GRC Personalities // Patrik Sandell: Second Podium!
When I sat on the flight over to USA for race 4 of the Global Rallycross Championship, I did it with a good feeling that it was my turn to step up to the podium again. I know that I have the speed, and I know I can be fighting for victories in each event.
We were flying in to Boston and drove up to New Hampshire. The team had already been there a few days, so once I got there my Ford Fiesta ST was like new again, after the crash in the first corner in Munich. Working with OlsbergsMSE is really a pleasure, I’m super happy with my mechanics and the whole gang!
It was the first time I drove on a NASCAR track and the GRC organization had managed to build an interesting and fast rallycross track with both tarmac and dirt. During the practice I found good lines directly and my feeling was really good.
The time qualifying is really a lottery, just before we were on the way out on the track, the sky opened up and the rain poured down. Travis, Scott and I realized that the only thing we could do was to fight for the last three places in the result list. The rest of the guys were driving on more or less a dry track. I was fastest of us three drivers out there and ended up as the 11th fastest car.
In my heats I missed the start, I was so sure it would switch to green so I dropped the handbrake a bit but have to pull it again, then it switched to green and the other guys tock of and I tried to hang on… I succeeded, however, during the first two laps, go from last to second place and chased Topi over the finish line.
In the final, I started in the second row, and I know it was super important to make a perfect start, which I managed to do. After the first two corners I where up on second place after Tanner. But Topi was just behind me and knocking on my door a few times. So when I took the joker-lap Topi managed to pass me. But in the last corner Tanner made a mistake so both Topi and I could pass him. And the second place was mine!
I didn’t make a perfect race, but I’m learning all the time, it’s the small details that make the difference, such as when I should take the joker-lap. Being able to see the race afterwards gives me a lot, and I watch them over and over again to develop as a driver.
Right now I’m in NYC for holiday, awesome town! Already on Saturday it’s time for the next race, so me and my girlfriend will drive down to Bristol on Thursday. So dear colleagues, watch out, I’m planning to win the next one..!
/ SANDELL #18 – If you doubt, flatout!
Facebook, Instagram, twitter: @patriksandell
Photo credit: Matthew Kalish