“Hair, beard, face, body in chaos. He had learned that it was much tougher to drive a race car than it looks on TV.”
This is a chronicle. This means that the content is the writer’s own opinion.
How did it really happen when Sweden’s prince Carl Philip became motor prince?
It all actually started in 1992 when I met his father HM the King, Carl XVI Gustaf at an event at Karlskogabanan. We got in touch in several ways and after that HM the King used his “power” to help build up Swedish racing.
He supported Volvo’s racing, he helped draw attention to the upcoming royal class STCC, and in many good ways he helped build Swedish motorsport so that drivers such as Felix Rosenqvist and Marcus Ericsson, among others, have a formula car career today.
The king’s commitment played a major role for how they looked at STCC and SM racing in Sweden. He also helped to create, through his person, partners who together built the championship. In 1996, I met his son Prince Carl Philip, then seventeen years old, who went to Lundsberg’s school in Värmland. He liked our family and my family liked him, so he started sleeping over on the weekends.
To have something fun to do, the prince had to try my map. I did, and still do, go karting because I think it’s so much fun. We never pre-registered for competitions but just went to the track and registered on site the same morning. That way we escaped the audience, journalists and attention, we could simply just go there and have fun.
The years went by and Flash Engineering built a Volvo S60 racing car which the prince made his debut with in 2004 at Karlskoga and Mantorp in the SSK series. Still without attention. No one off the track knew anything.
From 2005 to 2007, we continued to run karting a little here and was in Sweden, without anyone knowing about it. We had a lot of fun, completely without pressure. Then, as if from nowhere, I came up with the awesome idea: What a phase, we drive the Porsche Carrera Cup, a perfect class for the prince. No elite class, just a bunch of former racing drivers who drove because it was fun, in cheeky, good cars.
Said and done. A Carrera Cup car was fixed and the first training, a three-day test at Hockenheim in Germany, was carried out in late winter / spring.
Day one, the prince was first in for breakfast, freshly shaved, with a nice hairstyle and an ironed shirt. The second day he was last for breakfast, unshaven, wrinkled and with his hair in all directions, as if straight from the pillow. On the third day of the test, he did not even show up for breakfast, he came straight to the depot and looked worn out, lifted his legs into the car and sat with an empty gaze and looked straight ahead at nothing. Hair, beard, face, body in chaos.
He had learned that it was much tougher to drive a race car than it looks on TV, what we in English call “learning by doing”.
The first race was at the same time as the STCC premiere in the spring of 2008 at Knutstorp. 10,000 in the audience, at least a hundred accredited journalists, broadcast live on TV and all media in Sweden were there and watched, it was chaos as usual but now also in the prince’s life.
The simple, anonymous, inattentive karting days were over, and reality became like a sniff of the nose that surprised us both. But that’s a different story …
Source: Senaste nytt från auto motor & sport by www.mestmotor.se.
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