Robert Dahlgren came close to making it a perfect STCC season opener with pole, victory in race one and second place in race two. Volvo Polestar Cyan Racing team mate Richard Göransson bounced back after retiring in the first race due to a fire to win the second race, claiming his 40th STCC victory.
”I am just so incredibly pleased, this is my best STCC season start ever. Everything has worked perfectly from the first lap in testing to the final race. To come away with a pole, win and the championship lead is just what I wanted and a testament to a great work by the team,” said Dahlgren, who heads the championship on 68 points.
While Dahlgren headed the field from lights to flag in the first race, Göransson’s race ended on lap three after the rear bodywork caught fire from an incident in the first corner.
This meant a race against time for the team to repair the four-time STCC champion’s car for the second race. Göransson made the most of the strong effort from the team to win the race from eighth on the grid.
”The feeling to claim my 40th win after the fire and disappointment in the first race is awesome. The team did a fantastic job to get my car together between the race, they changed gearbox, dampers, body parts and gave me a car fast enough to win,” said Göransson.
Scott McLaughlin, who stepped in for Prince Carl Philip this weekend, impressed by being on pace straight away, being just two tenths from Dahlgren in qualifying in second position.
The Kiwi went on to finish second in the first race from fourth on the grid, below two seconds from race winner Dahlgren. But the second race saw him being taken out by Reuben Kressner in the hairpin on lap five after he had fought his way into the top three from ninth on the grid.
”I was hit from behind in the second race, nothing I could do about it. While that was disappointing, I am pleased with my pace in qualifying and to claim a podium finish. My goal was to break into the top three and that is what I have done,” said McLaughlin.
As the dust settles from the Scandinavian Touring Car Championship season opener, Polestar Cyan Racing has come away with a double championship lead in the drivers’ championship and a 66-point lead in the teams’ championship.
”This has been an eventful and successful weekend for us. Dahlgren and Göransson delivered the results we wanted and I am in awe of the effort by the team to get Göransson’s car together after the fire. It was a shame that McLaughlin was eliminated in the second race, but he has delivered way beyond expectations and we are more than pleased with his efforts,” said Alexander Murdzevski Schedvin, Head of Motorsport at Polestar.
Next up is the twilight mid-week race at Mantorp Park on May 26th.
STCC Skövde Airport Race
Length: 2146 m
Lap record (STCC): 0:49.964, McLaughlin
Race 1 – Top 5
1 Robert Dahlgren Volvo S60 24 laps
2 Scott McLaughlin Volvo S60 +1.572
3 Linus Ohlsson Saab 9-3 +15.877
4 Johan Kristoffersson SEAT León +21.144
5 Mattias Andersson Dacia SE +30.564
DNF Richard Göransson Volvo S60
Race 2 – Top 5
1 Richard Göransson Volvo S60 24 laps
2 Robert Dahlgren Volvo S60 +7.234
3 Mattias Andersson Dacia SE +14.543
4 Rasmus Mårthen Ford Mondeo +16.195
5 Johan Kristoffersson SEAT León +16.417
DNF Scott McLaughlin Volvo S60
Q1 – Top 5
1 Robert Dahlgren Volvo S60 49.479
2 Scott McLaughlin Volvo S60 +0.181
3 Richard Göransson Volvo S60 +0.296
4 Mattias Andersson Dacia SE +0.496
5 Daniel Haglöf SEAT León +0.676
Q2 – Top 5
1 Robert Dahlgren Volvo S60 49.919
2 Richard Göransson Volvo S60 +0.152
3 Mattias Andersson Dacia SE +0.233
4 Scott McLaughlin Volvo S60 +0.336
5 Linus Ohlsson Saab 9-3 +0.343
Drivers – Top 5
1 Robert Dahlgren Volvo S60 68 points
2 Richard Göransson Volvo S60 40 (-28)
3 Mattias Andersson Dacia SE 37 (-31)
4 Scott McLaughlin Volvo S60 36 (-32)
5 Johan Kristoffersson SEAT León 26 (-42)
Teams – Top 5
1 Polestar Cyan Racing 111 points
2 SEAT Dealer Team 45 (-66)
3 Flash Engineering 44 (-67)
4 Dacia Dealer Team 42 (-69)
5 Brovallen Design 24 (-87)