Rationalising The Irrational
Making Sense Of It

Because Gatebil. Is that now old enough to be cliché? Maybe. But it’s a phrase that just keeps on springing to mind when you try and explain or rationalise what you see here.

My third and final day at Gatebil was over, and it felt like I finally fell into the groove of a traditional day at Norway’s biggest celebration of all things automotive.

Gatebil Rudskogen 2018 by Jordan Butters Speedhunters-5507

Although the track goes live at 8:00am sharp on the Saturday morning, only the most devout Gatebil attendants are ready to attack Rudkogen’s curves in these early sessions. The rest are most likely still sleeping off the night before.

Hitting the track early is the best way to ensure ample seat time, as once the masses awaken and those visiting for the day arrive the circuit soon gets busy.

Gatebil Rudskogen 2018 by Jordan Butters Speedhunters-5338

With the hotel breakfast still a recent memory, and for some questionable reason (Paddy told me to), I thought it would be a good idea to be strapped into Joachim Waagaard’s 850hp supercharged Mast Motorsports LS3-powered BMW M4 for a personal tour of Rudskogen. The next 15 minutes were brutal, slightly sweaty, and insanely good fun. In fact, I need to put together a more comprehensive prose about this once the adrenaline wears off.

Gatebil Rudskogen 2018 by Jordan Butters Speedhunters-5930

Having spent most of the previous two days out on circuit capturing the action, I also made it my mission today to really get to the heart of Gatebil and to get to know this amazing spectacle on a more personal level. What I quickly learnt is that for every jaw-dropping, crazy or extreme car you see out on track, there’s an interesting story to be told and some great people to meet.

Gatebil Rudskogen 2018 by Jordan Butters Speedhunters-6901

Take for example Fannar’s Porsche 944 F2. The car was built by Fannar, his family and friends, and was shipped all the way from Iceland just to be at Gatebil. That’s not an overnight journey either, and by the time the car lands back in Iceland at the end of July he’ll have missed vital rounds of the national championship. Just 10 minutes before this shoot Fannar and his team had the gearbox on the floor, and they bolted it back up for sunset just so we could bring you more on this unique build.

Talking of features, there’s plenty more where that came from, as the lengthy daylight hours meant that I crammed no less than five of them into Saturday at Gatebil, and every single one of which had a wild or unexpected engine swap. So there’s plenty more to come over the coming days and weeks.

Gatebil Rudskogen 2018 by Jordan Butters Speedhunters-5572

I have a confession to make though. As part of exploring the fuller site I did partake in some Audi over-indulgence to make the day easier. Boy do they know how to build them out here.

Gatebil is so much more than cars on track, and in getting under the skin of the festival I ventured into the unknown (AKA the campsites) in the afternoon sun. The people, the vibe, and the atmosphere here is unlike anything else. From extravagant camping rigs with full DJ booths and lighting rigs to modest, but colourful caravans, this is Gatebil’s wild west.

A spirited group of Swedes were enjoying a kick around in the afternoon sun, although seemed to be struggling with accuracy. It was probably not a good idea that an Englishman showed them how it was done. Too soon?

Finally, and not that my body or brain is thanking me for this idea, the day was rounded off with a look at Gatebil after dark. Some of the things I saw I’ll share, but others I really can’t.

What happens at Gatebil sometimes needs to stay at Gatebil.

Jordan Butters
Instagram: jordanbutters
jordan@speedhunters.com

Cutting Room Floor
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18 comments

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1

Great coverage of an insane event. Here's a question - I've followed this event for years (Usually thanks to Speedhunters) but I still don't know if I'm pronouncing "Gatebil" correctly. Someone school me?

Author2
Jordan Butters

My understanding is it's like 'Got-bill'.

3

Gatebil means streetcar. Gate-bil.

Author4
Jordan Butters

The Norwegian pronunciation of the 'a' is much more like the low sound of 'o' in English. More like 'oh' than 'ah' or 'ay'. There's plenty of videos on the Gatebil Facebook page.

5

It's 100% more 'Got' than 'Gate'

6

Heck Jordan, that was a low punch ;) but... 55 million englishmen barely produce better football-players than 9 million Swedes, so... (we could always count olympic medals)

Anyways, lovely coverage, fingers crossed I can go next year! (In my own car)

Author7
Jordan Butters

Considering how awful we usually are, you can't deny us a rare chance to gloat :D

8

The Smart Fortwo looks like somebody took a kei pickup and cut the bed off.

9

nice comparison. I've owned both - albeit not with a front-engined monster conversion like that one - equally fun to drive

10

Bang any chicks, or was it dudefest 5000?

Author11
Jordan Butters

Yo bro-dawg, if you're looking for 'chicks' there are plenty of other websites out there you should try. *chugs beer*.

12

I'd love to see more about that Smart Fortwo!

Author13
Jordan Butters

It's coming!

14

I look much forward to this!
Give me some better ideas than stuffing my turbo Busa in the back of one of those.

15

You used the Smart as your cover and i was thinking this is the detailed full feature, f**k you can't do things like this to me. (nice day 3 coverage btw).
I know it's Gatebil and i have to expect the non-realistic approaches but if images 6 and 7 are related i may kill myself.

Author16
Jordan Butters

Haha wait and see!

17
Marius Engen Skinnes

Best Gatebil, ever.
Why doesn't Speedhunters have their own booth/stand anymore?

Author18
Jordan Butters

Much a similar reason to why we had one person there rather than ten - times and budgets change.

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