Robert Widgren has only driven since last winter but he has already made a name for himself in the rally turn. It goes fast and usually there is a podium. “We have a hell of a lot of fun and good speed in the car,” he says.
That Robert Widgren came into this with a rally is the merit of father-in-law Dick Olanders. Robert hung out with him to watch competitions and got to try running an ice rink.
– I received the offer to borrow his car at a competition last winter. It went very well and was really fun. I bought the car and we have been driving ever since, says Robert.
Robert has been interested in motors all his life and always finds it fun to accelerate. When he thinks of the feeling in the rally car, he shines.
– The best thing is the adrenaline rush when you get to go away, it’s a great feeling, he says.
With him in the car is his map reader Marcus Morat. He also had no experience of rallying but grabbed when Robert asked the question and he also got stuck. Marcus describes the road with the help of notes so that Robert gets an idea of what it looks like in advance.
– It becomes a bit of a responsibility, it quickly goes in the wrong direction if you say wrong. It is exciting and very fun, says Marcus.
Robert and Marcus got to know each other ten years ago and together they have traveled many miles by car, on a scooter and cross. The fact that they are close friends makes the collaboration easy and they read each other well.
– We have found a very good timing, it works between us and we have so damn fun together in the car, says Robert.
Together, they have run six rally competitions along special sections on forest roads and a rally sprint on a marked track.
– I would not say that I am the calmest but I have a pretty hard driving style. I try to go as fast as possible with the experience I have. So far it has gone well, we have not gone off or overturned but there will probably be a day when it happens, says Robert.
They have won their class three times, taken two second places and a third place so the results have really been with them.
– It’s fun when you feel that you have succeeded with what you started with. That we get podium placements is the icing on the cake, says Robert.
In September, they ran a Swedish Championship competition in Sandviken and there they got to try to compete in headwinds. Previously, everything worked without problems, but now the clutch collapsed and they also went on a puncture.
– We came in fourth place anyway, out of just over 20 cars in our class. It went better than expected, we went there with the goal of trying to go top five, says Marcus.
Robert drives a Volvo 940 in the VOC class, Volvo Original Cup and competes for NMS Boden. Between races, the car must be scratched and prepared. Here it is a great advantage that Robert himself is a car mechanic and can screw himself. During the competition days, he has his father-in-law or his father in the depot. Robert’s cohabitant Jenny and their 10-month-old daughter also usually join in competitions nearby, there are real family gatherings.
– She herself has been a map reader with her father for many years, so she also thinks it’s fun. She knows exactly what it’s about and usually comes up with tips, says Robert.
– Everyone has the same interest so it’s fun to go to competitions, not just the driving but everything around, the whole community, says Marcus.
The next competition will be at home 8-9 January, when NMS Boden arranges this year’s first Swedish Championship competition.
– It feels very fun. You may have a slight advantage on the home roads after all the years you have been and gone after them, says Robert.
Boden, together with Luleå, Kalix, Piteå and the Norrbotten Region, has applied to arrange the Swedish WC rally. The competitions have been held in Värmland for 70 years, but there you can no longer count on winter road conditions.
– What a thing if we were to get it here, it would be very powerful. Boden is a big rally town. I think it would benefit Boden and the whole of Norrbotten, says Robert. #