Potential of new cars played down.
Two of the newest cars in the paddock are also two on which many have pinned high hopes, but in both cases the drivers are playing down expectations.
Former European champion Ludvig Hunsbedt has tested Nomaco Racing’s new Volvo C30, but his run in the car was neither extensive, nor entirely successful. Mooching around the paddock, chewing the fat and rolling cigarettes as he goes, the Norwegian sought to draw positives from his test sessions. “We drove the car at Strängnäs. I did some laps just steady to get a feel for the car and so that the engineers could check everything, but only managed to do one fast lap before the turbo failed,” he said, “That meant we had to go back to Norway and fix that, so then we tried to do a quick test in Norway before left, but after just a few a laps the head gasket failed!
“The car feels good, but I have not had enough time to really know what it will do when I push hard. I like to drive sideways, but I already feel that you cannot do it with this car so I need to think very hard about that and how we setup the car now. It’s good, I know that, but it’s going to take a couple of events before I am really confident,” said Hunsbedt who, as an old-school racer, remains a firm favourite with fans.
Across the paddock, M Technologies was putting the finishing touches to its newest Citroën C4, a car that Marc Laboulle has not yet driven. This, however, does not seem unduly bother the 2009 French champion; “I’m ready, and I’m hungry,” said Laboulle whose car is the latest version of the C4 and a development of the two cars M Technologies ran in the French championship last year. Laboulle put in ERC starts in Belgium and Germany as well in his home event with the 2010 car [now owned by Davy Jeanney]. “We started in France last year the same way, without testing, and I was in the B final. We know the C4 well and I think the car is no problem, I still have things to learn about the European championship,” he said.
Laboulle and Eriksson also share in common the position of team owner, and the desire to expand and develop their businesses by running cars for customer drivers, putting them at the forefront of this new group in Rallycross.