team Principal, Dan Grabko, said, "Nice to perform well at this event, but even nicer to see that things are looking good for next season's championship after this season was cut short. Really happy for all the facility's personnel, from the mechanics to the track officials up to the owners. It's great to see this place back at its best and we seriously can't wait to get started! Also many thanks to Hesus Autosport for putting this event together - it was a bit short notice for all of our drivers to participate, but well done and I hope it becomes an annual part of our calendar."
There you have it folks! Another week, another race - Support #GrassRootsRacing, support Grabko Grand Prix!
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