Andreas Ahlberg: “Those last six laps were the longest…”

Andreas Ahlberg was ecstatic after taking his first victory in Scandinavian touring cars on Sunday, taking the lead at the start of the reversed grid race and holding on to put himself right in championship contention.

Ahlberg, who went into the weekend second in the championship as a result of his strong first meeting at Knutstorp, proved his pace was no fluke after picking up the win and a sixth-place finish at the Scandinavian Raceway.

The 29-year-old competes in one of just three Volkswagen Golf GTI TCRs in the championship, and had a difficult first race, fighting with Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky’s Cupra, as the two cars struggled with their tyres and their success ballast from Knutstorp.

In Race 2, Ahlberg quickly shot past his experienced team-mate Tomas Engström at the start and then chased down race leader Jessica Bäckman, passing her at the Grand Prix curve on the opening lap.

“It’s a fantastic feeling,” said Ahlberg to TouringCarTimes.

“I knew it was important to make a good start. I managed to get 100% off the line, and then I saw Jessica (Bäckman) got a bit of oversteer in the first corner and then she lost it a bit in the third corner, and I just passed her and after that I just got my head down and went flat out.

“Those last six laps were the longest I’d ever driven, listening for every noise in the car.”

Ahlberg now is just one point adrift in the standings behind Dahlgren, while Micke Kågered Racing are also well-placed in third in the teams’ title

“We’re just aiming to keep focussed and get points every weekend,” added Ahlberg.

“Qualifying yesterday was a shame, but we bounced back today, didn’t do anything crazy in the first race and kept it together. We have to be smart, as we sometimes don’t have the raw pace like PWR.”