I had my biggest crash of my career on Friday, and the car was too damaged to do the race on Saturday.
After ten seasons in the VLN-championship without a big crash, it was my turn to be unlucky on Friday. My team mate Håkon started the practice, and had a scare when the left rear locket into a corner. But he also had cold tyres, and didn’t know exactly what it was. He told me about the problems before my run, and I took it easy.
Out of Schwedenkreuz I had 215 kph, which is around 15 kph slower than I normally drive. But it was my first run, and I was taking it easy. Then I let off the throttle, and started braking – and then all hell broke loose. When I started braking the rear “snapped” and from then on I was a passenger. The car went straight towards the barriers and hit it with a speed of 120 kph. Then the car took a 360 and hit the barriers once more in 90 kph. Then the car stopped in the gravel trap at Aremberg.
I felt OK, but I realized that the car had severe damage. I told my team about the accident on the radio and went out of the car. Then I was picked up by a marshal-car and driven to an ambulance. They checked me, and everything looked fine.
When we finally got the car back, it was soon clear that it wouldn’t be ready for the race. It was too much damage.
After checking the data log from the car, it turns out that the left rear wheel locked when I braked, and that caused the crash. The reason for this again is that the brake balance was set with too much brake force behind, and that the ABS was set with too little effect. We have never experienced this before, but it is nevertheless our collective responsibility to ensure that this is in order. Therefore, we have decided that from now on we introduce procedures where this is checked before each time we drive.
We have an amazing history with very few crashes. This time we were unlucky, and that’s also a part of racing. Luckily we have a very safe car, and a great team and partners. We will come back stronger!
Thank you for all the nice messages after the crash.