The Daily Life of Johan

09/10/2015 by Morgan Carlsson

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Johan works his way to the podium and gets an insight in the world of folkrace.

”The track in Turkey was quite different compared to what you could see from the films. There was a great difference between the tarmac and the gravel parts and optimal would have been to have two cars with different set-ups. When I managed good laps we were among the fastest, but my problem was to go equally fast on every lap. For Sunday we made some small changes here and there as well as me adjusting my driving in some details. In the third race I should have been up to something really good, but then there was this huge crash with Jeanney and Heikkinen. With their two cars standing on the track behind that blind corner we had to go one gear lower than normal and we only managed seventh position overall. It was a bit stupid not to use the red flag in that heat.”

But despite tenth place in the fourth qualification round you still were in a good position for the semi-final.

”Right after the start I was number four and took the joker on the last lap managing to get up to third. Then Robin and Timmy had their fight and I was able to sneak into the lead, but the next corner got a bit too deep and then Timmy hit my front wheel. He got a knock in return from me in the next corner and when Robin spun I still was in third position. Nitiss had been fast all weekend and was right behind me, but there were just two or three turns left so I didn’t feel any danger. But I would have loved to stand in front in the final instead of at the back.”

In the final you had some difficulties deciding on the joker lap.

”I was heading there, but then I saw Jeanney also moving in there. I was not keen on going into the joker as number three, but before I had decided Marklund overtook me on the inside. Then he made a mistake in the hairpin so I could get past him. The others hit each other so from then on it was a quite cool ride for third place.”

The weekend didn’t look like a walk in the park for you, as the whole team had to fight all the way to secure a podium finish.

”That’s true! I’m almost more satisfied with this third place than I was ending up second in Barcelona. We were on the margin several times, especially in the beginning of the weekend where things didn’t turn out well for us.”

But  now you let go of world championship points and your expensive car. Instead you enter a Volvo 245 for the NGK Masters folkrace in Karlstad.

”I said already the same day as last year’s race that I would never take part in that race again without a quality car. Then I couldn’t even reach the finish line once, only completing less that three laps in a total.”

You fetched the car at Daniel Wall’s garage. Did you get any good piece of advice from the king of folkrace?

”He said he didn’t offer any driving school, ha-ha. I think it’s difficult to give advice to someone who has not done very much folkrace. Sure, there are three pedals and a steering wheel, but it’s still not the same thing. Like Leif GW Persson I let the statistics give the conclusion: no one has ever come from rallycross or racing and scored a good result in folkrace, not even close.”

But you are also competing against some of your rallycross colleagues.

”Hedström, Kevin, Sebastian and Robin have been in a lot of folkrace action. Timmy though, is fresh like me, so he’s the one I aim to beat.”

You have tried your black 245 during the week.

”It’s rear-wheel driven and very heavy at the back, like the Porsche.”

That was an unexpected and somewhat funny comparison.

”Ha-ha, well it feel like throwing a sledgehammer, handle first, but I think this will be great fun. If I can complete three heats it’s not the end of the world if I don’t reach the finals.”

You don’t mean that, really…

”Well, I would like to win one heat at least, to show them that the outsiders also can drive a car. And if I get to the celebrity race there will be a real slaughter. The best thing about this is that you don’t have to be so careful with the material and I don’t have to wander about the car for two weeks afterwards to see if they are able to rebuild it again, ha-ha.”

 

 

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