Linn Fløysvik claims her first FIA title in an unforgettable season with highs and lows
In what only was her second full season in the FIA European Top Methanol Championship, Linn Fløysvik claimed the title in 2023. The driver from Norway had to fight until the end to clinch the championship in what was at least to say a challenging season. It is not without a reason that Fløysvik expresses her special thanks to her team and calls her crew the backbone of her success.
After the coronavirus break in the FIA European Drag Racing Championship, Linn Fløysvik and her Karlson Motorsport team decided to run the full championship for the first time in 2022. The Norwegian racer finished in third position and set her goals for 2023. The second full season started on a high note as Fløysvik claimed the win at The Main Event, reset her personal best to 5.51 seconds and was leading the championship for the first time. The Main Event victory was a special highlight as it was also her first win in the FIA European Championship. The Karlson Motorsport driver was still leading the title race after the Tierp Internationals. But after a first round exit at the Summit Racing Equipment Internationals, Fløysvik dropped into the second position behind Silvio Strauch.
At Hockenheim Fløysvik lost the semifinal in an extremely close (5.58 to 5.60 seconds) battle with Johnny Oksa, but was back in the lead when the championship headed back to Santa Pod Raceway for the grand finale. With Sandro Bellio and Silvio Strauch close behind, the title was far from sure for Fløysvik. A devastating engine damage due to a broken crankshaft on the first qualifying run seemed to hurt the title dream. But the whole Karlsen Motorsport crew worked overtime and on Saturday Fløysvik claimed the number three qualifying position with a great 5.55 seconds. After a first round win, the semifinal run against Bellio, the only remaining title rival, was crucial. Fløysvik defeated the 2019 and 2022 champion and the rest is history. The first FIA European Top Methanol Championship was a fact, a dream came true for Fløysvik and her crew! Time to ask the champion how she looks back at the 2023 season.
You won your first championship in 2023. How do you look back at last season?
Looking back at last season, it was truly an exhilarating and challenging journey. We experienced a rollercoaster of emotions throughout the year. It all began on a high note with our first event win at The Main Event, where we even set a new personal best in the final. However, as the season progressed, we encountered some hurdles related to our ignition system. After Tierp #2, a red light in the eliminations cost us the championship lead. Despite these setbacks, we fought our way back into contention at Hockenheim, eventually reclaiming the championship lead. The European Finals were a true test of our determination, as we had to rebuild our engine overnight after a catastrophic failure in the first qualification round. The semi-finals during this event were the most nerve-wracking race of my career, and the feeling of triumph when we won was absolutely indescribable.
What was your best race?
The highlight of the season for me was the final at The Main Event. It was an unforgettable race where we not only secured our first event victory but also achieved a new personal best.
What was the most important race for winning the title?
The moment that defined our championship victory was the semi-final at the Euro Finals. We were up against the reigning champion, fully aware that a win in this race would secure the championship for us.
Most proud of in 2023?
In 2023, my greatest source of pride is my incredible team. These individuals are more than just my crew; they are like family to me. Despite the numerous challenges we faced, their unwavering dedication and hard work in preparing the car truly stood out.
Toughest moment of the season?
The toughest moment of the season was probably after Q1 at the Euro Finals when our engine broke. It was an incredibly challenging situation, and we faced an uphill battle to gather all the necessary parts and assemble the spare engine.
Toughest competitor in 2023?
Throughout the season, our toughest competitor was Silvio Strauch. He consistently challenged us for the championship lead. Additionally, Sandro Bellio proved to be a formidable opponent, coming dangerously close to catching up towards the end of the season.
How where the reactions after winning the title?
The reactions after winning the title were a whirlwind of pure happiness and euphoria. It’s still surreal to fully grasp what we’ve achieved.
People/companies you want to thank?
I cannot express enough gratitude to my dedicated team—they are the backbone of our success. I’d also like to extend heartfelt thanks to the companies that supported us throughout the season, including Knapphus Energi, Xrig, Odyssey, Quest Innovate, and all others who backed us. Additionally, I want to express my appreciation to the fans and everyone who visited our pit to show their support; your encouragement means the world to us.
Plans, goals and expectations for 2024?
In 2024, our goal is to return to the track with the #1 on our car and defend the championship title. We aim to continue our winning momentum and build upon our success from the previous season.
Anything else you want to tell here? I want to emphasize that this victory was the result of an incredible team effort. It’s a testament to the dedication, hard work, and perseverance of everyone involved, from my team to our sponsors and supporters. Together, we achieved something truly remarkable, and I’m excited about the journey ahead.
Photos: Remco Scheelings