Dog Day Afternoon.
It might come as somewhat of a surprise to Magda’s fans from outside Sweden that not all of her racing challenges this year took place at the more familiar venues or indeed against the usual four wheeled opposition. One of Magda’s more unusual exploits in 2017 was to participate in a TV programme called “ Duellen “ which is broadcast each Saturday evening, in a prime time slot, by the Swedish national broadcaster SVT.
Literally translating as Duel the show’s format sees the producers’ pitch people against each other or sometimes non humans in a contest, the outcome of which has to be guessed by the studio audience.
Magda was approached by the show’s production team earlier this year with a view to pitting her fearsome, nearly 600bhp VW Polo SuperCar against another incredible all limb drive contender in the form of one of Scandinavia’s fastest greyhound racing dogs called Joe LaBello.
At first glance that might not be such a fair contest until one considers some statistics.Magda’s car can accelerate, on a paved surface, from a standing start to 100kph in just over two seconds. It has incredible traction and can corner as if it was on rails on a normal rallycross circuit that is.The greyhound on the other hand is the fastest accelerating land animal save for the Cheetah.It can reach it’s maximum speed of up to 60kph in a mere six strides. It has the most intelligent and adaptive four limb drive system in the animal kingdom and consequently it’s cornering ability is phenomenal particularly in the confines of it’s natural racing environment.Magda has never been short of ambition, motivation or determination when approaching a race. But the greyhound has the most potent primordial motivation of all, that of chasing down dinner !.So all things considered the show’s researchers had really done their homework and the scene was set for a contest whose outcome was truly too close to call.The contest would take place at the Stockholm’s Åkers Kanal Greyhound Park on September 9th. and the format would see the car and dog complete separate runs around approximately three quarters of the tracks length.
The outcome would produce a nail biting finish with four wheels just out performing four legs by a mere thirtieth of a second.
Reflecting on her canine encounter Magda comments.
“ This was a most usual challenge and my approach had to be rather different to my normal pre race preparations. There was certainly no simulator software available for this venue. Although we may be rivals on the track normally fellow rallycross competitors are a social bunch of people and we all get on very well in the paddock. This time however my rival refused any overtures of pre event pleasantries and I got the distinct impression he was playing mind games with me, attempting to psyche me out with his warm up routines and muscle flexing. However despite the silent treatment I do admire his tenacity and respect him as a worthy opponent. The run itself was executed as I had planned and I pushed to the limits of traction and control afforded by this unusual course. I was of course delighted to win, albeit by a small margin. Any opportunity for a mutual post race celebration was declined as my rival took his leave of us as he had a pressing appointment in Copenhagen the following day. In a more serious vein it was a fantastic opportunity to introduce what I do to a much wider audience that would not perhaps be familiar with the sport of rallycross. Certainly the reaction via my social media channels was extremely gratifying and indicated that the event struck a chord with very many people.I am always delighted to avail of an opportunity presented to me to advance the profile of the sport I love. “
For those of you residing in the Nordics and have access to SVT click on the following link to enjoy footage of the event.
Riga’s Bikernieki Sports Centre hosted this weekend’s final round of the 2017 FIA European Rallycross Championship for Supercars. In front of a capacity and vocally partisan stadium the destiny of the championship would be decided. The presence of a nearby pine forest might at first suggest a more rural location but in fact the track is within city limits and a mere 20 minutes drive from the city centre.
Magda’s second competitive event at this venue began with the only opportunity that exists in rallycross where luck alone can influence the outcome, that is in the traditional Friday afternoon draw for the Q1 grid positions. Drawn in pole position, in the first heat, with only two other competitors was a rare but welcome start to the weekend for the young Skane native.
Lining up on the grid in perfect Autumnal sunshine which was in stark contrast to the weather conditions prevailing here last year for day one. Despite once again showing her pace during the race and employing excellent race tactics by taking here joker lap early, her run was abruptly thrown off course, quite literally, by contact from another competitor whilst exiting his joker lap.
Q2 would present even more challenges as the weather was intent on a repeat performance of last year’s first day deluge. Frequent and intense shower activity had left standing water on parts of the track replete with some very, low friction, loose surface sections. Once again Magda launched well and was in third position and demonstrating her intent to better that when fate struck another blow in the form of a puncture. Thus forcing a very frustrated driver to coast home while attempting to negotiate the treacherous conditions and whilst avoiding any further strain on the drive train. Saturday night’s lowly overall placing was ample evidence that Friday’s luck had, for now at least, deserted the team.
Sunday saw improved weather but the legacy of Saturday’s rain meant that the circuit was still drying when Magda’s heat began. A cautious start saw her take third place in the heat and qualify in the middle of the pack and eagerly looking forward to optimum track conditions in Q4 for that final push to book a place in her third semi final of the year. However fate had other plans as Magda launched off the start line the cardan shaft broke and the resulting damage caused an oil leak which in turn ignited on the exhaust system, starting a small fire at the rear of the car. Ever the professional, Magda calmly drove the car to the nearest fire marshal’s post and sportingly drew it off the racing line before evacuating. The fire was quickly extinguished by the exemplary intervention of the fire marshal. Magda was completely unhurt and subsequently supervised the recovery of her car back to the paddock.
Rallycross, unlike fairy tales, does not always do happy endings and unfortunately this was not the season finale both driver and team had worked so hard to achieve. However there have been so many positives from Magda’s inaugural season in SuperCars not least been classified as sixteenth overall from a regular field of almost twice that number marks quite an achievement in this talented young driver’s career.
Magda takes up the story of what proved to be a challenging event in her own words.
“ The technical nature of the Riga track always poses a challenge as unlike some other circuits it is very difficult to establish the kind of flowing driving pace that is my preference. However we had an excellent event here last year and a very positive test session last month. I particularly love competing here because of the passion of the fans and the excellence of the event organisation.My Latvian weekend began so promisingly with an excellent luck of the draw Q1 grid position. However by Saturday evening I was feeling very frustrated as my prospects in Q1 were thwarted by a questionable incident beyond my control and then in Q2 by picking up that puncture so early in what was always going to be a challenging heat owing to the prevailing weather conditions. My philosophy in such circumstances is to leave the analysis of Saturday’s event until later and apply my full focus to my Sunday performance. New day, new opportunity !.Q3 provided me with an uneventful run although the circuit had not quite recovered from the previous day’s soaking and thus our setup was not entirely suited to the conditions but we knew that at the rate the track was drying we could really push in Q4. However our best laid plans evaporated on the start line when the propeller shaft broke and caused other mechanical mayhem. My priorities suddenly changed to extricating myself safely from the car on a live race circuit and at the same time attempting to minimise fire damage to the car. I am pleased to say that I achieved both and wish to commend the expeditious actions of the fire marshal in assisting me.
To say that I am disappointed with the outcome of events here this weekend would be an understatement. However I also realise that rare mechanical failures are completely beyond a driver’s control and reflect in no way on the progress that we have made this year.I cannot believe that my first competitive season in SuperCars has reached it’s conclusion already. It has been a challenging but hugely rewarding experience. It has been such a privilege to drive this amazing Volkswagen Polo SuperCar and equally to be part of such a team of consummate and friendly professionals. Just five competitive rounds is altogether too brief to truly develop the skillset to extract the most from this superlative race car. However I am immensely proud of how I have developed as a driver this year. My sincere gratitude to all of those, family and friends, team colleagues, generous commercial partners and to you, my loyal supporters, thank you all so very much.
Special congratulations to my team mate Anton on being crowned the 2017 Euro-RX SuperCar champion in such emphatic style here in Riga. “
That concludes our race reports for this season but continue to check back here for frequent updates on Magda’s off season activities and to hear of her future plans.
As we always say here at team Magda-RX “ The best has yet to come “
As a special treat for her supporters and to celebrate the conclusion of her first SuperCar adventure Magda will launch her YouTube channel on Wednesday next September 20th. with an introductory video of what fans can expect through this medium in the future. Check it out and enjoy !.
Riga calling – Latvian Race Preview.
The days are shortening now and Summer has morphed into Autumn. Likewise the various rallycross class championships are drawing to their respect conclusions. Next weekend’s visit of the series to Latvia will see the 2017 Euro-RX competition for SuperCars reach it’s ultimate round concluding the five round series at Riga’s Bikerniki sport complex.
Latvia may be a very small country but the interest in rallycross is quite a phenomena in this Baltic state. Doubtless because the country already boasts two European champions interest In rallycross is rife in society here. This is the second time that Riga has played host to the series. Latvian society takes it’s hosting responsibilities very seriously indeed and the event enjoys support from the very highest echelons of the national government down to the ordinary fans who last year contributed to the highest level of ticket presales for any round in the championship.
Known as one of the more challenging circuits of the series the Bikernieki course is familiar to Magda as she had a very successful event here last year as she closed the gap on in her challenge for the Touring car crown. It is also the second venue, after Holjes, where she has had the opportunity to undertake a full SuperCar test which took place early last month when the Marklund squad visited Riga with it’s full test team. Obviously a test cannot simulate actual race dynamics but it is invaluable in terms of car set up and driver assimilation of the track.
Magda approaches this final round of the 2017 championship with renewed confidence buoyed up by another scintillating performance last weekend in France. Evidently she is getting ever more comfortable in the car as her seat time increases in the fabulous Volkswagen Polo. The pace is there as is the increasing race craft experience which all contributed to the attainment of a fantastic eight place in the overall event rankings.
To set the scene for the event please click on the following link to hear Magda’s answers to a media interview profiling the Latvian round which was conducted during her recent visit to Riga.
Magda is really looking forward to meeting all of her local fans who were so supportive during her last competitive drive here, do call by her pit area and say Sveiki.For those of you who cannot be at the event please do stay tuned to her social media channels throughout the weekend and check back here for our post race report.
Magda-fique! Loheac Race Report.
La dame du grande vitesse.
The tiny Breton village of Loheac hosted this weekend’s fourth and penultimate round of the 2017 Euro-RX championship for SuperCars. The village’s permanent population may be a modest 700 people but when the World and European Rallycross circus rolls into town every September the population can multiply by a factor of 100 times. Bretons are a proud and patriotic people and are absolutely passionate about rallycross, no doubt cognisant of the fact that this is the birthplace of French rallycross. It was this heady mix of history and enthusiastic fans that set the scene for Magda’s Gallic competitive debut. Such is the strength of the French national championship and the consequent proliferation of SuperCars that both the World and Euro SuperCar classes boasted maximum entries of 25 and 35 respectively. As a result this would not only mark Magda’s fourth SuperCar event but it would also be the most competitive. But relaxed and refreshed after the Summer break the young Skanian was feeling confident and prepared to take up the gauntlet of competition with her characteristic respect all and fear none philosophy.
Once again, owing to the sheer volume of entrants, the first free practice session would take place on Friday night. Notwithstanding the fact that this was her first opportunity to drive on this hallowed circuit Magda immediately demonstrated her intent and finished 11th. fastest in class. Improving on that position by another three placings during the Saturday morning’s free practice.
All that augured well in preparation for the qualification rounds three of which would take place on Saturday. This workload would put pressure on both drivers and technical teams as the preparation time between runs would be much reduced so it would be essential to get race settings correct from the data garnered during the practice sessions. As always the Marklund Motorsport squad achieved just that despite the additional pressure of having their two drivers drawn in the same heat in Q1.
Her pace hampered by traffic meant that Magda’s event go off to a challenging start as she qualified in the middle of the pack in Q1.
However in Q2 Magda stormed up the rankings to a very credible fourth fastest in class. Likewise in Q3 she drove an inspired heat to finishing in fifth position overall. The combined scores of all three heats seen her in a very enviable 7th position in the overnight consolidated rankings, an excellent result in such a competitive field in this her first visit to Loheac. That good performance was vital on a very busy Saturday as weather conditions were forecasted to deteriorate overnight with an Atlantic storm set to bear down on western France on Sunday promising a wet race day.
Sunday morning’s leaden skies introduced a completely different dynamic to the circuit as a combination of rainfall and low temperatures rendered Saturday’s highly effective race setup null and void to cope with the slippery conditions present for Q4. To exacerbate the track conditions even more was the fact that Magda had the outside lane of the very last heat in Q4 after the track had been subject to all of the World and Euro-RX SuperCar competitors.So it would prove as treacherous circuit conditions and a difficult race start conspired to cost Magda valuable time and dropped her to 20th. place in Q4. Nonetheless thanks to Saturday’s stellar performance she comfortably qualified for her second semi final and a personal best 9th. place in the post qualification intermediate classifications accumulating another eight championship points.
Although Magda started from the third row of her semi final grid she drove an inspired race to finish in an incredible fourth place. Having being classified in a very credible eight place in the overall event rankings, from a start list of 35 competitors, made for a very satisfactory conclusion to yet another progressive weekend in Magda’s Euro-RX campaign.
Magda takes up the story of her French weekend in her own words.
“ I was really looking forward to this my first competitive event in France and particularly at the iconic Loheac circuit. My pre event perceptions of the atmosphere created by some of the most passionate rallycross fans anywhere proved to be most accurate. Seldom have I experienced such enthusiastic support from the spectator side of the fence it was practically tangible.
I was very pleased with my own performance throughout the weekend and yet again confirms that we are certainly developing with every event. Finishing in eight place overall from a class capacity entry of 35 of my peers represents a wonderful personal achievement and proof positive of my progression in just four events in SuperCars. My stated pre season aspiration was to qualify for a semi final. The fact that I have now achieved just that in 50% of the events contested is a source of great personal satisfaction in this my inaugural year in Euro-RX’s premier class.
But none of this would be possible without the tremendous support of my team and their efforts to provide me with the best possible equipment and circumstance to achieve my ambitions. Congratulations to my team mate Anton on consolidating his lead in the 2017 championship to a virtually unassailable points total. I was overwhelmed by the vocal support of my many fans here this weekend and to those of you who registered their support via my social media channels. Thank you all so very much.
Now my attention turns to the final round of the series and our return to Riga in two weeks time. See you there !. “
Allez les bleus ( et jaunes ) ! – Loheac preview
The long Summer break for Euro-RX participants is almost over as France prepares to host the penultimate round in the 2017 series over the first weekend in September.
The event takes place at the birthday place of Gallic rallycross in the tiny village of Loheac some 30kms south of the city of Rennes in the western French province of Brittany.
Whilst the permanent population may be small this venue historically attracts the largest spectator numbers of any event in the championship. Furthermore French spectators in general and the local Bretons in particular are some of the most passionate and well informed rallycross fans in Europe.
Amazingly despite this being Magda’s sixth season in rallycross the upcoming Loheac round will represent her first competitive outing in France.
The host country has a special resonance with Magda as she was born on France’s national day of celebration, Bastille day. Added to the fact that this will afford her ever expanding Gallic fan base their first opportunity to see her compete live, it promises to be a memorable event.
Notwithstanding that Summer is a traditional holiday time Magda has been diligently preparing for the remaining two rounds of the Euro-RX . Last month she travelled with the Marklund squad to Riga’s Bikernieki sports stadium, which will host the Latvian round of the competition in mid September, for an extensive test session gaining some vital extra seat time in her potent Volkswagen Polo Mark 5 SuperCar. Although a live test in Loheac was not logistically practical Magda has been virtually driving the track using Codemaster’s DiRT 4 rallycross software loaded on Svenska Bilsport’s fabulous simulator located at their Bosön training centre.
“ I am really looking forward to my first competitive rallycross outing at the cradle of French rallycross in Loheac. I feel relaxed and rejuvenated after the Summer break and eager to build on the huge leap in competitiveness that we achieved at my home event in Holjes last month. My recent live test session in Riga has confirmed once again that I have the speed and with every additional kilometre driven I am feeling ever more comfortable in the car. Working closely with my amazing race engineer and talented technicians I know there is even more pace to come from both car and driver. Using the incredible facilities at SBF’s Bosön training centre I have gleaned a good understanding of the Loheac track. The circuit is both fast and technical in nature with a very challenging mix of corners combined with the traditional narrow French racing line. I have a large French fan base and I am eagerly looking forward to meeting as many of them as possible in person during race weekend. The race bus has been packed with a bumper supply of my 2017 autograph cards so please do drop by my pit area and say bonjour. “
So comments a clearly enthused and confident Magda.
We hope that as many of you as possible will accept Magda’s invitation and call by her pit area for a traditionally warm Swedish welcome. If you cannot be there is person follow her progress over the weekend via her social media channels and our read our post event race report in this space. Allez Magda !
Herby goes to Hörby.
Although Magda has just turned nineteen, she has already been driving competitively for a decade in a wide diversity of race cars.
Incredibly the Skane native, who earlier this month posted the fourth fastest qualifying time in the SuperCar class of the FIA European Rallycross Championship at her home event in Holjes driving her 600bhp VW Polo Mark 5, cannot drive down to her neighbourhood shop to buy some milk as currently she does not have a driving permit.
However all of that is about to change. Free from the necessary distractions of her school work following her recent successful graduation from the International Baccalaureate Programme at Lund’s renowned Cathedral School, one of Magda’s near term goals is the attainment of her driving permit.
Having recently taken delivery of some stylish personal transport in the form of a beautiful VW Beetle, courtesy of Volkswagen Sweden, Magda now has the means and the determination to work towards her goal to be a road legal driver.
Parallel with embarking on her own driver’s education programme Magda wishes to leverage this experience to remind other young drivers of the importance of responsible driving behaviour.
Ideally placed to be an ambassador for road safety awareness Magda, the experienced race driver, knows that an entirely different skillset is required for safe driving on public roadways.
“ Acquiring my driving permit has been on my to do list for quite a while and finally my schedule allows me to begin that process. The arrival of my fabulous Beetle has certainly added impetus to realising that ambition. When driving competitively I am acutely aware that I am in a very controlled environment where safety is always the number one priority. The safety systems on board my race car combined with my own personal protective safety kit lends me the confidence that should something untoward happen I know I will be well protected.
However I am keenly aware that the public highway is an entirely different space and demands a completely different driving discipline. In the context of 25,500 fatalities on European roads in 2016 it is incumbent on all of us to exercise care and consideration for our fellow road users. My message to all motor sport enthusiasts is to always keep the race in it’s place and when driving on public roads arrive alive. “
So comments Magda a clearly socially aware and responsible future road user.
Then and now – look who is 19.
Race suit styles may have altered somewhat and the trophy cabinet has certainly been extended many times in the intervening years.
But the same quiet determination and competitive streak that inspired an ambitious thirteen year old to progress from her formative years in karting to rallycross is still just as evident today as she contests the premier class of the FIA European Rallycross Championship in her fabulous VW Polo Mark 5 SuperCar as a now nineteen year old.
Today we celebrate her birthday. Grattis på födelsedagen kära Magda !.
Transformational Magic – Holjes Race Report.
This weekend’s Swedish round of the Euro RX was always going to be a special event in Magda’s 2017 race calendar. Not only was it her third event in the series but more pertinently it would take place in front of her partisan home crowd. Supported by family, friends and her most vocal fans Holjes was bound to weave it’s magic spell on her SuperCar journey.
With another record spectator attendance the lure of this venue, nestled deep in the forest country of Sweden’s western Varmland province, continues to grow in popularity.
However comforting and supportive home races are they also demand a great deal of a driver as everyone wants to perform well in front of their compatriots. Exercising her characteristic cool, calm and professional temperament Magda managed to redouble her focus and once again make huge strides in her development as a SuperCar competitor. Building on her previous event experience and drawing on her circuit specific pre event testing regime she demonstrated once again why she is one the sport’s most exciting young talents.
Given the sheer number of entrants it would prove a long weekend of driving as SuperCar free practice took place on the Friday evening in near perfect Summer weather conditions. Showing her intent from the outset Magda posted a ninth fastest time from a field of 33 entrants.
Unlike the previous events Saturday’s two qualifying rounds also took place in similar dry and sun soaked weather which meant that race car setup remained unchanged from that promising practice performance.
In Q1 Magda stormed into the lead in her heat and set a personal best SuperCar qualifying performance by stopping the clocks as sixth fastest overall qualifier. She emulated that lightning launch off the line in Q2, once again leading the pack into turn one. However a heavy landing blew out two tyres and that unfortunately determined her fate in Q2. The resulting consolidated overnight position was not reflective of her pace that was so evident in both practice and race conditions.
Unbowed Magda embraced Sunday’s qualifying rounds as another opportunity to prove her credentials as an emergent SuperCar front runner. In Q3 she certainly delivered on that potential by coming a sensational fourth fastest in class and winning her heat much to the delight of her home support. Race dynamics in Q4 meant she could not achieve the stellar result of the earlier heat. Nevertheless the attainment of yet another top ten heat placing secured her a place in her first SuperCar semi final and a credible twelfth placing in the intermediate points classifications crowned a superlative qualifying performance in this only her third event.
To put that performance in context it is worth remembering that there were 33 Euro RX entries in this event and Magda achieved the fourth fastest qualifying time, in absolute terms, of the entire event.
Making a cautious but determined start in her semi final Magda managed to skillfully avoid the initial first corner contact but unavoidably collided with another car that was thrust directly into her path by that earlier contact. So ended a memorable weekend for the talented Skane driver. It was a disappointing end to such a transformational weekend on her SuperCar journey but the positives from this magic weekend far outweigh that one negative and Magda’s incredible performance augurs exceedingly well for the remaining races in the 2017 championship.
Taking up her personal account her Holjes experience Magda commented. “ Coming home to Holjes was always going to make for a special event for the team and I. The atmosphere created in this beautiful part of western Sweden by some of the most passionate fans anywhere was palpable. As a driver there is enormous pressure to keep those home fans cheering but that is balanced by their enthusiastic support.
The say that I leave here extremely pleased with my performance would be an enormous understatement. I can honestly state that I have comfortably exceeded my own pre event expectations. In particular by realising my stated objective of translating the pace experienced during my pre event testing into real time race conditions. My qualifying times certainly vindicated my own view that we are on the correct trajectory, to my ambition of the attainment of a podium position. To effect incremental progress, in the context of the hyper competitive environment that prevails in this class, can be frustratingly slow at times but I know that further excellent results will accrue with more seat time in this fabulous car under race conditions.
Marklund Motorsport once again provided me with the best possible race car and setup together with their superlative on event technical and personal back up. Without this amazingly talented team of people behind me none of these results would be possible. Take a bow guys ! I also wish to convey huge gratitude to all of my loyal supporters who visited me in the paddock and who were so vocal during the races.Finally I am thrilled to celebrate my team mate’s victory in the Euro RX final thus further consolidating his overall lead in the series. Stor Grattis Anton. “
Now it time to enjoy this great Summer season and look forward with renewed determination to the recommencement of race action in September at the crucible of French rallycross at Loheac. Let the magic continue !.
Stay in contact with Magda’s Summer via her social media channels and some upcoming news items in this space.
If you go down to the woods today – Holjes preview.
“ Some people call it magic, I call it home “
Iconic is a very much over used term but when applied to the phenomena that is Holjes it certainly rings true. Combining as it does the raw authenticity of a traditional rallycross circuit with the modernity of the world class organisational skills of the hosting club. With attendances now exceeding 30k for anyone who loves rallycross Holjes is the venue of choice over the July 1st. and 2nd. weekend. Nestled in the midst of the beautiful forest lands that predominate this part of western Sweden Holjes is the quintessential celebration of man and machine in an idyllic mid Summer setting.
To Magda this not only marks her third SuperCar event but it is also has the distinction of being her home round of the Euro RX. Every driver races to win of course but to compete in front of one’s home audience only adds to the ambience of the magic weekend. Encouraged by a very competitive outing in the recent Norwegian round of the Euro RX in Hell two weeks ago driver and team are looking forward with the confidence that is born from the meticulous preparation that comes with competing at this level in the sport.
Previewing her home event Magda comments. “ Since I was a little girl the dream of driving in Holjes has been one of my principal motivators and having driven here on many occasions in other classes I am really enthused about driving my fabulous Polo Mark 5 SuperCar over this renowned circuit. The support of the crowd here is almost tangible and together with the presence of family, friends and commercial partners marks this event out as one of the highlights of Summer. I am very confident that we can build on the progress that was so evident in Hell and significantly Holjes is the only circuit where I have had the opportunity to test prior to a championship race. Consequently I can really focus on the actual racing here from the outset as I already know how the car reacts on this track from our test data. I am really looking forward to greeting fans old and new in my pit area where a bumper stock of my new autograph cards will be on hand, so please do drop by and say hello. See you there !. “
Whether you are a dyed in the wool rallycross supporter or an ardent party goer join us in this unique celebration of Summer deep in the Swedish forests next weekend.
Stay tuned to Magda’s magic weekend in Holjes via her social media channels.
Steady progress – Hell Race Report.
Enjoying the heat in Hell !
The annual visit to Hell began with Friday evening practice which was held in perfect Summer weather conditions. Driver and car felt good and the crew effected final setup changes ahead of Saturday’s two qualifying sessions. As if mirroring the first day’s racing at round one in Barcelona the weather would once again play a huge part in this event also. Rain arrived early on Saturday and persisted throughout most of the race schedule. Whilst rain fall amounts were relatively modest the effect on track conditions was more profound and more pertinently on car race setups which were honed in the dry conditions that prevailed during the previous evening’s practice runs.
Nonetheless Magda acquitted herself extremely well in Q1 race adopting a cautious but determined approach that saw her finish her heat in third position behind wet weather specialist Mats Ohman and the very experienced Robin Larsson. Her reward was a very credible sixteenth position in the overall standings out a total field of twice that number.
Unfortunately in Q2 things did not quite go as planned. Having made an excellent start Magda opted to go it alone on the main track whilst everyone else dived into the joker deviation. This resulted in her leading the heat and planning her joker strategy when on lap three, whilst negotiating the tricky corner at the base of the downhill section of the course, an engine stall saw her tumble down the overnight standings. It was a cruel twist of fate that was not reflective of her excellent and improving pace during the event thus far. However true to her unrelenting character this temporary setback only served to strengthen Magda’s resolve for the Sunday runs.
Sunday’s early overcast but dry conditions made a very welcome start to the day. Likewise Magda made the best possible start to her day with a superb launch from the start line and a fast but controlled display of driving that delivered her first Supercar heat win. Her time was also excellent finishing eleventh in the overall heat standings a fitting reward for her superlative driving performance coupled with a very clever race strategy by her team. Revelling in the dry conditions Magda once again made another lightning start in Q4 and lead the heat before having to settle for second in heat on the final lap as she emerged from her joker lap to join the main circuit. Nonetheless she managed to post the thirteenth fastest time in the heat.
Overall Magda was classified a very impressive fifteenth in the intermediate classifications from a field of 33 SuperCars, collecting her first SuperCar points in the series in this only her second event in the class.
Magda also created her own piece of rallycross history here this weekend by being the first Swedish woman to win a SuperCar heat and the youngest ever female driver to score points in the FIA ERX Championship for SuperCars.
Reflecting on the weekend Magda said. “ The overall sentiment that I take from this weekend’s event here in Hell is one of the quiet satisfaction of knowing that we are now translating the pace that we have seen in my test sessions into the racing environment. I have always been confident in both my driving skills and my race craft. Now I have proven that I can deliver that pace under race conditions. What I now need to work on is to deliver such results ever more consistently. Once again I must pay tribute to the amazing team at Marklund Motorsport for working so diligently all weekend in some very demanding track conditions to provide me with such a an amazing car. I would also like to congratulate my team colleague Anton on his excellent performance this weekend and consolidating his lead in the overall championship. Many thanks to all my Norwegian fans who dropped by to say hello this weekend and for all of my fan support over social media throughout the event. Now I am looking forwarding to bringing it all home to Holjes. See you there!.”
HELL-o Norway !
Magda shares her thoughts on ERX Round 2.
Summer is here at last and the FIA international rallycross series is returning to Scandinavia with the now traditional Nordic double header events at Hell in Norway and Holjes in Sweden.
It has been a particularly long break from racing action for Magda and her fellow SuperCar competitors in the FIA European Rallycross Championship. The 2017 season opener took place almost two months ago in Barcelona. That event seen an emphatic win for Magda’s Marklund Motorsport team mate Anton Marklund driving an identical Volkswagen Polo Mark 5 to the car that Magda is competing with this year. The Spanish event proved a disappointing debut in the SuperCar class for Magda as a combination of atrocious weather conditions experienced during the Saturday qualifying heats and a rare transmission failure during heat three conspired to exclude her from semi final qualification in round one of this year’s ERX challenge.
The break from race action has proved an extremely busy time for the Skane native consumed as she was by her academic studies, preparing for her final examinations in the International Baccalaureate Programme at Lund’s renowned Cathedral School. With the successful conclusion of her examinations three weeks ago Magda can now apply her full energy to her motorsport pursuits and specifically the pivotal upcoming races at Hell and Holjes.
“ I have not attempted to disguise my sense of disappointment and frustration at the outcome of the opening race in Barcelona. However I know that there was such a confluence of adverse circumstances at that event that were completely removed from my control that one cannot dwell upon that one event.
Recently all my energies have, by necessity, been directed towards the successful completion of my final school examinations. I am cognisant of the importance of the attainment of a good education as an essential perquisite to any future career opportunity. I am most appreciative of all the support from my fans as evidenced via my social media channels over the past few months.
But now my full focus is on the physical, psychological and practical prep work that goes with competing at this level in rallycross. Despite my academic workload I have undertaken further testing gaining vital seat time during our team’s recent test session at Holjes. Similar to our preseason testing regime I am very encouraged by my pace and particularly been afforded the opportunity to drive on a circuit that I am familiar with and more pertinently one that will host my home event in July. I am also fortunate to be able to pace myself against my team colleague Anton who has such a wealth of SuperCar experience and is the current class leader.
Hell is a circuit that I know very well from my previous Touring Car events there. It is a very challenging but hugely rewarding track to compete on and I am feeling very confident going there with a class leading car and the support of one of the most experienced teams in the paddock.
Looking forward to meeting you all in Hell!. “
So commented a very energised and enthused Magda as she completes her pre event preparations and looks forward to the resumption of the FIA European Rallycross Championship for SuperCars.
Do come out and enjoy Summer with us at Hell’s Lankebanen over the weekend of June 10/11th. and follow Magda’s progress during the event via her social media channels. God Sommer !.
The Easter holiday is traditionally the quintessential celebration of Spring and a time that we all look forward to the lengthening days, the imminent arrival of Summer and the return of rallycross to Northern Europe.
Magda wishes to extend her very best holiday wishes to everyone in the rallycross community and particularly her loyal and ever expanding fan base.
Thank you all so much for you continued support and now that Summer is almost here it will not be long until Magda will be bringing it all back home to Hell and to Holjes.
Happy holiday or as we say in Sweden Glad Pask !.
Spanish Lessons – Barcelona race report.
The opening round of the 2017 FIA European Rallycross championship proved a very steep and challenging learning curve for Magda this weekend in Barcelona. Faced with an entire season’s worth of varying weather and ground conditions in addition to this being her inaugural event in the SuperCar category certainly tested Magda’s resolve. But, as always, in her quietly determined way, she rose to the occasion and redoubled her efforts to overcome adversity and garner some invaluable extreme driving experience that she will undoubtedly apply in her upcoming races.
The old adage of “ the rain in Spain falls mainly in the plain “ certainly did not ring true on day one at Circuit de Catalunya. Notwithstanding it’s relative proximity to the sea as opposed to the plain weather conditions presented huge challenges to drivers and race engineers alike. Rapidly alternating periods of dry and wet weather conditions rendered tyre and setup choices a lottery.
During Q1 the track conditions quickly deteriorated with the loose sections and the carryover between the former and the paved sections of the course presenting a surface coating devoid of grip. To further exacerbate matters the grid draw dictated Magda was in the last heat and she was also was drawn on the outside row. Race plans formulated from the dry track conditions, experienced during practice, became irrelevant. A slight brush with the barrier on approach to the jump, when her vision was impaired whilst chasing down another competitor, caused an upset to her car’s landing reaction which propelled it into the opposite track side armco. Whilst the incident did not incur any damage to the car it did cost Magda precious time.
Weather conditions had improved for Q2 but still the loose sections were far from ideal for a SuperCar debutante. However despite this Magda finished third in her heat and eagerly looked forward to the forecasted drier conditions that were set to prevail for day two in Spain.
Sunday morning delivered a perfect mid Spring day with bright sunshine replacing the previous day’s overcast gloom. Everything with the car and driver felt perfect during the warm up session and Magda looked forward to Q3.
However car 19 never left the start grid as a rare but terminal gearbox failure occurred as Magda was about to launch off the start line. Through herculean efforts her amazing race mechanics managed to change the gearbox within the almost impossibly tight time window between Q3 and Q4.
Thus enabling Magda to line up for the first heat of Q4. Having made an excellent start she was in second place heading down the fast start straight rejoicing in the fact that she was at last able to participate in at least one heat under dry conditions. Eventually she finished third in the heat.
Unfortunately she could not progress to the semi finals on this occasion but this event, notwithstanding it’s trials, merely marks the beginning of Magda’s SuperCar journey. The best has yet to come.
Reflecting on her first ever SuperCar event Magda commented. “Overall the weekend has been one of frustration for me as I know, from our pre event testing, that I already have the speed to compete on a par with my contemporaries in this class. However the weather prevailing during the vital qualifying sessions on day one really dictated the outcome of this event for me. My aim, as always, was to reach the semi final stage but unfortunately given the hyper competitive nature of the class that was just not possible here in Barcelona.
However I take plenty of positives from the weekend not least the fact that the, wet weather induced, treacherous surfaces have provided valuable lessons in handling a SuperCar under such extreme conditions in the heat of competition. These are skills that it is impossible to garner under test conditions and ones that I will apply in the remaining races of the series.
I am truly grateful to my engineer, race technicians and everyone at Marklund Motorsport who battled tirelessly this entire weekend to provide me with the best possible setup to tackle such a wide variety of track conditions. Also a huge Gracias to my fans for their loyal support in person and through my social media channels all weekend.
My abiding memory of this weekend though will the sheer exhilaration of driving this amazing VW Polo SuperCar in competition. I have likened the experience to stepping from piloting a small training aircraft to a fighter plane on full afterburn.
I also wish to convey my heartiest congratulations to my team mate on effecting the best possible start to his ERX campaign by claiming maximum intermediate points followed by an emphatic win in the final. Stor Grattis Anton !.
But for now it is back to my studies as my final examinations are looming but thereafter I am eagerly looking forward to my next SuperCar outing. See you all in Hell !.”
It’s Show Time– an exclusive insight as Magda looks forward to her first SuperCar race.
Spring heralds the annual avine migration northwards from the more temperate regions where they have sought sanctuary to escape the ravages of a northern Winter. Travelling in the opposite direction the rallycross fraternity undertake their own migration to southern climes as the race season commences anew.
Spain will host this year’s curtain raising event which takes place at Circuit de Catalunya, situated just north of Barcelona, on the weekend of April 1st. and 2nd. next.
The announcements of record numbers of confirmed entrants in the various classes over recent weeks have raised the prospect of an extremely competitive and exciting campaign ahead.
The ERX series comprises of five events spread throughout the Summer and early Autumn.
Fulfilling a long held ambition to contest ERX’s premier, SuperCar class Magda is finalising her preseason preparations before embarking on the most exciting season to date on her rallycross journey. Even though still just eighteen years old this is Magda’s sixth season competing in rallycross and her fifth participating at international level. Her determination on the track is mirrored by her dedication to preseason preparatory work. This year presents particular challenges as it is also a landmark year in Magda’s academic career as she manages a huge workload ahead of her graduation, this Summer, from the international baccalaureate programme that she has been studying. All of this means that Magda has had to become an accomplished doyenne of time management.
Sharing her thoughts on the upcoming season Magda comments thus. “ I am tremendously excited by the opportunity that has been afforded me to participate at the pinnacle of ERX competition. Through necessity my studies have commanded a great deal of my time and concentration throughout the off season. But I have also applied myself to the physical and psychological preparations that are essential to be competitive as this level of the sport.
The level of competition has reached an historic high in all classes and none more so than in the SuperCar one with 29 confirmed, permanent entrants and several, event specific, ad hoc drivers taking part. My approach, as always, will be one of cautious optimism. I have complete confidence in my new team to provide me with the best possible challenger in the form of the incredible Polo Mark5 as evidenced from our testing programme. I am privileged to be working with such tremendously talented people who all share my vision of the level that we need to attain in such a competitive environment where the bar to success has been raised very high indeed. I feel the skillset that I have honed from driving a varied stable of race cars will stand me in good stead to pit myself against the very best drivers in class.
This is the attainment of a dream and I am tremendously grateful to both my new team together with the support of my generous commercial partners who collectively have made my participation at this level of the sport a reality. I am so looking forwarding to meeting all of my fans, both old and new, at the various venues in the coming months. I really appreciate all of your support and good wishes “.
You can follow Magda’s progress via her social media channels and here where we intend to keep you informed with regular updates, race reports and new features chronicling what promises to be the most exciting chapter, to date, in Magda’s rallycross adventure. Better still why not drop by in person and say hello at her pit area at any of the race venues, you will always be assured of a warm, Swedish, welcome.
Detail information of events, results, standings and general background on the sport can be found by following the link hereunder to the website of the series promoter.
No glass ceilings – Happy International Womens’ Day.
Motor sport is very often seen as one of the last bastions of male domination. But slowly the tide is beginning to turn and Magda is at the forefront of a new generation of talented and determined young drivers to emerge in the rallycross arena in recent years.
These young drivers are not defined by their gender but rather by their ability and commitment to be the very best at what they do.
Recent initiatives such as the Swedish Motorsport Federation’s “ Girls Camp “ held at their Bosun facility last Autumn point the way to the future. Events such as this have established a portal for young women to participate in an event which showcases the opportunities that exist in contemporary motorsport. Now it is incumbent on such young women to follow Magda’s lead and seize the many opportunities that are now emerging in this space.
Reflecting on her motorsport journey to date Magda comments.
“ I am often asked what it feels like to be a woman competing in a hitherto male dominated sport. I see things somewhat differently and regard myself first and foremost to be a driver who just happens to be a young woman.
When I am sitting on the grid and the starting light signals the start of the race my gender becomes irrelevant, believe me there is no ladies first etiquette in the motoring maelstrom that is the dash to that first corner.
I would encourage any young woman contemplating involvement in this amazing sport to work hard and follow your dream. Celebrate and be inspired by International Womens’ Day ”.
Magda – rising above glass ceilings.
Project XIX unveiled.
Reflecting the imminent arrival of Spring when nature produces it’s dazzling displays of fresh hues to punctuate the Winter induced greyness, Magda too has been busy in the design studio.
Precisely one month in advance of the season opening event in Barcelona Magda has today unveiled the livery of her 2017 race car.
Resplendent in a completely bespoke design the Polo Mk5 SuperCar looks both purposeful and contemporary with it’s bold, Magda inspired, purple flash detailing.
“ I am absolutely delighted with the final outcome of our design deliberations for my new race car. I believe that the design team have managed to execute a dynamic and fresh colour scheme that reflects the wonderful new racing adventure that we are about to embark upon. I am so looking forward to presenting it to fans next month, Car 19 is ready to race and so am I “
Said a very enthused and proud Magda at today’s design launch.
The company she keeps.
On the fringe of the recent FIA Offroad 2016 Awards Ceremony in Porto, Portugal Magda received a warm and chivalrous welcome to the rallycross SuperCar club by compatriot and reigning double WRX champion, as driver and team principal, Mattias Ekstrom, her former karting and JRX contemporary and 2016 ERX champion Kevin Hansen and the gregarious Andreas Bakkerud,Norway’s most successful 2016 WRX competitor.
Magda summed up the occasion thus “ It was a really gratifying experience to be made to feel so welcome as a fellow SuperCar competitor by these icons of the sport “.
Welcome to the SuperCar club Magda !.
The joinery industry in the Skane region of Sweden is assured of a bright future as Magda’s trophy cabinet is in constant need of enlargement.
Magda’s stellar performances on the European stage in 2016 have generated the latest crop of awards to grace the Andersson home.
First up was SMK Horby’s 2016 “ Driver of the Year “ award. ” It is very humbling to be recognised in such a magnificent way by one’s peers as the receipient of my home motor club’s most prestigious annual award ”. Commented a clearly elated Magda after being presented with her award by the club chairman.
Although still only eighteen years old Magda has, for the third time in her career, been awarded the accolade of “ Female Driver of the Year 2016 “ by the Federation of Southern Swedish motor clubs. Once again recognition of Magda’s leading ambassadorial role in the promotion of gender equality in rallycross.
The latest trophy to wing it’s way, quite literally, to Magda’s cabinet is the FIA European Rallycross Championship for Touring Cars Vice Champion of 2016 which was presented in Porto, Portugal at the FIA Offroad Awards ceremony which took place on Friday January 27th.
This magnificent trophy is the perfect compliment to the four podium trophies, from her successful 2016 campaign, already residing there.
Photo. Paulo Maria / FIA
To crown a memorable weekend Magda dashed back from Porto to Stockholm to attend the Bilsportgalan 2017, Sweden’s national motorsports awards ceremony, held on Saturday January 27th. where she was the recipient of one the evening’s most prestigious honours that of “ National Driver of the Year 2016 “.
“ This weekend has been a whirlwind of truly memorable experiences and I feel extremely humbled and grateful for the honours bestowed on me by the sport that I am so privileged to participate in “ declared a very proud Magda.
As part of Magda’s off track activities no opportunity is ever squandered to promote the sport of rallycross and to act in a mentoring role to enthuse and sow the seeds of interest to the next generation of potential race drivers.
The latest initiative undertaken by Magda was hosting a field trip by her old alma mater Kindergarten when they visited her team’s base to learn more of the day to day activities that go to make a class leading rallycross team.
“ It was a wonderfully refreshing experience to witness the unbounded inquisitiveness of the little ones and their interest in what I do “ commented a clearly enthusiastic Magda.
Judging by the complimentary reactions on social media afterwards the young ones clearly concurred with that assessment of the visit.
Giving something back.
To compete effectively in today’s ultra competitive rallycross arena a driver needs to undertake meticulous preparation both on and off the track.
Never has this been more evident than in the latest crop of emerging young rallycross talent.
Magda credits her participation in the Swedish Junior Rallycross Team programme as being a crucial ingredient in her development as a driver to date.
Run under the auspices of the Swedish Automobile Sports Federation the Junior Team programme assists young drivers between the ages of fourteen to eighteen years .
Reflecting on her participation, since 2013, in the programme Magda comments “ The Swedish Junior Team programme has been hugely important in my development as a driver. They are not only interested in the imparting of technical driving skills but also in the holistic development of their drivers with physical, psychological, dietary and media modules delivered as part of the curriculum on their training days “.
The promoters are also leading the way in encouraging more female participation in the sport of rallycross. Last October the inaugural “ Girls Camp “ took place at SBF’s facility at Bosun which acted as an open weekend to give prospective future competitors an introduction to the programme. Although still only eighteen years old Magda was chosen as one of the mentors for the weekend delivering the communications module. Magda summarised the experience “ It was a fantastic event and I was amazed at the diversity and enthusiasm of the participants. It was also satisfying to have the opportunity to give something back to an organisation that has made such a significant contribution to my career in motorsport “.
2017 – Preview of Magda’s SuperCar debut year.
This year Magda will contest the FIA European Championship for SuperCars driving a Volkswagen Polo based entry prepared and run by Sweden’s Marklund Motorsport.
In yet another first she will become the youngest ever woman to contest an FIA SuperCar series. Although still only eighteen years old this will be Magda’s sixth season competing in rallycross, five of which have been in European competition. Building on a highly successful 2016 campaign which culminated in her being crowned the FIA 2016 Vice Champion in the highly competitive Touring Car class. The move to the SuperCar class is seen as a natural progression for this talented and ambitious young driver. This is the realisation of a long held dream, harboured since she was a nine year old kart driver, to compete in the Euro-RX’s premier class and represents the culmination of many years of dedication and meticulous preparation both on and off the track.
Commenting on her plans for the forthcoming season Magda said “ This is the best possible platform to launch my SuperCar career. The combination of an experienced team and a car with world class credentials provides me with a unique opportunity to test my mettle against some of the most talented drivers in motorsport. I look forward with great enthusiasm to applying the skill set that I have honed over the past five years in rallycross and vindicating the faith placed in me both by my new team and my commercial partners who have made my participation at this level of the sport possible. “
The series takes place over five rounds at the following venues.
Spain, Barcelona Circuit de Catalunya April 1-2.
Norway, Hell Lankebanen June 10-11.
Sweden, Holjes Motorstadion July 1-2.
France, Loheac September 2-3.
Latvia, Riga Bikernieki stadium September 16-17.
Detailed circuit and event information can be found here www.fiaworldrallycross.com/calendar
Do come out and support Magda at any of the aforementioned events or follow her progress through her social media channels and by regular updates posted here.
2016 – Review of a momentous year.
Magda competed in the FIA European Rallycross Championship for Touring Cars in what proved to be the most successful year of her driving career thus far. Building on a strong performance in last year’s championship when she comfortably exceeded all preseason expectations, eventually coming fourth in the overall competition.
This year her ambition was to be a contender for the overall series crown. Laying down her intent from the outset she won the opening round in Belgium and went on to dominate the podium achieving a class leading four out a possible five podium finishes. She was crowned vice champion of 2016 following one of her characteristically inspired race performances at the final round of the series in Buxtehude conceding the championship title by a mere single point.
Reflecting on what has been the most successful season of her career Magda comments “ Once again I have exceeded my own expectations during what was one of the most challenging and exhilarating seasons of my career to date. I am delighted at the outcome and the fact that the entire series was characterised by the very best standards of sporting behaviour. I am so grateful to my extraordinary team members and my commercial partners without whom none of this success would have been possible. I also wish to acknowledge and express my gratitude for the phenomenal support of my fans “.
The final positions in the 2016 FIA European Championship for Touring Cars were as follows.
Ben Philip GUNDERSEN ( Nor ) 107
Magda ANDERSSON ( Swe ) 106
Fredrik MAGNUSSEN ( Nor ) 93
For further information, detailed event results and final standings please click on the following the link. http://www.fiaworldrallycross.com/standings
Please stay in contact with Magda through her social media channels and watch this space for further news on the next exciting chapter in the career of one of Europe’s most talented and promising young drivers.