The Gatebil Mantorp Summer Festival: Part 2

Waking up on Saturday at Gatebil reminds me of Christmas morning as a kid.

But instead of presents under the tree, it’s the action, mayhem, and everything else that these amazing events throw at you that gets me excited every time.


While it’s fun to receive rubber in your face trackside, I always like to spend a good portion of Saturday morning away from the track. My first destination? The Gatebil jungle.

It might only be the second morning of the three-day Swedish event, but at this point, Mantorp Park’s camping grounds have already seen better days. Like the drivers on track, Gatebil spectators go hard.


During the weekend, the party never stops. Everywhere I went, people were having the time of their lives.


There is a side of the Scandinavian car culture that I can’t even begin to put into words. I’ll leave you with this picture; you can make of it what you will…


I’ve been around Scandinavia’s stance and custom car scenes for a while, and they’re bigger than ever now. The Show Garden by Arn Racing allowed attendees to get up close and personal with some of the region’s craziest and cleanest builds.


One of the highlights this year was Stephanie Falk’s LS-swapped 944 with a Martini livery. It’s always great to see this front-engined Porsche model getting some love.


Not far away, the car limbo competition was in full swing. This fun event is growing in popularity at Gatebil every year.


It could be because this is one of the only places you’ll see a chair being driven. Or perhaps it’s because people will do almost anything to ensure their car goes under the limbo tape.


There is never a dull moment in the Mantorp Park paddock. This year, you could even catch some DMEC (Drift Masters European Championship) video action. What a perfect way to get pumped up for the drifting sessions.


Monster Energy driver Dmitri Yillyuk was ready and waiting to take out one of the Gatebil taxis with a well-known passenger.


Sitting in the back seat was BTCC driver Nicolas Hamilton, who stopped by Mantorp Park after spending the day with WRC star Oliver Solberg.


Gatebil was completely new to Nicolas when he arrived. But after two rides – the other with Luke Woodham – I don’t think he could ever forget it. One of my brothers-in-arms, Oscar Holm, caught Nicolas’s reaction while exiting Luke’s Monster Energy S14. That smile says it all.


The action never stops at Gatebil, but one on-track aspect of the event that doesn’t get as much love as it should is the Gatebil Extreme race class.


These time attack cars are built to go as fast as possible with barely any restrictions.


The drivers are nuts, too. 71-year-old Börje Hansson, whose Audi I featured two years ago, is a Gatebil regular still pushing his car to the limit.


The variety of cars in the Gatebil Extreme class is huge. You’ll see everything from BMWs to Porsches to…. an insane Ford Anglia.


But I do get it; nothing beats the feeling of getting sprayed by hot rubber after a drift car comes at you at full speed, sideways. I love it, and so does everyone else at Gatebil.


Strangely enough, I have yet to experience going sideways at Gatebil. Maybe I’ll have a chance at Rudskogen Motorsenter this time next week…


Once all the dust and smoke had settled over Mantorp Park, Saturday’s on-track action wrapped up with a parade, and stunt and Gymkhana shows.


It’s one of the few occasions you can see a camel on a drift car. Why? Because Gatebil.


Remember that rain forecast I talked about in my Thursday and Friday coverage? Well, it finally came.


While the crowd didn’t seem bothered by it, there was concern for the safety of those about to launch themselves off the ramp and onto the landing pad. Both were set up on the Mantorp dragstrip, which turns into an ice skating rink when wet.


The slipperiness didn’t bother these maniacs in the slightest, though. However, the fun ended when Monster athlete Marcus Ohlsson fell off his snowmobile during a landing. He was fine, but the organizers decided to err on the side of caution and call it a day, which was the right call to make.


The Gymkhana was also cancelled, but the drivers did their best to give the crowd a show before the nighttime festivities began.


Awards, flying beer and music – a perfect way to end a Saturday at the Gatebil Summer Festival. But while some enjoyed the spoils of victory at the Aftertrack Party…


… others stayed up all night fixing their cars for the final day.


Thursday to Sunday at Gatebil goes by in the blink of an eye; before you know it, tents are coming down in the campground, and drivers are lining up to compete in the famed Breisladden (powerslide) competition.


This is the last chance for drivers to push themselves and their cars to their absolute limits.


The same goes for the Gatebil Extreme class. These guys drive hard. At times, way too hard.


Gatebil legend Vidar Jødahl was chasing mechanical gremlins all weekend, and it only got worse in the final event when an oil leak sparked a fire in his BMW E30.

Oil on the track resulted in absolute chaos and the race being red-flagged.


Another win for Kai Roger Bakken and another Gatebil event in the books.

It’s always a surreal feeling to pack your bags and head home from Gatebil Mantorp. But then I remember – Gatebil Rudskogen is just around the corner. I hope to see some of you at the 2024 Gatebil Main Event next weekend. If you can’t make it, stay tuned for my coverage.

Alen Haseta
Instagram: hazetaa

Additional Photos by Oscar Holm



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Hard to believe there wasn’t at least one Volvo 245 at Gatebil?


There were some station bricks, just didn't shoot them, that's all.