Tobias Brink relieved with qualifying resurrection
Tobias Brink said his record-breaking laps around Mantorp Park in qualifying for the STCC TCR Scandinavia finale were just the kind of injection he needed after a trying season.
Although Brink enters this weekend’s finale fourth overall, 2022 has been a challenging year at large for the experienced campaigner, who has again come short of his long-stated ambition to win the STCC title.
The Audi driver, however, has been on an upwards trajectory of late, finally taking his first win of the season in the most recent (reverse-grid) race at Anderstorp three weeks ago before powering to his pole position clean-sweep in today’s qualifying session.
Brink lowered the TCR qualifying record twice on his way to his double poles – once in Q1 and once in Q2 – and ultimately stopped the clocks at a 1:18.892 to lay down a new all-time marker for the category.
“It’s just insane how great this feels,” Brink told TouringCarTimes. “I felt like we had it under control after doing my lap in Q1, even though I had quite a wild slide in both Turn 1 and Turn 2.
“It’s a really cool feeling. I felt already after Sector 1 that this was going to be quick, and then when I came around the final corner and saw a sub-19 on the dash… that was a rewarding lap. There’s always a little bit more here and there, maybe a tenth or so, but definitely not much more today.”
Brink – who is racing for the family-operated Brink Motorsport team – led a qualifying session which featured five Audis in the top eight, and made no secret of the fact the four rings are well-suited to Mantorp Park’s fast, flowing layout.
“The Audi’s got good aero, so it’s better suited to a place like here rather than Knutstorp or Karlskoga,” Brink concluded. “Then for myself, I’ve always had a love affair with this track too.”
Brink is now out of the 2022 title fight after Robert Dahlgren had his disqualification from the controversial Skellefteå round rescinded on the eve of the finale – at least provisionally – and aims simply to gun for individual wins in Saturday’s races.
“We’ve achieved basically everything we wanted in the STCC, except for winning the drivers’ title,” Brink concluded. “That’s the one we want, but we haven’t done well enough this year and here we are. We will do everything we can to win the races tomorrow and then we’ll see how everything pans out.”