Thomas Lindström and the next generation
After a turbulent off-season 2015 “Very humble” FIA European Pro Stock Champion Thomas Lindström and Team R/T are ready to head to England for what will be the first of a limited schedule of races in 2016. Thomas writes:
After our sponsor withdrew in favour of racing an operation of his own, we found ourselves facing a tough challenge as the heart of the car, some of the Hemi engines, were lost in the process. We have been working hard to raise funds to buy a new powerplant from Allen Johnsson to be able keep on racing in 2016, and we have managed to clinch some valuable sponsors for the European Mopar Pro Stock team. I can tell you all for sure that without our sponsors and their loyalty and the support they have given us we would not have been racing this year. So from the bottom of our hearts, thank you for believing in us DK Lyft & Transport, Verkstadspartner, Contractor Maskiner AB, Flinks Järn, Björnbers Åkeri, Wrapzone, R/T Bil and Maskin and Pro Tools. They stepped up their game and with their support we could finally close that engine deal with AJ.
At time of writing we have run one test session in Malmö and it went really well. 4.23 over the eighth on a pretty cold and tricky track certainly proved that we are still in business. As usual the team worked well together and it felt good to be back on track after a winter during which we almost had doubts about what we would be doing.
A lot of people wonder how we will handle Jimmy Ålund’s run in testing at Tierp when he basically drove through the sound barrier with that blue car. Well, first of all I will welcome the newbies to the Pro Stock field. We have three new drivers in Pro Stock, a couple of new cars entering the field and two of them have as much horsepower as money can buy. So this season will be awesome in every way. It will be the toughest ever year for Pro Stock in Europe and there is going to be hard core racing at every track to get the points needed to be crowned 2016 Champion. So it’s not only that blue Camaro we need to keep up with, but a new Camaro and a new Dodge which will make our lives hell on the track. But then we have the rest of the cars, and although some of them might not run any 6.5 times they are killers on the Tree and you can’t count anyone out. They are all enemies of mine at the start line, enemies which every fast car needs to pass before winning bragging rights.
With that in mind let’s look back at 2015. Ours was not the fastest car at all, we didn’t qualify better than #2 and sometimes #3 or #4 or worse. But we won the Championship anyway: not because of engine power, not because others in the field where faster, but because we simply did it best all the way. In every round our heads were in an ice bucket to keep us cool. So let them all come with as much horsepower as they have money for, we will be ready and we will do what we do best: race on race day and keep everything together as we always have.
We have had the same team for seven years now and that is important. As I driver I am getting better on each run and it finally feels like I’m the one driving the car and not the other way around. But to finally come to that realisation takes a lot of seat time and it isn’t something you can achieve with the turn of a hand. Driving and tuning a Pro Stock car is more than horsepower and cool stuff, it’s much more complicated than that. I would say that it’s 50-50 between track time and sitting at home doing the mathematics at the computer. Comparing graphs, finding the good stuff and the bad things which didn’t work. Plainly, if you want to be on top in this game you need to do the homework before you go to school. And we did that 2015. We must have in a thousand hours going through the car between races and working with different theoretical scenarios with the Racepak graphs.
The car has been updated with new shocks and electronics and is ready to fight for a win at Santa Pod. We have a new look for the car, the trailer and the crew. The car has already been wrapped by Wrapzone, I have a new driving suit from Simpson and cool new shirts for the team will make us look even better than we usually do at the track.
But this year will be a little different for Team R/T… we will be expanding the team a little. My wife Nina and I are going to have a little one. We did plan for a birth after the season, but you all know me: when I need to be fast I go slow and when I need to keep cool I go fast, and this time I did it fast. The due date is 10th September, yes the date of the European Finals at Santa Pod. So sadly we will not come visiting you there this year and kick ass. But this is one of the biggest things which has happened in my life and i will be home taking care of my wife and my son. I will gladly replace the #1 on the car for this because I know I will take it back later.
And we have another fast guy in the team, even faster actually! Tony our chassis specialist will also have a little one, a baby girl, who will arrive during the race in Hockenheim so that is another race which we not will attend.
The outcome of all of this is that we will have more children than adults in the team, if you count Roffe and I children of course. So let us raise some Mopar family this year and breed the next generation of Pro Stock drivers and then we’ll come back 2017 to take back that number one from whoever has it.
See you at the Main Event!
Special thanks to Tog and Eurodragster.com for sharing this news item.