Engulfed In Smoke At Gatebil Rudskogen
On Thursdays, It Rains

Ah… Gatebil Rudskogen. There is no other automotive event in Scandinavia that can fill my lungs with tire smoke and leave my body broken like this one can. This is where it’s at, but if you missed it, I’m here to help.

Now that I can finally breathe fresh air again, it’s time to share my experience of summer 2023’s biggest Gatebil party.

Driving five hours from my home in Linköping (roughly two hours from Sweden’s capital, Stockholm) to anywhere isn’t that much of a thrill, but when it’s a festival with fast cars, crazy cars and even more cars, you can’t help but feel excited the whole way. That is until you you reach your location – in this case Rudskogen Motorsenter in Norway, and the skies open up like a scene from The Day After Tomorrow.

From the circuit’s old race control building – now its media center and our humble abode for the three-day event – we could see the first cars rolling out onto the track. Some wasted absolutely no time sliding their way into what would be an incredible weekend.


Given how wet it was out, I spent a good chunk of Thursday afternoon watching the Super 3 three-car team drift practice and qualifying sessions through the media center windows.


Last year’s Super 3 winner, Team Datsun, looked like they had everything under control; the wet conditions really seemed to favour the lower-powered cars. High-powered trios like Team Toyota, however, needed to be a little lighter on the throttle.


The rain stopped completely once the qualifying sessions came to an end, so I took the opportunity to walk around and preview what had turned up for the festivities.


Show attendees, drifters and time attackers all had their cars looking fine, waiting to strike come first thing Friday.


And as the sun set things got quiet, and for a brief moment I felt at peace. But as I stood there admiring the view before heading back to our makeshift accomodation to catch some shut-eye, a thought hit me like a freight train: Sleep? What sleep? The next time I’ll sleep will be on Sunday night, when I’m back in Linköping.

Sun’s Out, Guns Out. It’s Friday!

It’s not like I could have slept in anyway, even if I wanted to. The collective sound of a full field of Gatebil Time Attack Xtreme cars woke me up like an adrenaline shot. Then, at 8:00am sharp, the track went live for Gatebil Rudskogen 2023.


One of the best things about Gatebil events is that you can rock up and take part in whatever you drive. For people that just want to have a good time on track, the Open Line sessions are the perfect opportunity to do so.


Once the Gatebil yellow cabs are out on track, you know things are about to get crazy.


White smoke quickly engulfed Rudskogen, and combined with some insane heat we had ourselves the equivalent of Burning Man. Minus the sandstorms, of course.

With so many cars on track at once, accidents are going to happen. But with rescue and recovery staff around every corner, crashes and breakdowns were quickly cleaned up so the shenanigans could resume.


A couple of Super 3 teams used the entire day to practice for the finals, which were held later in the evening. As they had initially practiced and qualified in the wet on Thursday – but Friday was completely dry and very hot with track temps in the high 40°Cs – a different approach was needed. This was very noticeable once the finals started, but more on that soon.


Track clean up happened every now and then, which provided an opportunity to head down to the paddocks. As I made my way over on one occasion, I snapped this picture which hit me more than I’d like to admit. This was exactly me 25+ years ago when I began to realize that cars are life. Who knows, maybe the kid in the picture will become a next-generation Speedhunter…


The paddocks were always packed, which is a good thing. It definitely felt like more people attended the event this year than they did in 2022, and while I can’t personally comment on a longer time period, most Gatebil Rudskogen regulars I spoke to said it definitely seemed a lot busier than years past.


There is no shortage of the weird, wacky and downright insane when it comes to Gatebil engine swaps, and I’ll be taking a look at a couple of crazy builds in some upcoming posts. But just to give you a sneak peek…


I’m pretty sure this was the biggest turbo setup at Gatebil Rudskogen this year.


A new addition to the venue is the AutoTech Sport workshop, the first and only one of its kind in Norway. Here, you can rent out a spot to service, fix up or modify your car using the latest equipment.


Inside, the shiny new floor was already getting familiar with its new occupants, one of them a red Ford GT40 replica.


By this time in the day the Super 3 finals were close, so I started the long trek to the photographers pit in the middle of the T14 turn, nicknamed Storsvingen. This spot put me right in the thick of the action.


The crowd were hyped for the battles. Some wrestled for entertainment while others brought their stuffed animal along. The spectators never disappoint at Rudskogen, much like the Super 3.


The rules for this competition are simple: Each team of three drift as close as possible to one another while maintaining the best drift line through the judged section. The first corner is often the trickiest and can be the decider for the remainder of the run.


Those who get left behind in the first corner stay left behind. Speed is obviously one of the main factors of a good line, and with the track being completely dry the low-powered cars didn’t stand a chance.


Only 12 teams out of 24 entered qualified for a spot in the Super 3 final, so the drifting was of a high standard. FD driver Simen Olsen was in Team Rymax with his A90 Toyota Supra, and once this trio crossed the finish line I thought for sure they’d take the crown. But that was until I saw who else was back in action.


Fredric Aasbø’s Team Toyota returned faster and stronger than ever, and as they entered the final section of the corner the crowd went nuts.


Once the dust settled and the smoke cleared, the drivers parked their battle machines in front of the crowd to wait for the Super 3 winning team to be announced.


Ultimately, Team Toyota took back the crown. Team Rymax placed second and Team No Child Left Behind third.


As I made my way back to the media room to grab some fresh camera batteries, in the distance, the trumpets of victory echoed and Gatebil Rudskogen’s Friday afterparty was officially underway.


The walk to the main stage is always fun. As I was wearing a ‘Gatebil Media’ vest, I was constantly asked to take photos. When this happens you are taking a picture of a group whether you want to or not.


The Gatebil Zoo is where the animals well and truly let loose. There was more people, more flying beers and more fun than last year’s Friday night, so it was a great way to finish up the first day of Gatebil Rudskogen 2023.

There’s lots more to come, so stick around…

Alen Haseta
Instagram: hazetaa



Comments are closed.


by Oldest
by Best by Newest by Oldest

More about that opel omega a?


Perhaps a story for another day.


Now that is one hell of a smokeshow


There is nothing like it.


Love the RWD Volvos! Thanks.


In super 3 this year 3rd place went to Team No Child Left Behind, not team fullfinans. That is the team with the green supra, white skyline and purple bmw e46...


Updated, thanks!