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16 May 2012

Competitor to the rescue

Category: ERC, May, News Posted 16.05.12 21:58 by

Kim Steinsholt to lend David Nordgård the ex-Ole Håbjørg BMW 1-series E87 TouringCar for the Austrian round held in two weeks’ time.

 

Young home-grown driver David Nordgård found himself stuck in a difficult situation last month. After a long winter of hard work and financial constraint the team led driver and car into round one riding high on a wave of optimism with the belief that this was to be Nordgård’s best season yet.

Things were looking good. A sixth place finish at the end of the weekend in Great Britain, and a car that was constantly gaining speed and grip. But the small team from Norway had their hopes shattered just three weeks later after exiting the French round early. The Ford Focus Mk2 driver was struck with engine trouble that the team could not repair in time for Sunday’s heats and finals, during round two, and were less than optimistic that they could get the car ready for Austria with such a limited budget.

After the second round in Dreux, France, the team did not know what to think, or do, tells David Nordgård: “It was a real downer, but somehow we managed to see the positive things that happened during that race, and that was the speed. All the team agreed that this adventure had to continue.”

“It would maybe have been a bit easier to have returned to Norway with a medal in the pocket, and surely been easier to hit the papers, and contacted future sponsors. This did not happen, but it was surely no time to quit. The car is as finished as it can be, but still there is no budget to go to the next rounds in the ERC,” reflected Nordgård.

But it seems there was a light at the end of the tunnel. David explains how a competitor at Lydden asked if he could help him to prepare his car for the Hungarian round. “I was slightly confused at this, seeing as I was not was going to either Austria or Hungary, he then asked me if I could bring his car in the bus to Nyirád, and in addition to that, asked ‘why don’t you compete in my car in Austria’?”

The car was previously owned by 2011 Norwegian champion Ole Håbjørg, but will be lent to Nordgård from the hands of Kim Steinholt.

“Maybe the team can collect some points in Austria, and still be in the title race. This is both a Christmas and birthday present in one package,” replies Nordgård.

“This is a big kick to continue the battle. To get help like that is not usual in any other sports, and the team will always remember this. I will do the car justice and drive flat out all weekend. Thanks a lot to Team Steinsholt,” commented a content David Nordgård.

Motor builders Zomer in Holland are currently working flat out to finish repairing the engine and David is now working towards getting the Ford Focus finished in time for the ERC round of Hungary. While he drives in Austria, his hopes of being able to participate in Nyirád in June still hang in the balance. The team are adamant that they will compete in the Norwegian and Swedish rounds. “I really want to show what the Focus can do when in form,” concluded Nordgård.

Today the team successfully tested the BMW TouringCar in preparation for the rapidly approaching Austrian round. The team carried out 6 laps and Nordgård reported that the car is of a high standard and hugely competitive. “I put the pedal to the metal from the first second. It is totally different from the Focus, but I think it will be fun to drive,” said Nordgård.