Photo: Andy Petersel

Mattias Andersson delighted with second race after tough Race 1 at Knutstorp

Mattias Andersson rescued a podium result after a daring call to switch to slick tyres mid-race at Knutstorp in Race 2, after losing out in the first race despite a lightning start which saw him threatening for the lead.

The 45-year-old and most experienced driver in Swedish touring cars had a fast getaway from seventh on the grid to be second heading into the outside of the first corner, though he’d be offline for the next right-handed and would have to fall-in behind the Audi of Tobias Brink in third.

His race lasted just one more corner after he and Robert Dahlgren’s PWR Racing Cupra came together, with Andersson’s car spun off and taking minor damage, hampering his progress through the rest of the race.

“My start was good; I had a good run down and I was almost second. I was behind the Audi but he had a better line, but I was an easy third, but at the top of the hill Robert Dahlgren just hit the rear tyre,” said Andersson to TouringCarTimes.

“It was a crazy manoeuvre on the top of the hill; it put me sideways and dead last. At the restart, we struggled with the hit, the car didn’t feel so good, so the race was over, and then I was hit on the last lap by an Audi.

“There was a lot of hitting, OK, it’s tight racing, but when you have so many races. I’m a little bit unhappy.

In Race 2, things were a bit better after Andersson opted to come in on lap six behind the first safety car and switch to slick tyres on the front, while the majority of the field were on full wet tyres.

From the back of the field, aided by a second safety car, Andersson worked his way through to finish third at the finish behind Andreas Wernersson’s Audi and Andreas Ahlberg’s Volkswagen.

“We discussed before the start to put the slicks on, but the mistake we made was going with the slicks yesterday (in qualifying), so we thought it was safer to go with the pack. We started on rain, and the rain tyres immediately went hot, and there were dry spots very quickly on the track, so I said on the radio if it starts to rain, we’ll switch the tyres.

“The safety car came out and we decided to pit. We were lucky there was another safety car, and I was a little bit too careful with some overtaking, but we still got a podium.”