Last Updated on 25 August, 2023 by FKC

2023 Linköping GoKart PRIX Birthday Race @ Linköpings Motorstadion Sviestad on 29.07.2023

For the second race of the day we have prepared something we have never done before! We would use both directions in the same race session! But first we had to practice the counter-clockwise direction at Linköpings Motorstadion Sviestad since we have never used it there. So, the practice session was also the official Qualification session. The only racer who could run faster than 62 seconds was Mattias. And he took his second TQ of the season. Igor and Berke were 2nd and 3rd, followed by Kristoffer, Tomas and Andreas.

The Birthday Race format consisted of 3 segments with a slow lap between them. First 2 segments were to be run in a regular direction while the last segment drivers had to race in the opposite direction. So, after the start Mattias was holding the lead while Igor tried to attack him. Those attacks not only weren’t successful, but also let Berke through. Igor lost concentration for a slight moment, but it was enough for Kristoffer to overtake him as well. Mattias was fast in the lead, but couldn’t drive away from Berke, so he started to defend his position. This gave a good opportunity for Kristoffer and Igor to catch the leaders and even fight with them. But nothing interesting happened for a few laps before Berke finally made a move on Mattias. They ran side-by-side on the main straight while Kristoffer made it 3-wide. He ran inside the first turn and became a new leader. Berke meanwhile dropped down to P4. Next lap Igor took P2 from Mattias. The Swede didn’t agree with being 3rd and he was attacking Igor from both sides. The Latvian was defending hard. This fight let Kristoffer build a comfortable gap in the front. Then the first segment ended and all drivers slowed down while Kristoffer, Igor and Mattias gained some extra points.

Segment 2. Berke moves up from P4 to the lead by turn 2! Kristoffer wants his lead back and is searching for the ways to overtake Berke, while Mattias continues pressing Igor. And that press was successful – another tiny moment of losing focus for Igor let Mattias pass him. But Berke still parries all Kristoffer’s attacks. Meanwhile Mattias, using his momentum, runs by Kristoffer and takes P2. Next target – Berke. And there’s no problem for Mattias to take back the lead from the Turk. Kristoffer also wanted to use this action for overtaking Berke, but he blocked his wheels and hit Berke going into the corner. The Swede didn’t want to wait for the penalty after the race, so he gave back position to Berke, letting also Igor pass both of them for the 2nd! But, as it already happened a few times during this race, P4 was gaining on P3 and P2. Kristoffer overtook Berke and wanted to close down the door a bit earlier when he was only ⅔ of a gokart in front of Igor. But that didn’t end well for him. He almost spun (not without Igor’s involvement) and lost P3 back to Berke. And so like this segment 2 ended – with Mattias, Igor and Berke being in top 3 and getting extra points. All drivers slowed down and turned their karts around to run the final part of the race in the opposite direction.

Lights out and the same drivers started another round of their battle. First who glitched was Igor – he went too fast into the right-hand corner and went wide into the grass, letting both Berke and Kristoffer through. Even Tomas was there to win at least one position, but it didn’t work out for him really. Kristoffer overtook Berke and was all over Mattias. Several overtaking attempts weren’t successful until Mattias overcooked it and slid into the grass. Kristoffer used this opportunity and re-gained the lead. Meanwhile right behind them Igor was hoping to overtake Berke by using different lines. Didn’t work out as he planned. Late braking before the left-hander made him spin. Game over for Igor. Tomas and Andreas passed him by. But Andreas was caught by surprise so he spun himself there as well. In the front Kristoffer was having a nice lead and was running towards his first victory until Mattias closed the gap and started to show himself from different sides. His last hope was to do a criss-cross move in the last corner. So he did. His speed was a bit better on the acceleration. Mattias got side-by-side with Kristoffer and reached the finish line a 0,02 seconds earlier! A real photo-finish! Such a great moment for Mattias and such a disappointment for Kristoffer!

Mattias won his 4th back-to-back race and beat Andreas Lamnerius’ record who had only 3 victories in a row. This is Mattias’ 2nd Birthday Mug and he extends his championship lead. Kristoffer went up to P2 in standings and now is 25 points behind the leader if we count away drivers’ 3 worst races (including the missed ones). Despite Igor finishing behind Tomas he still collected more points than Lithuanian due to gaining some extra points for the segment finishes. Their difference is now 10 points which still gives Tomas an opportunity to fight for the 3rd place in the season. Berke collected the 4th podium in his career and is now only 7 points behind Tomas. Since we used both directions in the Final, 1 extra point was distributed to the owner of the best lap in every direction. And these were Mattias and Kristoffer.

We want to personally thank Andreas at Sviestad and his staff for helping us organize this amazing event and creating a nice video clip! Also big thanks to all participants! We hope you enjoyed the race! Next time we meet in Norrtälje! Join our website for details www.gokartprix.se

You may find race documentation here.

And a video clip from our race here: