Just days after having secured its first ever series championship in the Gothenburg Gokartcenter Winter LeMans Series, the team was back in action on the other side of the country, competing in Sweden's national rental karting championship, the 2017 SRKC hosted by Mattias Andersson GP's Gokarthallen i Linköping.
The circuit itself is an indoor short track format. It is very tight, fast and demanding, with only two short 30-40m straights, one off the back of the final hairpin at turn 7 and the other directly following the 90 degree final turn 8 across the start/finish line.
With the track record being just 16.88s, there was absolutely no room for mistakes, but the little monster of a circuit did allow for two proper overtaking opportunities, the first at the turn 3 hairpin that headed into the tight and fast turns 3-6 double apex complex, and the 2nd directly following at the turn 7 hairpin that exited out onto the short back straight. Both spots required getting excellent exits from the previous track section to dive down on the inside of the respective hairpins. This made the right angle turn 1 and the double apex turn 5-6 combination especially key spots on the track.
It was always going to be a tough ask for any of the team's drivers, being complete virgins to the circuit, having never even set eyes on the facility or its layout before arriving for the FP1 session on Saturday evening. Indeed, the field was heavily weighted with local talent, drivers who've driven thousands of laps around the tough little track over their careers.
But Grabko Grand Prix is not known for backing down to a challenge, and were determined to show their meddle on a national stage. The team's free practice program was a series of testing different karts to get a feel for their different characteristics, as well as progressively pushing for times as the session continued, in addition to observing local driver techniques, racing lines, braking points, and overtaking possibilities.
In only its second year of existence, Grabko Grand Prix has secured its first series championship after winning the 6th and final round of the 2016/17 Gothenburg Gokartcentrer Winter LeMans Series.
The team was in a must win situation going into the day, leading the championship by only a single point against massively tough competitors The Team GP, lead by star driver André Palm. Grabko Grand Prix had to overcome a mid-series slump to get in this position, having only managed a 4th place finish in round two followed by a 2nd place in round three after taking the team's maiden victory in the first round of the championship.
They had done just that, winning rounds 4 and 5 under increasing pressure, as The Team GP challenged hard on their tails, never letting up and taking never worse than 2nd spot throughout the series. So the final round saw Grabko Grand Prix with only the slightest of advantages, on 47 points to The Team GP's 46.
The equation was simple. Grabko Grand Prix had to finish ahead of The Team GP to win the championship, and that most likely meant that a victory was required to ensure the title.