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Who designed Karlskoga?


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#1 Barry Boor

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Posted 27 December 2005 - 11:16

Driving the first practice session for my slot-car Kannonloppet race at Karlskoga this morning, I had this sudden feeling that I was driving on a modern facility.

I'm not referring to the run-offs/pit complex/surface etc, but simply to the overall layout of the track:

Posted Image

It really has the same sort of feel as several of the much more recently-built 'grand prix' circuits.

So my question is, who was responsible for the shape of this one?

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#2 Tomas Karlsson

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Posted 27 December 2005 - 12:23

I haven't really found any other name than the guy who started it all - Gunnar Olsson. He was the strong man in Karlskoga Motor Club and started the project together with the owner of the land, Elias Frisk, without any permission from the authorities. They just laid out gravel from Frisk's gravel pit on a field. And before anyone really understood what had happened there was a racetrack. A long period of legal trouble followed, but in the end the chairman of the club only got a symbolic fine.
The first race in 1950 was on a very loose gravel track and they have always had problems with a bumby track. That is because they didn't do any proper ground work before they started.
The tracks layout has changed a bit during the years.
The first track was quite a bit shorter then the F1-version and also had a speedway track inside it. The first extension came in 1954 and gave the track the first long bend, Trösen, where the most overtakings are made.
The second extension included the Velodrom. (The haipin after the long straight should be a banked bend!). Today the track has been shortened and the Velodrom-bend is no longer a part of the circuit.
During the sixties there were plans to extend the track after the first bend, to make it long enough for a Swedish GP. But then Anderstorp and Mantorp were built and after the accident in Kanonloppet 1970 there were no glorious future for the track.

#3 Tomas Karlsson

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Posted 27 December 2005 - 12:23

I haven't really found any other name than the guy who started it all - Gunnar Olsson. He was the strong man in Karlskoga Motor Club and started the project together with the owner of the land, Elias Frisk, without any permission from the authorities. They just laid out gravel from Frisk's gravel pit on a field. And before anyone really understood what had happened there was a racetrack. A long period of legal trouble followed, but in the end the chairman of the club only got a symbolic fine.
Posted Image
The first race in 1950 was on a very loose gravel track and they have always had problems with a bumby track. That is because they didn't do any proper ground work before they started.
The tracks layout has changed a bit during the years.
The first track was quite a bit shorter then the F1-version and also had a speedway track inside it. The first extension came in 1954 and gave the track the first long bend, Trösen, where the most overtakings are made.
The second extension included the Velodrom. (The haipin after the long straight should be a banked bend!). Today the track has been shortened and the Velodrom-bend is no longer a part of the circuit.
During the sixties there were plans to extend the track after the first bend, to make it long enough for a Swedish GP. But then Anderstorp and Mantorp were built and after the accident in Kanonloppet 1970 there were no glorious future for the track.

#4 Stefan Ornerdal

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Posted 27 December 2005 - 12:33

His name was Gunnar Olsson, chairman of the Karlskoga Motor Klubb, and a successful race-driver with his home-built "Go-On" and "Go-On II" in Nordic Special racing car class.

The first Kanonloppet (The Cannon Race) was run 1950 on shale.
The 2nd race was in 1952, now on tarmac.
1953, the first bend "Troesenkurvan" was extended, but no race was held.
1958, the bend at the far right, "Velodromkurvan" was added.

Stefan

#5 Ray Bell

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Posted 27 December 2005 - 12:37

Wasn't it just the result of trying to get the maximum lap distance that could be had in a small space?

I seem to recall reading once that the circuit was confined in some way...

#6 Barry Boor

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Posted 27 December 2005 - 13:02

Thank-you, gentlemen.

I thought it had the feel of maybe being a Hugenholtz track.

#7 Tomas Karlsson

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Posted 27 December 2005 - 13:48

I seem to recall reading once that the circuit was confined in some way...


When Gunnar Olsson laid out plans för a further extension, it incorporated a bridge over the river...

#8 P 4 Staff

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Posted 27 December 2005 - 18:07

I don´t know much about the race-track.
But...I visited "Kanonloppet" in 1968...including the "velodrome" as well.
A...fighter-plane..."Draken" I believe...doing a fantastic show...came flying in at low speed...and then with the "afterburner" flying like a rocket to the sky.

AND...I remember very well that David Piper :smoking: won in his dark green Ferrari P 3/4 #0854 after JoBo :down: went off in the first curve.

AND: EARTHA KITT was there as well.

Will try to load a pic.

Posted Image

If it works It´ll be great...David Piper in the green Ferrari....who is he going to overtake?
Best.

#9 Barry Boor

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Posted 27 December 2005 - 20:03

Ulf Norinder?

#10 Ray Bell

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Posted 27 December 2005 - 20:15

Originally posted by Barry Boor
Ulf Norinder?


*spits aside*

#11 MCS

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Posted 27 December 2005 - 20:34

Originally posted by Ray Bell


*spits aside*


:confused:

#12 Ray Bell

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Posted 27 December 2005 - 22:15

Originally posted by MCS
:confused:


That's how you feel about people who try to rape their host's wife...

#13 Tomas Karlsson

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Posted 28 December 2005 - 09:00

If it works It´ll be great...David Piper in the green Ferrari....who is he going to overtake?


Yep! It's Ulf Norinder in his first T70 (SL73-132).
The picture must come from practice, because Norinder broke the transmission on this car and didn't start. Not with this one anyway.
And JoBo recovered to take second in the race.

#14 Tomas Karlsson

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Posted 28 December 2005 - 09:16

I thought it had the feel of maybe being a Hugenholtz track.


You must remember that the Swedish race organizers in those days had a huge experience in designing race-tracks. They used to lay new tracks every winter on the frozen lakes around the country and there were a lot of discussions on how a good track should look like.

#15 Barry Boor

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Posted 28 December 2005 - 10:58

On the subject of racing at Karlskoga, it seems very strange to me that after attracting a very good entry of European F.1 cars and drivers for the Kannonloppet, they only gave them a 30 lap, 56 mile race!

Any reason, Tomas?

#16 doc knutsen

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Posted 28 December 2005 - 12:43

Iirc, the 1963 F1 race at Karlskoga was run in two parts, with wee Jimmy winning on aggregate.
As for the reason for the relatively short race distance, I do not know but they did cram a lot of races into the day's schedule. The 1963 race also saw the debut win of Bo Ljungfeldt's Cortina GT (in BRG) against all the Volvo PVs in what was known as the "Volvo class" at the time.
The 1968 race featured Eartha Kitt as the "kranskulle", ie the lady who hands out the laurel wreath to the winner. She was given the opportunity to accompany Bonnier in the McLaren on his victory lap...er, second place lap of honour.;) He went pretty carefully down the pit straight and around the Troskurvan with this precious cargo on board, then opened up when he got on the straight up towards the Velodrome curve, Ms Kitt's head jerking back visibly in the cockpit the moment that JoBo hit the throttle...
The Velodrome curve was banked pretty steeply! The idea was to go high on the banking on the exit, thus accelerating onto the straigh aided by a steep downwards slope.
Incidentally, the leading F1 teams used what had previously beeen the manure cellars of the nearby farm Gelleraasen for their workshop. It was easy for a spotty teenager to walk up to the farm in the evenings, and meet his heroes. In 1963, Team Lotus and MRD were there, and both Brabham, Hulme and chief mech Noddy Grohmann would take time out to chat with a young fan.

The 1967 main race was for Formula Two, and Stewart's Matra beat Rindt for once. But what a starting field they had in F2 over the years, Brabham, Hulme, Hill, Stewart, Surtees and Rindt were just some of the luminaries that would grace this circuit. Sadly, things came to an end with the spectator fatalities in 1970 when two saloon cars somersaulted into the crowds. They tried again in 1974, once more running F2 for their main race, but that race nearly saw another fatal accident when Soren Moren's Gr 2 Ford Escort hit a stranded F2 that had unaccountably been left at the trackside after retiring out on the circuit during the F2 race, and caught fire. It looked horrible, and although Moren eventually survived that was about the final nail in the coffin for big-time events at Gelleraasen. It was a pretty challenging track...and when I first raced there, in 1976, in a 999 Cooper S, my lap times were only a few seconds off those set by one S. Moss in a Cooper Monaco in 1959, the same year that the Mini was launched. Technology progressed in leaps and bounds back then, too!

#17 Tomas Karlsson

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Posted 28 December 2005 - 19:15

On the subject of racing at Karlskoga, it seems very strange to me that after attracting a very good entry of European F.1 cars and drivers for the Kannonloppet, they only gave them a 30 lap, 56 mile race!


They tried 50 laps for the main race on the first Kanonloppet with the long circuit in '58, but the general opinion in the press afterwards was that it would have been enough with 30. I think the audience was quite satisfied with that.
In 63 they did two heats with 20 laps each. And I think that was enough for the rain-drenched crowd at that time.
It is possible to see the whole track, so the crowd wouldn't miss anything.