A Screw Or Two Loose

Am I the only one who gets excited by that calm before the storm at an event? You know that surreal quietness which is slowly dismantled by the sound of combustion engines warming up, somewhere in the paddock. The sound of tools being dropped and used and the sight of bleary eyed mechanics, drivers and fans slowly swarming the area. It seems no matter where one travels in the world, or what the event is – they all share this exact same feeling.

Sorting through my photos of the event, I found this shot of the pit lane, taken early on Friday morning. I thought I had an idea of what to expect, but as usual, Gatebil proved me wrong. I think this was the quietest it would be until the track closed on Sunday evening.

I don’t know if it’s the overexposure to sunlight during the summer, or the lack of exposure during the winter but there is something in the DNA of our Scandinavian friends.

Quite frankly, I think they’re mad – but in the best possible sense of the word.

Where else can you see a carbon bodied Saab Aerodeck with a 500+WHP Volvo 5 cylinder engine smoking its rear tyres? The owner tells me the project was completed in two and a half months, from start to finish. He reckons he could have it finished sooner only he needed to work during the days …

The Audi S2 is a popular platform, not least for its ultra reliable and mega tunable engine.

Don’t worry though, there are plenty of Japanese cars here to whet your appetite.

TS Racing brought along their S3 we spotlighted at Rudskogen last year.

The Dhalback Racing Polo RSR is another one of those special cars. I’ll reveal why in an upcoming spotlight.

E36 with turbocharged LS2 motor, more than half way down the start / finish straight, still smoking its rears.

This is the queue for the track. I counted over 50 cars on track during one session with this queue still doubling back around on itself through the paddock.

2JZ S15 laid down serious smoke all weekend with some incredible driving.

Gatebil’s Ultima GTR was on hand for bringing paying spectators on passenger laps of the Mantorp course.

For me personally, Kenneth Alm stole the show in his Audi A4. I can’t remember the last time I burst out laughing at the sheer ludicrous nature of someone’s driving style. Again, a closer look at what makes this car tick is coming …

Unfortunately, when so many people are pushing so hard, things do go wrong. It’s rarely permanent damage though, and the cars are usually seen again, still driving on the limit.

The track time is split between open track, where everyone is welcome to use the track as they please (drift and grip in the same session), dedicated drift and dedicated time attack sessions. The latter of these sessions is called ‘Xtreme’ and it’s extreme for a reason.

How often do you see a 4wd car power oversteer this dramatically? I guess with in excess of 900BHP per ton, this is going to happen regularly.


Oh yes, the Mini Quattro – 850KGs, 450BHP, 1.8 turbocharged Audi engine with a Quattro 4WD system. The guys will be bringing you an in-depth feature of this from Rudskogen.

Watching the cars accelerate out of the second corner was a usually a two stage affair – breaking traction before hooking it up and launching into hyperspace.

Kai R. Bakken is an avid reader. So much so he bring his own library shelves around with him. Kidding aside, this is *insert many expletives here* fast.

Of course, there is a lot of love for regular drifting here (only at Gatebil would you need to differentiate between different types of drifting).

I know our Bryn will love this.

I’ll wrap this post up with a closer look at one of the crazier cars present – a harmless looking Cobra.

Those are some pretty big wheels and brakes for an itsy-little Cobra.

Gratuitous use of carbon fibre and other light weight materials?


Wait a second, that’s a lot of exhaust manifold …

… oh. Oh my. A Mercedes 6.0 supercharged V12. I think I’m having a crisis.

You see that guy’s expression on the right? That stupid look is what everyone was wearing on their face all weekend at Mantorp.

Why? Because Gatebil.

Paddy McGrath

Gatebil Mantorp 2012 on Speedhunters

More Gatebil Stories …



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any chance of a feature on the white audi quattro from you first post? and a spotlight or vids of the cobra?


are all these cars made by swedes? sick people :D


on the list of countries to visit after japan; SWEDEN!!!! gatebil to be specific.. just effin epic!!! especially that cobra.. oh MYY !!!


That's probably the coolest Cobra build I have ever seen. 


Haha! Lol i love Land Rover, have 5 at home, including a defender td5 but seriously it has the worst aerodynamic in the world for a race car! hehe


The Land Rover is sick!  And i can't wait for the Dahlback Polo. Having seen many videos of the Dahlback Gold on YouTube, i know the Polo will be just as insane. Great coverage as always Paddy. 

David Johansson Superior

 @solamon I had a ride in the cobra last year. He was driving on low boost because of a slippery clutch. But damn that car goes. And is sounds freeking awsome. I have some gopro material from the same time somewere on the harddrive.

David Johansson Superior

 @MadisSidam The cars that visited the event are from Sweden, Norway and Finland.
The Saab, bmw ls2 turbo, drifting mercedes, cobra, dahlbäck polo, silvia s15 and the evo is from sweden. All other cars(i think) in this post are from Norway.


It a shame that too many years of beeing exposed too gatebil has made me walk past 500hp supras, porches, skylines without giving it mutch thought... Theyre just not spesial enough, and i cantel take the time too look at them all..

Ragnar Cederberg

Stunning pic on my LS2 turbo,  love it !


 @David Johansson Superior 
must of been crazy. upload the vid please. everyone would enjoy that v12

Ragnar Cederberg

Stunning pic of my LS2 turbo,  !


Would love to see a feature on the Dahlbäck Polo

David Johansson Superior

 @solamon i can make a short movie with one lap..

jonas maurstad

Gatebil is Norwegian and Mantorp (sweden) is the only gatebil event outside Norway. The cars you see here are a mixture of swedish and norwegian builds. I think it all comes down to the fact that people are fed up with strict regulations, tiny turbo restrictors and the bureaucracy of traditional motorsport. So they created their own events where the emphasis is on having fun and you can build just about anything you desire. Gatebil shows everyone that the government cant kill the car culture despite their great efforts trying to ban just about anything remotely associated with engine tuning and personal mods.What I would like to see now is a cooperation between gatebil and the organized motorsport governing body allowing these cars to drive in tarmac hillclimb events inspired by the german berg-cup.Who cares what car wins? We all just want to enjoy what we have created in a safe environment! Long live amateur engineering:-)


Its sacrelige, but I don't care. We NEED a feature on that Merc-powered Cobra. That beast is one of the craziest builds I've seen in a long time and I'm dying to know more about it.

David Johansson Superior

Here you got a short video with the v12 cobra..

David Johansson Superior

 @solamon here you got the video


I can't wait for the feature on the Mini! I can see the details in the diffuser from where I sit and the car is already looking small from the pic. Oh man, the AWD system really made my neck snap. 450BHP 1.8 turbo, too? Can't wait.


Edit: 4WD


That rear drive SAAB station wagon I think is the new sporting a Viper V10.


Awesome coverage! Really unique cars.One thing. I think you meant "whet" your your appetite. Not wet.

David Johansson Superior

@KAG Nope. That is another car. This has à Volvo engine. The Saab with a viper v10 is red and isn't finished yet.


Ahh, cool @David Johansson Superior  @KAG


If some of you guys looked for Gatebil on youtube you'd see years of videos. Just gotta know the names of the cars to search for most of the time. Who cares about Japanese cars when you have such ridiculously fresh engineering at these gatebil events. I always love the posts but just seeing videos of them gives you goosebumps

David Johansson Superior

 @KAG  @David Johansson Superior  Here you got a post from the Superior blogg where you got some more info and some pictures of the V10 Saab.


Alm brothers always make me giggle, i LOVE their insane driving style.. amazing drivers..


The best car builds come from Scandinavians, period. What those people manage to build in their garages is just mindblowing, the quality, the variety, the Idontgiveafuck-ness about conventions (SR20 in everything!). And seem to do it with such ease, suspension and drivetrain swaps must be taught in primary school or something.


That should become a shirt==> Because Gatebil. 


 @ApexHunter I did, but autocorrect on OS X keeps changing my words ...


Holy crap! How often do you find the license plate of your FIRST UK IMPORT (big sentimental tear in my eye) at a pic on Speedhunters somewhere ten years later... in a heap of scrap! :-D
How many more parts coming? WE WANT M0AR!


@I_AM_DAVE_COX Holy balls


@I_AM_DAVE_COX Holy balls


A Mercedes 6L Supercharged V12!! i would love to see that machine on a track, liking that chopped Land Rover, that looks like it would surprise a few people with so-called supercars.. would like to see a feature on the Dahlbäck Polo too, those guys know how to put a lot of power down & make it stick! as well as the original looking Mini in Quattro form? wow -  now 'this' is Speedhunting! - quality coverage & pics - Thanks


one more event to love. gatebill! :)


Hahahah wow I have got to go to Gatebil this is some of the craziest stuff I've seen!

Marte Ringstad

im loving your picz :D


Ive been wanting to see somebody do something like that to a land rover for a long time :)


Now show me a MK1 range rover with the same treatment!


 @Ragnar Cederberg The LS1 e36 is yours? It looks amazing. Would you mind telling me what front bumper youve got on there please?


Crisis means something completely different now, after Top Gear

Ragnar Cederberg

 thanks !   hmmm  my friende made the bumper for me,  can ask him if he know :)