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Timekeeping takes time.

Digitization and fancy equipment notwithstanding, timekeeping is a time-consuming job. Practice, qualifying and races during the NM took place in pools almost continuously, just with breaks of a few minutes. Snorre Laupstad and Jostein Hansen sat on top of the throng of thousandths, and they claimed to have plenty of time.

ACM, Arctic Circle Motorsport Club, roadracing
The timekeepers Jostein Hansen and Snorre Laupstad after the championship. Photo: ACM Media

The NM has ended, and the arena had calmed down when we had a chat with the guys from the tower's fifth floor. For a week they had kept house through long days, and they hardly know how many laps they have taken.

- How did this year's NM go?

- Very good. We have again benefited from a large, stable and experienced staff, replies Snorre and receives nodding support from Jostein Hansen.

- Why is the rest of the staff important for timing?

- It is important to us because we can trust the decisions. We know that they know the regulations well, and their decisions come quickly and without unnecessary time.

- We don't have to doubt. This means that we can quickly adjust our mission, adds Jostein.

- The fact that it runs smoothly does not mean that there is no room for improvement, does it?

- Oh, no! We have a lot to get to grips with, says Snorre and expresses that he himself gets too little practice with timekeeping, and that this season he will also visit several other arenas together with Jostein.

- That is wise, cause the detailed knowledge comes first through mass training, adds Jostein.

Jostein and Snorre have worked together for many years, and along the way technological development has taken its course. In particular, a lot has happened with the use of data, and via an app on the phone you can follow the lap times as quickly as the two sitting in the tower and controlling it all. And you don't have to be at the arena to follow along. That can be done just as quickly on the other side of the globe. These apps are under continuous development.

For the audience the mobile phone is important for following the race Photo: Shutterstock

- Than on the local equipment side? Is there anything to improve there?

- Much of our equipment is outside in all kinds of weather, both here and at the other arenas. Parts of the equipment must, logically enough, be left outside all year round, and this creates possible sources of error in a complicated technology, Jostein replies and Snorre adds:

- And then we have cables and connectors which, unfortunately, after a long time of use, we have learned cannot withstand sunlight or being buried. So we also learn from bad experiences.

- Testing and trial runs of the fixed equipment is valuable, especially after the winter is over, but it requires that you set aside both time and resources and carry out simulations, says Jostein and explains that this challenge is the same throughout the country.

When asked what improvements are needed at this year's NM arena, the guys get excited, and want more cable loops on the track to capture intermediate times. They explain about cable loops in the asphalt on other sections of the track, and about wireless equipment that is connected to the equipment for timing.

- Does it smell expensive?

- It depends, because intermediate times are crowd-friendly, and that lifts an exciting fight to greater heights, the guys conclude, determined that they will both sit in 5th floor until next year as well.

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