Nordic SuperCars: The Season So Far
The Nordic SuperCar series (NSC) is the product of a merger of the Norwegian Special Saloon championship and what was left of the Swedish GT scene at the end of last year. the technical regulations allow a wide range of cars, from FIA-legal machinery to silhouette "tubeframers", to compete, their performance equalised with a power-to-weight index.

dailysportscar.com17 teams have submitted permanent entries for the 2004 season, and several guest starters are expected to show up for individual rounds. The series had its premiere at Våler in Norway on 29/30 May.

Qualifying was a David vs. Goliath showdown between Sweden's Mikael Mohlin and his Mazda RX-7, and Norwegian Haavard Lien's Chevrolet Corvette C4, affectionately known as the "Batmobile".

The little 300bhp rotary propelled the 850kg Mazda to pole position with an advantage of 0.8 sec over Lien and his powerful, but heavy, Corvette. Haavard Lien then disclosed his strategy for the race to the media: "Beat the Mazda at the start, take the lead into the first corner, and win!" - which is exactly what he did.

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The Corvette and the Porsche GT2 bi-turbo of Jack Eidsvold muscled their way past the RX-7 and used their superior power to their fullest advantage.

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The fight was on between Mohlin and Eidsvold, as the Mazda hung onto the Porsche and would not be shaken off.

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Eidsvold then began to suffer the consequences of this high pace as the Porsche's tyres began to deteriorate; and Mohlin eventually snuck by and secured second place. Eidsvold had to settle for third, ahead of Stefan Pettersson in the BMW M1 who snatched fourth place away from Jarl Wermelin's Camaro on the 15th and final lap.

The 15 lap sprint is only the first part of the NSC weekend; Sundays see a qualifying "shoot-out" for the top 6 finishers, to establish the grid for the main race over 20 laps. Michael Mohlin again had the upper hand over Lien, Eidsvold, and Wermelin. And again, Lien got the best start in the race, and led into the first corner; but this time, Mohlin refused to let the Corvette out of his sight. It was a close battle all the way to the end, when reigning Norwegian special Saloon champion Lien nevertheless emerged as the winner, the Corvette crossing the line a mere 0.299 secs ahead of Mohlin's Mazda. Behind Jack Eidsvold in third, Jan Tolli (Porsche Boxster) and Pål Richard Eidsvoll (993 RSR) also fought it out for fourth place; Tolli eventually took fourth place. Rounding out the top 6 was "drift king" Kjell Alf Myrvold's ever-popular Studebaker Champion, with Chevrolet V8 power.

Two weeks later, and staying in Norway (the series will not have any races in Sweden this year), Rudskogen was the venue of round 2 of the series. Not much longer than the track at Våler, the characteristics of Rudskogen are nevertheless quite different, with a single long straight, and a series of tight corners, among them two hairpins.

The Saturday qualifying session was initially again headed by Mohlin's amazing Mazda, but a late charge brought Dagfinn Larsen to the top of the timing screens, by almost nine tenths of a second. So the first three rows of the grid would be made up of a Lotus Esprit (Larsen), a Mazda RX-7 (Mohlin), a BMW M1 (Pettersson), a Corvette C4 (Lien), Eidsvold's Porsche 911, and the Corvette C5 of Swede Lennart Bohlin, who did not take the start as his engine let go in the warm-up for the sprint.

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In the mad dash to the first corner, Mazda man Mohlin lost out big time as Pettersson and Lien, then Eidsvold, squeezed past the RX-7. Mohlin had decided to save his fresh set of tyres for the Sunday qualifying "shoot-out", and struggled to keep up with his competitors, who all were rolling on fresh rubber. Getting past Eidsvold proved an insurmountable task, Mohlin had to resign himself to following the Porsche to the flag.

dailysportscar.comAhead of them on the road, Pettersson's "BMW’olet" (a genuine M1 chassis with a Chevy V8 engine - ahead of the Mazda, left) circulated in a lonely third place; the attention was on Lien and Larsen. It was a close contest with much doorhandling, and a hefty clash between the two cars toward the end of the race convinced Lien that it was a better idea to settle for second place, and extend his lead in the drivers' standings.

Larsen also dominated the Shoot-out, and the Esprit vs. Corvette battle continued unabated.

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From second on the grid, Mohlin once again was nearly run over by the cars behind him, and had to fight his way back up the order from fifth position. It took him twelve laps to work his way past Pettersson's extra-wide M1, then a series of decisive moves to dispose of Jack Eidsvold's bi-turbo Porsche, literally, as the Porsche spun out of the race. Ahead of him, and a very long way ahead already, Larsen and Lien were locked in close combat, this time without trading paint. Larsen got the fastest lap of the race; but in the end, "Batman" Lien emerged as the winner of the fourth race of the series, and now has a solid lead in the points standings over Mikael Mohlin. the Loti were second (Larsen) and sixth (Torbjörn Hovland), and Mohlin's Mighty Mazda completed the podium.

The next race of the season, on 31 July /1 August will not be a contest for championship points, but it will lead the Nordic SuperCar competitors to Scandinavia's most renowned racing venue, the Artic Circle Raceway.
Petra Paetsch / Johannes Gauglica

 

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