Daily Archives: 9 januari, 2017

At least five teams ready for the STCC in 2017

This is Swedish racing driver Tomas Engström putting the pedal to the metal in a very fast Honda Civic, back in 2012 at Mantorp circuit in Sweden. I’m looking forward seeing at least one Honda on the grid! Photo by Johan Åhlund

The cars will be TCR-cars, and hopefully it will be more cars on the grid than before. Last year was not the finest moment in Swedish racing history. Don’t get me wrong, the racing was great, the drivers phenomenal, and we have some great tracks here. But we need larger grids, and cheaper cars that do not cost an arm and a leg to run. Last year there were way too few cars competing. At Falkenberg racetrack I watched a race with just five cars finishing (ok there was some carnage, but what the heck). That has got to change; otherwise the audience will stay at home.

The former STCC cars were extremely expensive, it’s very important that the new cars will be cheaper to run and maintain. If there are less cars racing next year, the sport will lose its attraction to many fans. Fortunately the former STCC-cars will race in the GT-series.

SEAT Leon TCR during the first shakedown. It sounded fantastic and looked quite fast. Photo : Johan Åhlund

Lets hope for several new teams in the STCC this year

In May, I visited the Mantorp Park circuit at a sports car event and watched the testing of the new Seat Leon TCR-car. Man, it did sound awesome. And it seems to behave very well on the soaked track. I was actually surprised by the performance and sound, it did look fast and I imagined in my mind a starting grid with a bunch of other cars like it. That would be great to watch.

This is the new Volkswagen Golf TCR, a car that will be driven by at least two teams in the STCC next year. Photo: Lestrup Racing Team.

When im writing this, only five teams are presented for 2017. That is alarmingly few. However, STCC driver Markus Annervi just signed on to run a Honda Civic TCR, and Greger Petersson, head at Sportpromotion just said to STCC.se that he has two more JAS-built Honda Civics available for other drivers to rent. PWR Racing Team will run at least two Seat Leon cars. LMS Racing will enter with the Audi RS3 TCR, and Fredrik Lestrup at Lestrup Racing Team and Experion Racing Team will race join the others in the very popular VW Golf TCR.

It sure will be exciting to see how many cars will be joining the grid on Ring Knutstorp the fourth of May. Hopefully the grid will hold at least 12 cars, that would be great. More info as always on STCC.SE.

Text and Photo : Johan Åhlund
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Arden XKR AJ20 Coupe – A very powerful Jaguar

Arden XKR AJ20 Coupe is in many ways the perfect streetcat. Photo by Johan Åhlund

A standard Jaguar XKR isn’t exactly slow. But if you really want to spice it up, you might give Jochen Arden a call. He is very good at making English cars even better. An Arden XKR AJ20 Coupe is the ideal choice if you want to travel with style. It is also sporty in a comfortable way. It’s a rare sight and in a trip to beautiful Stockholm it suddenly appeared in front of me at the boardwalk. This is a delicious Arden XKR AJ20 Coupe. When the car was new, it was the fastest Jaguar ever made. Now it’s quite a lot way faster.

Arden beefs up the engine to 4.5 liter, then fits it with a Eaton supercharger. This results in massive performance. Now, the V8 delivers a mighty 480 horsepower. Even more impressive is it´s torque, 640 Nm at 3850 rp/m. The top speed is 305 km/h and the Arden XKR AJ20 Coupe (very long name) has also got superb acceleration. Zero to 100 km/h, takes just 4.1 seconds.

The Arden XKR is both athletic and powerful

Yes, it DO look nice even from behind. Epecially when parked in sunny Stockholm. Photo by Johan Åhlund

The outside also matches the performance, and with Arden´s aerodynamic design in combination with upgraded suspension and a sportier exhaust system, the XKR will be great to drive. It also has a refined body kit with discrete styling that makes the car look even lower. 21″ rims gives the car a wider stance and meaner look. The XKR did also sound as good as it looks. Not bad.

Text and Photo : Johan Åhlund
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This is one great looking Corvette emblem

This nose emblem rests firmly on the hood of a very nice, bright yellow Corvette Stingray from 1973

A cars emblem or is often quite boring and dull. But not those mounted on classic Chevrolet Corvette´s. Especially American cars made in the sixties and seventies has gorgeous details in their emblem. The sporty Corvette has a number of different logos or emblems. Many of them are very beautiful.

This is one great looking Corvette emblem

This is definitely one of the best looking ones. This nose emblem rests firmly on the hood of a very nice, bright yellow Corvette Stingray from 1973. It’s the first emblem with the so called sunburst design. It has the crossed flags, is made of cloisonne enamel and is fitted with a very nice typography. I think it’s a little masterpiece. But there is one Corvette emblem thats even more beautiful. I will post that one later.

Text and Photo : Johan Åhlund
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Porsche 911 GT3 RS – It´s a wrap!

In to the pitlane after some agressive driving in the rain. Photo by Johan Åhlund

A standard Porsche 911 GT3 RS is not a boring car to look at. But this car has been given a very nice wrapping (designed by Skepple INC) by Swedish company Wrapzone. The patinated livery in the classic Martini Racing, with rust and scratches looks quite amazing.

Push it to the limit, the GT3 RS can take it

Ready to enter the main straight at Mantorp Park. Hard on the breaks, than floor it. Photo by Johan Åhlund

The owner, Henrik really pushed it to the limit on the Mantorp Park circuit at the annual track day arranged by Autolife. Unfortunately the rain poured down, but the drivers did not care at all.

The 500 horses from its very impressive, naturally aspirated 4.0 liter engine give this “Internet celebrity ” Porsche ballistic performance. 0-100 km/h on 3,3 seconds, and 310 km/h flat out.

Text and Photo : Johan Åhlund
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The beautiful Ferrari 458 Italia…

This is so perfect. Red italian supercar with golden wheels soaking in the sun at a trackday. Photo by Johan Åhlund

It’s painted in Rosso Scuderia with very nice golden diamond rims and has lots of options. The interior is a dream in black alcantara racing seats with red stitching and red seatbelts. And it moves too, and sounds terrific.

Ferrari 458 Italia looks just amazing in Rosso Scuderia

The V8 delivers 570 bhp @ 9000 r/pm, has 540 Nm of torque @ 6000 r/pm and the DCT double clutch gearbox its fast. 0-100 km/h at 3,4 seconds, and flat out it will reach 325 km/h.

I took this picture and several others at the Autoropa Racing Day at Mantorp Park last year, and I will soon publish some other nice Italian cars from that event. Perhaps of this car when it’s flat out on the track.

Text and Photo : Johan Åhlund
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Porsche Carrera GT – Man, it was fast

One of the first Porsche Carrera GT´s in Sweden. Photo by Johan Åhlund

The very same day that I was having lunch at Arlanda Motor City, this beauty was rolled out from a large trailer. Porsche had really nailed it when it comes to performance with this, the mighty Porsche Carrera GT. Definitely nor the most beautiful Porsche, but it sure hauled ass. 0-100 km/h took just 3,9 seconds and its V10 delivered 612 horsepower. And, yes. It’s really expensive nowadays.

Text and Photo : Johan Åhlund
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Can you tell what car this is?

Can you tell, by this interior picture what kind of car this is? Let me give you some hints: The car is extremely practical, very minimalistic, has ultrathin hammock-style seats made of metal tubing and a tidy speedometer. It’s also has a sun roof, and a tiny engine that delivers 18 horsepower. If you are brave enough, and lucky, you might reach a staggering 59 mph/h. It’s just 52 years old and works like a clock. What car is it? Please drop a comment below if you think you have got the right answer. I will tell in a couple of weeks.

Text and Photo : Johan Åhlund
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The Volkswagen Golf Country Syncro

This is a rare sight, the mighty Golf Country Syncro. Photo by Johan Åhlund

You might describe it as the little mountain goat version of Volkswagen´s ûberpopular Golf.

This is a 1991 Volkswagen Golf Country Syncro. Yes, that’s right; it’s not just a car. It’s also a country. It has four wheel drive (syncro, in Volkswagens own vocabulary), higher suspension travel, a skid plate and some intimidating looking cattle pushers (more like bars to protect the headlamps, but the word cattle pushers sounds so much meaner). But hey, it’s not recommended to push cattle, not even with this car.

You might say it’s a car for the adventurous type. Made for bearded fearless blokes, that gladly spends a weekend in a swamp or wants to roam around in the forest. If you get a flat tire while climbing mountains, no need to panic. There is a spare wheel mounted on the back. Guys like Bear Grylls and Sir Ranulph Fiennes would have loved this car (i think).

This is not a Golf Gti

Unfortunately it is not as powerful as the popular Golf Gti. I guess many owners would have preferred the Country with a bit more oomph. Instead this car has a 1.8 liter petrol engine, with a 98 bhp. It’s not a rocket, but it’s funky and quite charming. A little bit like a posh Lada Niva.

Taking a closer look, this example is actually quite nice. Ok, it might need a little tender love and care, but it’s in ok condition. It has grey leather seats, electric and heated mirrors, flashy graphics that looked old even when new, funky wheels, four doors and a sun roof. What more could you want, back in 1990?

Compared to a standard Golf, this is way cooler. Unfortunately Volkswagen only made 7735 of these. It’s a shame that they only was made in 1990-1991. Therefore tidy examples now are starting to increase in value. When I took this picture at a classic car meet, people loved it, and it got a lot of attention. I actually kind of like it.

Text and Photo : Johan Åhlund
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