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Reviews

Boost Is King at Gatebil

8th August 2017 — by Dave Cox

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During my last blog post, I mentioned that above all, Boost Is King at Gatebil.

Walking around the paddock will quell any naysayers. Everywhere you look, the all too familiar chrome snail can be found making elbow room inside engine bays.

Event

Burning Rubber in the Forest

20th July 2017 — by Dave Cox

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93,000 steps walked, 40,000 people, 30,000 horsepower, 4 days, 1 event, Gatebil.

Topic

Five radical drifting hot hatches

9th February 2017 — by Black Flagged

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A hot hatch isn’t your default car for drift, but it doesn’t mean its not the right path to smokey tyre enlightenment – after trawling through our Fueltopia file of rad images, I’ve pulled out five the naughtiest drift hatches that have slayed rubber

Roger Holland’s twin engine Toyota Starlet creates plumes of crowd pleasing tyre smoke into the 50,000 strong crowd at Gatebil, Rudskogen. Dave Cox caught the double packing, drifty, hot hatch action on his last visit to the show they dub the  greatest in the World. We’d definitely want to get up  close and personal with this car next year

This list wouldn’t be complete without one of the most iconic drift hatches ever… The Driftworks AE86 – LS powered and classic lines makes this drift-hatch one of our favourites of all time and that distinctive orange livery is hard to miss.

A personal favourite is Dan Firminger’s little Volvo. This car might be small but it packs a punch with it’s V8 heart up front. Dan has been peddling this car on the car scene for a while in drift and gymkhana and it’s always great to see it decimate opponents on track.

This literally blows my mind,  Danial Björk’s Ford Fiesta lays down smoke like a total badass at events like Gatebil. The Blue Oval  brands engine has been cast aside for a native Volvo B230 Turbo engine that pumps out  a staggering 500hp or in this case moose power.

In at five and rounding off this blogs five radical drift hatches is another little 1986 Volvo 360 owned by Mark Vissers from the Netherlands. A respectable 357hp and 388lb/ft of torque makes this a fun, handling, tyre, shredding machine to be feared. If you fancy giving it a run then make sure you scope out the Drift Championship Netherlands.

 

 

Reviews

Feature: Jan Øivind Ruud’s Stealth B7

3rd December 2016 — by Dave Cox

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What is it about race cars that gives us the fizz?

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The answer is obvious and simple really. They are more exaggerated, more powerful versions of what we might see on the roads. They have a certain shock and awe about them. Anyone with the smallest drop of petrol in their veins would get excited!

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Depending on what class of race car you are talking about, you may or may not have seen the road going variant, this is where Jan Øivind’s Stealth comes into the frame. This car started out as a Stealth B6, one of eight! And three of the eight were road legal! It certainly doesn’t look like any sedan you see on the roads does it? But this particular B6 was a development prototype which came with a few extras. Namely bigger and better everything.

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The B6 was to become a B7 at the hands of Stealth Cars Ltd, an English company before it got bought by a Polish company – AutoGroup S.A. it then took part in a few races such as GrandAM and GT-1 before Jan got his hands on it.

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With intentions of running in the Gatebil Extreme class it wasn’t long before this race car went on a diet. The entire body work was redone in dry-carbon at the hands of Robin Jonasson from Elite Projects in Sweden. I really like the rear clam shell and the way it tapers over the engine bay towards the huge rear spoiler. As it happens, I helped lift this entire section. Now I don’t know about you but when you see a large section of body work, you expect to be pretty heavy. I nearly launched it into the air when I picked it up. Can you believe it only weighs 13kg!

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Bollocks I hear your say. Yeah me too when he told me. Now you can have more of an appreciation of how good Robin is with dry carbon! The whole body work weighs a mere 37kg. That is 37 bags of sugar mate! So you get the picture, it is light, but is it quick?

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Powered by a 6.4L Chevy smallblock, the same you would find in NASCAR, the B7 produces just under 700bhp and, this is ridiculous, 790NM of torque. Good numbers in a car that weighs 995kg with all fluids and the driver. It also has a theoretical top speed of 299mph!!! You can see why Jan had spent a further two and a half thousand hours working on this car.

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There is nothing on this car that isn’t necessary, it is  all functional, that wing isn’t for scene points, it is there force those huge sticky tyres to the ground. Frankly I am surprised there isn’t more aero on this car, with that power and that weight, I’d want all the downforce I could get my hands on! But this is what this car is all about, old school power and old school mechanical grip.

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A trend that is present when you talk to Jan about the car. During Gatebil – Rudskogen as I was shooting this car, he was telling me that there is no traction control to speak of, the only thing that keeps him in Gatebil Extreme and out of Breislad is a steady right foot.

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Sat here, checking my notes and verifying things with Jan himself, I can’t help but laugh. Just scroll up and re-read some of these numbers, say them out loud to someone else. You’ll have yourself doubting that you read it correctly. I know I did. And if you ever have the pleasure of meeting him, you’ll note that he is cool and calm, he does have a knowing glint in his eyes.

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As you read this, the car is getting torn down to make it even faster for next year. The aim: lose around 30-40kg and make some more power upgrades. Next time I see him, I might ask for a ride along…maybe just on a installation lap though.

Words & Pictures: Dave Cox (ShootingDave)

Specs:
Chevrolet 350 smallblock (6.4L)
693bhp
790NM
Aluminium Block
Billet Steel Crank
H Profile Rods
Forged Pistons
Bowtie aluminium heads wirh Jesel Shaft
Mechanical roller cams and retainers
Titan Valves
Double valve springs
Drysump
Single plane inlet with Holly carb
MSD distributor
Custom 18-inch magnesium centernut wheels
Dunlop LM tyres
AP Racing brakes with 384mm rotor upfront and 355mm in the rear
Race Dynamic 3 way suspension
Hewland sequestion 6-speed gearbox
GKN axles

Special thanks to:
Thor Holthe
Steffen Karlstad
Jørn Hansen
Kristine Lange Ruud
Robin from ELITE PROJECTS
Vegard Larse
John Chr. Solberg
Andreas Solli at GKN drivline
Henning Hotran
Bjørn Ohme

Sponsors:
BM Montasje
CORIGO Entreprenør
OSLO Lås Servise
DRAMMEN LIFT
Elektriker Gruppen AS
Romerike AUTO
Anders Ringstad Produkter
Vegard Larsen
GKN Drivline
ELITE Projects.

Event

Looking forward to GATEBIL

28th November 2016 — by Dave Cox

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The “off-season”, it is here. The nights are becoming longer, daylight more scarce and temperatures, less tempting. Without wanting to regurgitate cliche Game of Thrones, Winter is Coming!

It is also the time of year where street cars get tucked away, race cars stripped down for new year preparations and most of all, motorsport events disappear off of the calendar. Time then to reflect on what has been and what was. Or is it? We are not long away from the end of year and when some, myself included will turn their attention to writing new years resolutions. Lists of arbitrary goals that you have every intention of keeping but more often than not, die out within a couple of weeks. I’m not bashing, I do this too.

Instead of setting myself goals, I set myself events to attend. Some of which are long term goals but I always try and attend as many as is financially viable each year. And one that I just simply can’t recommend enough is Gatebil. A mere paragraph isn’t really going to help illustrate why and rather than turn this into an article the length of “War and Peace” I will try and condense it into a few bite-sized reasons.

The cars ARE ridiculous!

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First and foremost, this is my top reason for going. you will hear a lot about Gatebil but walking through the paddock makes you chuckle, you also become numb to anything that isn’t completely over the top. Take Roger Håland’s twin engined (yes that means two) Toyota Starlet. This car alone, embodies Gatebil – two engines, two gearboxes, two ECU’s, two turbos and four wheel drive! It is bonkers in all the right ways and I adore it. Whether you are walking around the paddock or watching track side, there is no shortage of home made monsters to ogle at.

The smoke!

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Oxygen fans will hate this but Gatebil has numerous drift sessions throughout the day. Rendering the picturesque landscape a shade of white with thick acrid tyre smoke lavishly draped over the track and spectators. It gives you a sore throat, it makes your eyes sting and it covers your gear in powdered tyres and I do not care! I wouldn’t change it for the world.

The Speed

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Speed is in abundance around Rudskogen and nothing is faster than the Gatebil Extreme class. Think time-attack now kick it a few times until it is really angry and full of adrenaline. Now take away the qualifying element and let them race and what you have is nothing short of an intimidating display of speed and power. I was walking down this back straight on the same side as this Gallardo when they came past. Of course you can hear them coming but I nearly lept out of my skin when the shot past. It genuinely became hard to photograph them they were moving that quick. It is also pretty spectacular to see these racers corner so fast and so flat.

The level of talent

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Hard to sum this one up with a photo, everyone that gets on track is talented in my eyes, now you could further expand on this by admiring the talent of the builders who get their vehicles here. Breislad is the team powerslide competition and a great way of showcasing how talented each individual drifter is in a team. Early practice sessions were a little shaking among the teams but once all the gremlins had been dialled out it was a great spectacle to see. With the sun setting, beer in hand and the perfect spot on the banking this is something you want to see.

The endless supply of vantage points

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As a photographer this statement goes a little further than the spectator and it is true, you could spend the entire weekend walking the track, finding new angles, interesting positions chasing the light and you still wouldn’t have covered them all. You will be happy to know that even if you don’t media accreditation, the lines are still fantastic for the spectators. There isn’t just one or two good spots, there are hundreds. Couple this to the fact that you can probably see at least two or three corners, you can be happy that you won’t miss out on the action.

The light

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Again this might be more of a photographer thing but even still, it makes for pretty viewing. Due to the geographical location of Rudskogen Motorsenter and being in the middle of summer, the sun seems to eternity to set which is just fine by me.  The fat warm setting sun back lights cars and smoke flattering even the most industrial looking builds. It also has a strange effect on your body, tiredness seems to melt away.

The track

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Rudskogen Motorsenter isn’t the only track that Gatebil graces but it sure is a special one. It undulates and winds through Norwegian forests, there are massive elevation changes which means you can be level with the cars or at times above and below them. This change in perspective is something that I haven’t had much of when shooting the pitiful amount of events that I have. but I can tell you, having such an amazing circuit really does make a difference. I am sure the drivers enjoy it too.

The atmosphere

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Your sitting down on a warm grassy bank, sun beating down, refreshing beverage in hand being cooled by a gentle breeze with your mates. You look around, thousands are doing the same listening the booming PA system as they introduce the next driver. An engine barks into life, a quick burnout and the approaches the start line, photographers scrabble for their positions in anticipation. Time to catch your breath before it tears off out onto the track singing to the tune of a thousand petrol fuelled horses with backing vocals provided by the enthralled crowd. This is Gatebil. This mixture of adrenaline and octane is electric in the air, I get excited well before entering the track and I remain in that state until it is time to go home. It is a celebration of motorsport and I would love to share it with you.

Words & Pictures: Dave Cox (Shooting Dave)

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