Andreas Bakkerud has had an impressive run of success at Holjes, for the Swedish round of the European and then World Rallycross Championship dating back to his Euro RX debut at the circuit in 2009, driving a Peugeot 206 in Super1600.
Only once since 2012, last season, has Bakkerud not finished on the podium at Holjes, in both Super1600 and Supercar, and won in 2013 and 2016.
Below, punctuated by photos highlighting every year he has raced at the track, Bakkerud gives an emotional and exclusive recount of why Holjes is so special to him.
“Where I live in Norway is on the West Coast, in a place called Bergen. The driving distance to the Norweigan round of World RX in Trondheim is nine hours, and it’s roughly the same to Holjes. That’s why I’ve always felt that Holjes has been like a home race for me.
I lived in the town called Torsby for three years when I was studying to become a motor sport mechanic, and I was working with Petter Solberg for seven months, where I did my practical qualification to get my degree. Torsby is only one hour away from Holjes and I have tonnes of good friends from the area.
When I lived there, I was a very good friends with a guy called Andreas Adolfsson. He came from Holjes and all he talked about was Holjes, the Magic Weekend and the big folkrace festival here. That was the main thing he focused on every week of the full year. We became good friends and because I didn’t have the chance to travel home every weekend, he decided to stay with me. Then when we finished the first year of school I went home for summer vacation and he was back home in Sweden.
Unfortunately, he was in a car accident, he hit a moose up at Holjes and died. It was a very hard time for me, when I went to Holjes for his funeral and met his parents for the very first time, who I’ve got to know very well.
What makes it special is that he was talking so much about Holjes so much all the time, his parents are working at the track and are its closest neighbour. I’ve lived at his parents’ house while the rallycross has been on, I’ve been there in the winter driving snowmobiles and I’ve got a very good connection with them. It’s a special place for me with a special story, and every time I go to Holjes I always go to Andreas’ grave to have a few words. I know he’s giving me some good luck in the Magic Weekend, because I’ve overall been the best driver there over the last 10 years.
I think this year at Holjes can’t be measured with any other years, it’s not the same without the fans. For sure as a driver I would like to put on a good show for everybody watching at home. To come to Holjes on Wednesday or Thursday and usually see the energy from the fans at that little place, it’s incredible. It’s a lot of fun, a lot of good memories have been created there.
Especially when I was driving for SET promotion, I had a bet with my mechanic that if I won the European Championship in 2011 he would run the naked mile in happy street at Holjes at midnight. So he did it the next year, and I see that stuff happens every year, not that I am keen to see it, but special moments are created in Holjes. It’s different, but focusing on the racing it’s going to be fun in another way this year.
Not having the Bakkerud Blue camp this weekend is going to be different. I’ve had my own camp at Holjes since 2013. I went to a cross country world championship in Italy and saw how they did it with their fans and sponsors, they built a tent and hosted people there, so I did the same for Holjes. We’ve had meals together, 250 people on average every year went there from Bergen. This year we were planning to make our own Happy Street in Bergen but Coronavirus things stopped that too. It’s going to be different to be racing without the full Bakkerud Blue army.”« Previous Post Next Post »