Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky: “I’m sure we would have been on the podium”

PWR Racing driver Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky says an error in qualifying put paid to her chances of a top result at Falkenberg, after the Cupra driver showed strong pace in practice, clocking the fourth fastest time in the second practice session.

The 25-year-old missed the top 12 cut to make the second part of qualifying after a second heavy rain shower caught out both her and team-mate Daniel Haglöf, with both drivers consigned to the mid-pack for the two races.

“The thing was we had really good free practices and good pace, but then we made the wrong decision in qualifying as we thought there would be less rain towards then end,” said Åhlin-Kottulinsky to TouringCarTimes. “We didn’t use new tyres in the beginning, and that’s why we didn’t make it to Q2.

Åhlin-Kottulinsky finished 12th in Race 1 after chasing the Volkswagens of Andreas Bäckman and Ahlberg, and adapted her strategy in Race 2.

“We had good race pace, but I think in Race 1 I was a little bit too conservative,” she said. “I didn’t take any risks, and then I didn’t finish in the points, so I told my team before Race 2, now it’s either points or we’re not going to finish. It’s so hard to overtake here, so you have to take some chances, and we finished P9 so I’m happy about that, as to overtake here is really hard.”

Heading into the last half of the season, the Cupra racer hopes to carry forward the pace from the first few rounds and with more luck in qualifying, hopes to be able to break into the top five, and believes the speed she had at Falkenberg could have seen her make the podium.

“We would have been in the top ten (in qualifying), and I’m pretty sure we would have been on the podium,” she said. “It’s just we made the wrong decision in qualifying. We’re a team, we win and we lose together, and sometimes we make wrong decisions, and sometimes I make big mistakes, so that’s racing.

“I’m just so happy I’ve had good speed now in all three races, and one race hopefully we’ll take the top five and podium places.”