Meet BSR´s test driver
When BSR develops tuning kits for different car models, the work take place both in our test environment where power output and torque are measured, and also on the road during normal driving circumstances. BSR differs much from tuning companies that haven't got the means to measure power output or acceleration, and that only promote fictional power figures. BSR's way of working is extensive and this is where Niklas Jönsson gets involved in the work. He is the one in charge of the power output measurements and driving tests. And hardly anyone could be more fit for the purpose because he has a solid background in the motorsport as a competitive driver and professional mechanic. When competing, Niklas has run at least 1500 laps on almost every Swedish racing course. He has also worked as a professional mechanic in several teams, for example he was in charge of one car in the STCC team Chevrolet Motorsport that won the STCC cup in 2011. In 2012 Niklas is in charge of one of the cars from the WestCoast Racing team competing in the TTA national elite series.
Niklas' background in the motorsport
1996-1997 Did a total remake of a Saab 9000 and won many expo shows.
1999 Started Niri racing (1999-2002), Anderstorp series, long-distance laps.
2000 SLC (Swedish Long-distance Cup).
2003 Joined the Filemon Racing team. Continued with SLC.
2004 Was employed at BSR.
2006 Quit SLC.
2008 Started building "Radical".
2009 Mechanic in the STCC private cup for Viktor Hallrup, total 1st place.
2010 Chief mechanic for Pro Superbike and Freddy Papunen, total 1st place.
2010 Started driving go-kart (Rotax Max) as a hobby.
2011 In charge of one car in the STCC team Chevrolet Motorsport, total 1st place.
2012 In charge of one TTA car in the WestCoast Racing team.
The work at BSR
Despite Niklas' great commitment to the motorsport, it is the work at BSR that occupies most of his time. Here he fills an important role when BSR develops new tuning programs. Let´s see what he can tell about himself and his job.
What do you do at work?
NJ: I run the test cars in the Rototest chassis dynamometer where power output and torque is measured. We often have to run the cars many times in the Rototest, so the technicians can adjust and fine-tune the softwares. After this, I take the car out to test it under normal circumstances. When I and my colleagues find the tuning program to be optimal, I measure the acceleration at different speed intervals and gears. The result from all this testing is then presented at BSR's website so our customers can get a sense of how big increase they will get.
Why make such an effort to do these tests?
NJ: Simply because we have to. Otherwise we can't guarantee a good product. There are a lot of tuning products marketed by companies that haven't the resources and equipment to do this kind of development work. We want to ensure that the products we sell provide optimal performance, and that customers shall understand that the products are developed by highly competent people.
What's the best thing with your job?
NJ: Since I'm very interested in cars, I think it is working with new and exciting cars, and to be a part of the process of making the cars even more exciting.
Is there any of the BSR tuning kits that you think are extra amusing?
NJ: Our tuning kits for BMW 1M and Porsche GT2 are my favourites for petrol cars, and for diesel cars it is the kits for Audi 3.0TDI and BMW's large six-cylinder diesel.
A few years ago BSR collaborated with the sports car manufacturer Koenigsegg. In what way were you involved in the work with Koenigsegg?
NJ: I performed a lot of development tests in BSR's engine dynamometer and chassis dynamometer. A great effort was made to make the V8 compressor engine to output as much power as possible and still meet the emission requirements. I also handled the running-in of new engines and the calibration of cars sold to Koenigsegg's customers.
What was the biggest challenge with the Koenigsegg project?
NJ: Everything was a challenge since we had only a small budget and the work had to be finished within a short period of time. Still, we managed to break a number of world records for speed and power output.
And outside the job...
Do you have any future plans in the motorsport?
NJ: My only goal for the moment is to win the TTA series with my team WestCoast Racing.
What's the secret that sets a winning top driver apart from an average competitive driver?
NJ: I think that a real top driver has the last piece of top skill from birth, and that's what sets him apart from others, making it possible to cut a few hundredths of a second often needed in racing.
If you were to choose, what car would you rather have on your own driveway?
NJ: Family car: BMW M550d
For joyride/shopping: Porsche GT2 RS or Koenigsegg Agera R
Race car: Aquila CR1 S65.
Here comes the last question, probably the hardest: You obviously prefer cars with many cylinders and a massive torque, so why are you driving a 3 cylinder Peugeot with 68hk/100Nm?
NJ: Well, I guess it's a good contrast to my other car...
Thanks for the interview, and good luck with your job and commitment to the racing. #