Even if you’ve never attended Gatebil Rudskogen before, you’ve probably already got the impression from our coverage in the past that the event itself is something very special indeed. It’s a combination of many things; the incredible Rudskogen track layout, the huge chaotic campsites, the intense 24-hour partying, and of course, the dedication of Scandinavian automotive enthusiasts when building and modifying mind-blowing project cars, and driving them to their absolute limits.
But above all, what makes Gatebil so special is the people. It’s the spectators, the event organisers, the special guests, the drivers; the people that travel from all over Europe to Norway for the event, that make Gatebil what it is. This year over 50,000 people made it through the gates, and we decided that we wanted to meet as many of them as possible; which is how the idea for our #BecauseGatebil photo competition came about.
As part of our Speedhunters booth this year, we came up with a simple idea for a fun and interactive #IAMTHESPEEDHUNTER mini-project. We created a live-feed real-life Instagram wall, where we printed out your Instagram photos using the #BecauseGatebil hashtag and put them up on display. The feed was refreshed every hour or so, and when people came over to check out our booth, they could also look for their Instagram photos and see what other people had been getting up to around the event.
We spread the word over the loudspeakers and on our social channels encouraging people to use the #BecauseGatebil hashtag for their favourite pictures, and we had some fantastic submissions that truly captured the Gatebil spirit. Did I mention that the grand prize on offer was a ride along with Speedhunters driver Fredric Aasbø? The competition didn’t just give us an excuse to give out some wicked prizes to Gatebil-goers either, it meant that we could actually meet some of those people too.
With each photo we printed, there was an interesting – and sometimes hilarious – story behind it! With some of the photos that caught our eye we just had to know what was going on, so we called the owner over to give them some stickers and get the scoop on their photo.
Norwegian local Roar Granås explains the above image, “We were on our way to Gatebil when this policeman pulled us over. He just checked my car for illegal modifications like coilovers and that sort of thing, and we ended up having a good talk with him. He was a good sort, he just smiled and made jokes… so I made him pose by my car and give a thumbs up by the sticker before we left!” If you view the photo in presentation mode, you might be able to see that the sticker reads ‘I know, I know, license and registration’.
Flemming Rosborg captured this hilarious ‘selfie inception’ portrait of himself photobombing his girlfriend Tinna’s selfie with a selfie. That’s pretty cool, right? What’s cooler is that Tinna is actually posing with her own drift car – a pink BMW E46 – that was out shredding up rubber on Rudskogen throughout the weekend. What a rad couple!
The best part about this project was getting to see so many cool moments that we wouldn’t have known were taking place otherwise. We got a glimpse into the lives of Gatebil-goers like Linda, Cecilie and Elijus, who were all lucky enough to go for sideways passenger rides in the various drifting track sessions throughout the event. Cecilie explained to me that her Instagram name ‘DriftingFrue’ reads drift girl or drift lady, with frue meaning lady in Norwegian.
Just because you’re a spectator doesn’t mean you can’t get creative with track photography using your smartphone, right? Robin Andersen captured this cool moment of six cars all coming around one corner on various angles – a fairly normal sight at Rudskogen – but the way he’s used the wire fence in the foreground to frame the image gives it a really neat perspective. Nice one Robin!
Speaking of creative angles, Oskar Holmgren took things to the next level and used a GoPro Hero3 camera to grab this awesome shot of Norwegian drifter Fredrik Oksnevad only moments before he scraped past the wall of the main straight in his LS3 V8-powered Toyota Soarer.
There were some recognisable faces that kept popping up on the wall over and over again, and one of them was of course the ‘Norwegian Hammer’ and local hero, Fredric Aasbø. Fredric always has plenty of time for his fans and he seriously must have posed for hundreds of photos with people throughout the festival. One of those people was Marcus Rødland who was super-stoked to meet Fredric in person!
Another popular face appearing on the wall was this crazy bearded fellow. I kept seeing photos of him and thinking to myself, ‘Geez, that guy really looks like Bil Baldwin, aka. the bearded man of drifting from Formula D.’ I soon realised that it was in fact Bil, who had made the trip from California to check out the event and even marshall on track!
Simon, who took this photo, explains, “I was totally not expecting to see Bil in Norway! I figured, why not ask for a picture? He’s a really nice guy as it turns out.”
Tim Schultz from Germany shared with us some fantastic images which he’d shot from his Nikon D3S camera and had then managed to upload to Instagram. As well as car-related shots, Tim also took some great portraits and we loved this photo of him with Fredric and our special guest Magnus Walker at the Speedhunters booth!
This moment was more candid, but happened to make for a beautiful portrait.
Tim says, “The girl was sitting on the inner barrier at the finish line on the main straight, where the pro drifters were riding the wall. She was just watching the cars go by, enjoying herself. It was a hectic yet strangely tranquil setting”.
Thanks for your submissions Tim, and enjoy your prize – one of our new yet-to-be-released Maximum Attack keychains!#BecauseGatebil Of Course!
There’s a lot of destruction that goes on behind the scenes at Gatebil Rudskogen, with many cars needing various repairs and not to mention countless tyre changes throughout the event. Here, Gatebil-goer Adrian shows us the aftermath of a serious tyre-slaying session – a pile of fried tyres now rendered useless.
Cars aren’t the only thing causing destruction at Gatebil either. I’ve never managed to venture into any of the camping areas myself, but thankfully I didn’t even have to go down there to experience the madness, as we had live-streaming coverage thanks to the constant flow of photos coming in via the #BecauseGatebil hashtag! Team Insane Racing brought along their incredible 1,200hp C7 Corvette as well as their partying A-game, as you can see evidence of in the above photo.
When some of the team came over to check out our stand, one of the girls pointed at the photo and laughed, “What can I say; we drive hard and we party even harder!” As we got talking further, the Insane Racing team invited us out to their workshop in Stockholm, and earlier this week we took them up on that offer which included a traditional ‘racing night out’, so you can expect a full feature on that very soon. Put it this way, they certainly lived up to their name!
What’s that, you want to see more party photos? Trust me, these are some of the lesser crazy pictures we received!
Some of our Speedhunters team members even made random appearances on our photo wall too. Our producer Elizabeth looks like she needs a strong coffee, stat! And why does Dino have a spanner? Did he abandoned his post as photographer to help our drivers make some emergency repairs, perhaps?
On both Friday and Saturday we selected our favourite pictures and gave away some awesome SpeedhuntersEDTN prize packs – one of which went to Lukas Skersas for this great capture. If you have the right shoes to deal with walking across it, the rocky terrain in the middle of the track provides some great high vantage points for taking pictures of cars sliding at high speed down the back straight. Nice shot, Lukas!
Another prize pack went to Ole Petter Ryjord for this post-wall-ride snap along the main straight. I don’t know how other people might feel about this, but the thought of hanging my iPhone over the track with a drift car fast approaching terrifies me!
Nice action shot, Ole! We hooked him up with one of our new red Hold Stumt tees for his efforts.
Out of the hundreds of photos uploaded with the #BecauseGatebil hashtag, it was hard to pick a single overall winner. But there was one image in particular that all of the Speedhunters team agreed stood out to us as something unique. Nina Haugen shared with us this perfectly timed moment of a mesmerising smoke trail floating around one of Rudskogen’s many corners. The cool part about it though is that the car isn’t actually in the frame; the smoke being the only remaining evidence of its noisy path of destruction – a stark contrast to the soft fluffy smoke clouds and the serene green forrest setting in the photo. I think others will agree with us when we say that this moment truly captures the essence of the drifting haven or the ‘happy place’ that Gatebil is to so many people each year.
Nina describes the moment she received word that she had won the passenger ride with Fredric via our Instagram announcement: “I had literally just woken up, and when I checked my phone, I yelled and jumped out of my tent shouting with excitement! Before this, I had only ever been out in one of the Gatebil drift taxis a few years ago, so I had never experienced anything like this before. I am a big fan of drifting, and being Norwegian of course I am a big fan of Fredric too – I even lined up to get his autograph yesterday.”
We could see by the look on Nina’s face that she was perhaps a tad nervous as Fredric’s crew tightened her harnesses and helped her put her helmet on…
But she was all smiles when we saw her out on track – we even got a thumbs up. Congratulations, Nina!
Our #BecauseGatebil wall may have started as a small idea for a bit of fun, but as the competition went on throughout the weekend it developed into something with a lot more meaning. We were able to freeze some unique moments in time, and we even got to make some exciting new moments happen! And the best part was that we got to share those memories with you, the people of Gatebil. Thanks to everyone who used our hashtag and who stopped by to say hello to us – it was great to meet you, and we can’t wait to do it all over again.
Until then, happy Speedhunting!