Nordic Supercar Challenge, Round 3 – Arctic Circle Raceway
The name conjures up images of ice and snow and Father Christmas, but on a summer day at the Arctic Circle Raceway, nothing can be further from the truth, as we will hear.

dailysportscar.comThe Nordic Supercar Challenge went way up North to support the Swedish Touringcar Championship at the famed Norwegian venue near the town of Mo i Rana, and just inside the Arctic Circle. Neighbourly relations between Sweden and Norway are characterised by a healthy sense of rivalry, and so the Swedish Supercar competitors were determined to conquer Norway, and the Norwegians were determined not to let them.

Corvette vs. Corvette: Sweden’s Lennart Bohlin had a fresh engine in his Corvette C5, and stated his intent to win at least one of the weekend’s two races; while Haarvard Lien and his C4 “Batmobile” were ready to do battle for Norway.

Porsche vs. Porsche: Jack Sverre Eidsvold with his twin-turbo 993 GT2 was up against Swedish new addition to the series, Anders Levin, also with a 993 GT2. Other significant entries in this colourful field included Mikael Mohlin’s Mazda RX-7, the Camaro of Jarl Wermelin, a flock of Loti (two Esprits and a turbocharged Europa “Special”), and of course Kjell Alf Myrvold’s ever-popular Studebaker Champion.

It was Dagfinn Larsen who secured pole position for race 1 for Lotus, and for Norway, with the Swedish Porsche of Anders Levin alongside him, and the two black Corvettes looming on the second row.

Levin was quickest on the draw and led the first lap from Lien and Bohlin, while Larsen’s race ended there and then when the Lotus broke a driveshaft. Bohlin then snuck his way past Lien, the leading trio still close together, and drawing away from the rest of the field over the next few laps. Overall points leader Lien made several attempts to reclaim P2; eventually he put a wheel wrong and – Holy Flatspot, Batman! - spun out of contention for victory. He then launched a valiant recovery effort but the contest for the win was now between Levin and Bohlin. Unofficial performance figures for Levin’s Porsche state a power output in excess of 700bhp, but Bohlin’s Corvette also has plenty of little reindeer under the bonnet, and he made them work for their supper. The former World Superkart Champion made his move at the end of the home straight, and with a late braking manoeuvre that defied the laws of physics, squeezed past the Porsche. Meanwhile back down the order, Lien was also passing opponent after opponent in the same fashion. The last three laps brought technical trouble for Levin, who had used up his brakes trying to fend off the Corvettes. Bohlin’s lead was now secure, and Levin fell into the clutches of MazdaMan Mohlin and Batman Lien, who had worked his way back up from seventh place. With no brakes left, Levin eventually had to be content with fourth place. Lien managed to snatch P2 away from Mohlin, for a Corvette 1-2.

On Sunday, the ambient temperature peaked at a toasty 52°C, or 125°F. How hot was it in the cars? – don’t ask. The first six grid positions for race 2 were determined in the “Shootout” where each competitor had the track for himself for a flying lap. Levin and Bohlin shared the first row, the Porsche on pole, and featuring new-and-improved brakes. In the race, he nevertheless had to make way for Bohlin into Turn 2. Meanwhile, things were not going well for Haarvard Lien; his qualifying session had been forgettable, and he started the race from row 3; and just when he had caught up with the two leaders he had to call it a race. A pebble had found its way inside the Corvette, lodged itself unter the throttle pedal, and now made acceleration impossible. The car as such was in perfect running order, but Lien nevertheless had to park it – a frustrating experience.

This second Supercar race provided plenty of entertainment for the spectators, with close racing throughout the field. Levin an Bohlin were close together all the way, the Porsches of Eidsvold and Erik Behrens were fighting it out with Mohlin’s Mazda for third place, and somewhere down the order, Dagfinn Larsen was on a mission, having started from last place.

Levin temporarily took the lead, only to lose it again, and closely shadowed Bohlin over the next two laps. The Swedish Corvette driver put on a textbook display of defensive driving, Third-placed Mohlin was able to catch up with them, the amazing little rotary a surprising challenger for the bi-turbo Porsche and the big V8. And who would appear in Mohlin’s mirrors but late-starting Larsen’s Lotus. With alll this pressure building up behind him, Levin decided to take a chance, and with complete disregard for his own well-being, outbraked the Corvette into turn 1 on the final lap, the Porsche’s brakes obviously holding up well to the abuse. Now it was his turn to make the 993 GT2 extra-wide, and although Bohlin threw everything he had at him, Anders Levin held on to win race 2 of the Nordic Supercar Challenge by 0.987 seconds from Lennart Bohlin. Behind them, Mikael Mohlin only just saved his third place across the line from the hard-charging Larsen. So the final score was Sweden 2 – Norway 0, a bitter defeat for the Norwegian contingent; but the good news for them is that this event did not count towards the championship. The next regular Nordic Supercar Challenge round will be on 28/29 August at the Rudskogen Motorsenter
Petra Paetsch & Johannes Gauglica


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