Super-defender Mattias Andersson happy with best weekend of the year

Mattias Andersson had his best weekend of the year at Falkenberg, finishing fourth in Race 1 and second in Race 2, while in both races the MA:GP Honda driver was on full defence, successfully holding back championship front-runners Andreas Wernersson and Robert Dahlgren.

With the top three having a good start ahead of him in Race 1, Andersson was left to defend against first Andreas Ahlberg’s Volkswagen, and then Andreas Wernersson’s Audi RS 3 LMS from lap two, with the wily Honda driver keeping back the title contender until the chequered flag.

In the second race, Andersson had a successful launch from third on the grid to pass Ahlberg’s Volkswagen, and then was soon defending against him before Ahlberg and Tobias Brink battling behind left him some space.

Andersson was soon under attack however by PWR Racing’s Robert Dahlgren, who scythed his way through from eighth to third behind Andersson, passing Tomas Engström, Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky, Brink and then Ahlberg, but then couldn’t find a way past Andersson’s Honda, just like Wernersson in Race 1.

“You have maybe two or three places where you can overtake, and it’s not too difficult to block those, but you have to be on the limit and also have good speed,” said Andersson to TouringCarTimes.

“In the first race, we didn’t have the speed. We changed the car a little bit and we had a technical issue also, so we didn’t have the time to change all the things we wanted. It was a better car for me in the second race, and I did a better start, my focus was to take the lead of course, but we took the Golf, and maybe we could have gone for the Audi, but there could have been big contact.

“I felt after the first few corners he was quick, and then I was being pushed by the Golf and then an Audi, but then suddenly there was a gap, which was good, so I could focus on my driving,” he said.

“Then I heard Robert (Dahlgren) was third, and saw the purple car coming closer and closer, but I know he was fighting for the championship. I ran defensive as much as thought was necessary and then we finished second.”

The results at Falkenberg were the best of the season for Andersson, with the Honda driver closing back up to the top five in the championship, and is now just nine points behind Åhlin-Kottulinsky.

“The important thing is to catch up in the points,” said Andersson. “I’m happy with the result, but not so happy with the speed.

“We’ve had some back weekends, like in Skellefteå with the engine change and again at the start this weekend, so I’d like to go to Karlskoga and have a smooth weekend.”