Wow – the trip to Riga was great!
On friday morning we arrived in Riga by boat. The oraganisers met up with us and led the way to the race track. The track was 3km long and located in the middle of the suburbs of Riga, looked really promising.
We set up our tents in the depot together with the other swedish teams and then started to make the cars ready for the practise that was held in the afternoon.
The practise went great, and there was a huge difference on the driving from the first practise runs compared to the last ones during the day. Really fast track, with hidden corners etc, took a while to get the “feeling for it”.
Everyone felt secure with the track after the practise and we all looked forward to the competition on saturday.
During the evening there was a police escorted parade into the centre of Riga, all spectators (and drivers) really enjoyed this and the parade made a stop in the city giving the spectators the possability to take a closer look at the cars and to get the drivers signatures etc.
We arrived late at the hotel and made it to bed, as we had to be on our feets again at 06:30 on saturday.
Early morning breakfast at the hotel and then taxi to the track.
All the drivers were looking forward to the competition but first it was time for the security check of the cars by the organisers. Here the first problem showed up. Olle´s nissan S14 had problems with the external emergency switch and that led to that the AEM ignition box got broken…So it was no more possible to start the car – race was over for Olle before it even started.
Tokan and Micke was ready for the track and during practise Tokan´s front end of the car came loose, resulting in that the hood popped up and tokan had to go into the depot. Tokan qualified into the Top32-competition but felt that it was too dangerous to participtate becasue of the weak front end. During practise it is single runs, but during competition it is twindrift = tokan did not want to risk to damage/hurt other drivers if his car would fail so he descided to not participate.
Mikael´s driving looked really good and promising but unfurtunetly he had to end the competition as the belt to the Kenne Bell compressor snapped during the competition…
We stayed at the track watching the competition, and then went back to the hotel. Later in the evening we attended the official after track party that was held in a night club in Riga.
Conclusion of the weekend:
The track, oragansiers and people of Riga was great!
The driving felt great and looked really promising. Unfortunatly all team drivers was stopped by problems with their cars, some smaller than others…Two of 3 driver qualified for the competition and I am sure Olle would have qualified to if his car had worked.
There was a big difference of the competition/driving compared to the races held in sweden.
So we are very happy with the weekend even if the cars broke down, all three drivers go to drive at a (for them) new track that was technically challenging.
It was for sure a great experience – We will be back in Riga 2012 for sure!
Team Raidopower Motorsport, Sweden