Sun’s Out, Fun’s Out At Gatebil

Being from the UK, my world is completely and utterly ruled by the weather.

But without it I’d have nothing to make small talk about, no means to plan my life, and not a lot to complain about. Actually scrap that last part, I’ll always find something to complain about.

Gatebil Rudskogen 2018 by Jordan Butters Speedhunters-8376

Ask anyone from the United Kingdom what the weather’s been like recently and not only will they be gagging to tell you, but they’ll also confirm that it’s been ungodly warm for what seems like an eternity. Water reserves are running low, entire swathes of the countryside are on fire and, apparently, train tracks are melting. Jesus save us, it’s approaching 34°C.

Gatebil Rudskogen 2018 by Jordan Butters Speedhunters-2771

However, being at Gatebil (I’m not sure if I mentioned that yet?) I couldn’t care less about the climate back home; I want full-blown, wall-to-wall sunshine here. The sun makes people act wild, it raises spirits, it heats the track providing grip and giving us the gift of tyre smoke, and it makes colours pop and adds contrast and depth to images.

Gatebil Rudskogen 2018 by Jordan Butters Speedhunters-2790

Sunshine brings events to life and, although I’m sure Gatebil would still be Gatebil under torrential rain, it’s my first Gatebil so I want it to be all it can be. Call me selfish.

Gatebil Rudskogen 2018 by Jordan Butters Speedhunters-2756

By the way, I did check out the ‘other paddock’ that I was tipped off about earlier. There’s some pretty special stuff over there that I can’t wait to see on track tomorrow.

Gatebil Rudskogen 2018 by Jordan Butters Speedhunters-2751

But imagine my slight disappointment when drizzle started falling from an overcast sky as I pulled into Rudskogen Motorsenter earlier this morning. I mean, it was still amazing to be at Gatebil, but I had every imaginable appendage crossed over another in hope of some direct light. Sadly, it didn’t look like it was going to happen.

Gatebil Rudskogen 2018 by Jordan Butters Speedhunters-2961

Then, just as the first three cars came screaming into view in a shroud of tyre smoke as the track went live this afternoon, the sun suddenly kicked into life, burning a hole through the clouds almost on cue, and basking Gatebil Rudskogen in glorious sunshine.

Gatebil Rudskogen 2018 by Jordan Butters Speedhunters-8488

This is the Gatebil I’ve waited all this time for.

Gatebil Rudskogen 2018 by Jordan Butters Speedhunters-3160

Today is somewhat subdued compared to the insanity that I’ve been told to expect of Friday and Saturday, but we still have practice and qualifying for Gatebil’s Super 3 drift competition to keep us entertained in the Scandinavian sun.

Gatebil Rudskogen 2018 by Jordan Butters Speedhunters-3304

Much like any other competitive drift event, Super 3 asks drivers to drift with sufficient speed, aggression and angle through a series of corners, adhering to a predetermined line. The difference is that rather than complete the runs solo, as they would in any other qualifying format, or in tandem as they would in battles, Super 3 demands that they drift in teams of three, as the name suggests.

But rather than just battling against each other, each team has to complete a traditional qualifying line whilst retaining maximum proximity throughout the course. It’s a bit like synchronised swimming, but way, way cooler, and with a bit more tyre smoke. Wearing a swimsuit is optional – don’t rule it out, this is Gatebil after all.

Gatebil Rudskogen 2018 by Jordan Butters Speedhunters-3345

For the past few years, Fredric Aasbø’s Team Toyota has consistently locked out Super 3, and from talking to some of the drivers in the paddock earlier, everyone has their sights on dethroning the Formula Drift star.

Gatebil Rudskogen 2018 by Jordan Butters Speedhunters-3499

My personal highlight is this B5 Audi RS4 going completely balls-to-the-wall on every pass, smoke pouring over the bonnet. There’s a level of commitment to drifting AWD here that is just incredibly impressive.

Gatebil Rudskogen 2018 by Jordan Butters Speedhunters-3336
Gatebil Rudskogen 2018 by Jordan Butters Speedhunters-3260
Gatebil Rudskogen 2018 by Jordan Butters Speedhunters-3173

What I’m also especially enjoying is that Super 3 is a very different spectacle to a ‘normal’ drift event, and it’s interesting observing as each set of cars finds its groove throughout practice, and even throughout each run. Initiations are tentative on the whole, with drivers giving each other space to slow down, before the run builds in excitement during the first transition. Two more switchbacks and it’s into the large radius, sweeping final corner at Rudskogen.

Gatebil Rudskogen 2018 by Jordan Butters Speedhunters-8403

This is where things get interesting as the cars have an amount of time during the bend to find their line and hone in on the car in front. Come the exit of the corner, and if they’ve got it right, all three are door-to-door-to-door at full throttle heading for the outside of the final straight. Much to the adoration of the very vocal Gatebil crowd too; you can hear the noise from the spectators building as the cars close in on each other. Good vibes indeed.

Gatebil Rudskogen 2018 by Jordan Butters Speedhunters-8523

That’s the one thing that has struck me so far today, above all else: Gatebil is good vibes.

Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s late, but it’s still sunny out and there’s so much more here that I need to see. I haven’t even scratched the surface yet…

Jordan Butters
Instagram: jordanbutters



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One thing I loved about Speedhunters coverage of Gatebil was the in depth look into stand out cars. With you being a one man band this year, is this something we are not likely to see?

Jordan Butters

I'm doing what I can, and those will likely follow post-event as they take a bit more time to put together. The focus during the event is getting across a feeling of what it's like to be here, as well as smaller stories over the weekend. Half the problem here is deciding on what to delve further into, and working around a live event – you'd need several weeks here to do it justice!

Mark Joseph I. Argoso

Ah, Gatebil. Bummed that not all of Speedhunters can go, but I reckon the selections here will be quite the lot. Gimme that widebody Smart.

Codrin Stefan

Gatebil is sure one of the events I NEED to go one day and experience by myself but I have always wondered. How did the northern manage to get their hands on so many great cars? JDM and American.

Jordan Butters

It’s one not to be missed for sure. I rarely get excited about events but Gatebil was like a three day adrenaline rush.

Codrin Stefan

Also, the variety of drift cars is very satisfying. Porsche 924, brand new BMWs, Soarer, Vipers(I think the black one was), Audis etc. Not just 240s and E46s :)


When I was a kid they called it power over steer, now they call it drifting... like a boat without a paddle in the windswept ocean, only 1200hp and 50 inches of rubber to guide her....

Jordan Butters

So easy, anyone can do it, right? Just like commenting anonymously on the internet, but with less skill.


Gatebil truely has a great vibe to it. I think the main reason is that the whole Scandinavia has good vibes, they constantly rank top5 in happiness, and after living here for almost a year I can tell it's contagious, it rubs off on you either you like it or not :D