Free Practice for the F2 class competing at the Tønsberg Batrace got underway today when the Norwegian Prime Minister, Erna Solberg flagged away the Norwegian contingent of the twenty five drivers competing at the third round of the UIM F2 World Championships.
She was escorted to the start pontoon by the UIM President Dr. Raffaele Chiulli and then spent some time talking to Mette B. Bjerknæs (below), Tobias Munthe-Kaas, Frode Sundsdal and Christian Carlsen. Then the Prime Minister, under the watch full eye of Joyce Christine Andersen, Tønsberg Batrace Organiser, kicked proceedings off by waving the green flag to release the competitors away from the start pontoon.
“It’s amazing that the Prime minister has chosen to visit our event” said Joyce Christine Andersen. “This is tremendous recognition for the efforts we put in all through the year. We realise that this visit will be the highlight for many of our volunteers as well as the teams, so we really appreciate that she considers this as an important stop on her campaign trail for re-election.”
The Tønsberg Mayor, Petter Berg said ‘that this was the best endorsement of the event and shows just how far this race has come over the last four years. We hope she will get a good impression of Norwegian motorsport and that it will open her eyes for the huge potential there is in this type of sports events and the positive synergies it constitutes for the community as well as local business.’
“I think it’s fantastic that our prime minister is coming to support our race here in Tønsberg. It’s good to see that our politicians show an interest in our sport” said Bjerknaes, a sentiment shared by Munthe-Kaas. “It’s great that she’s coming. We always want focus and coverage of our great sport. With Erna Solberg attending we will get the chance to show her our passion for boat racing as well as getting some attention to this great event in Tønsberg. Its election time next autumn and her main competitor Jonas Gahr Støre was out racing with his wife at an event in Flosta. So maybe Erna Solberg also need some thrilling racing to be able to beat him.”