Dahlgren endures Bathurst baptism of fire

Tom Howard

Thursday 9th October, 2014 - 10:00pm

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Robert Dahlgren's Volvo being retrieved after practice 3 shunt

Robert Dahlgren’s Volvo being retrieved after its Practice 3 shunt

Robert Dahlgren remains confident he can master the mountain despite enduring a Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 debut to forget in the opening day of running at Mount Panorama.

The Swede completed just 13 laps of the 6.2km circuit on Thursday, with the Garry Rogers Motorsport driver encountering an engine drama followed by a heavy crash in the third practice session.

Dahlgren’s Volvo was forced to undergo an engine change which saw the #34 S60 miss almost the entire second practice session, designated for co-driver Greg Ritter.

The duo’s day was made worse when a mistake saw Dahlgren clatter the wall hard at The Dipper, causing significant damage to the left side of the car.

The 34-year-old was not the only driver to find running challenging with David Wall, Cameron Waters and Garth Tander also suffering crashes.

“I had a bit of moment,” Dahlgren told Speedcafe.com

“I actually thought I saved it before because it started a little bit.

“After Skyline I hit the grass and got a bit unstable but then it dipped in and the rear stepped out.

“I released the brake to get into the Dipper and when I came in the rear snapped the other way.

“I started the day feeling ok. I started to push a little more and it is not that I pushed too hard, I just missed an apex.”

Despite the difficult opening day, the Scandinavian touring car star expects his squad to fix the car for Friday’s running with his confidence unshaken that he can offer more of a glimpse into his skills at Mount Panorama.

“I will be surprised if it is not fixed for tomorrow (Friday),” added Dahlgren.

“The guys do a great job. I have a mechanic from Sweden and he has done some remarkable things before, they will put it together.

“I think this race is a chance to show more of what I can do.

“Most of the tracks in Australia have corners that are banked the wrong way.

“All the tracks in Europe have no banking or banking that cambers in so this place is like a European circuit in a way and will suit me.

“I just need more laps I only had 13 laps and it is just not enough.”

Dahlgren’s future in V8 Supercars beyond this season looks bleak, with the Polestar driver admitting he is unsure where he will be driving next season.

“I’m not sure where I have a seat I definitely know I have a seat,” said Dahlgren, who has enjoyed a decade-long career with Polestar in Sweden.

“I will drive a race car next year but I don’t know where.”