Lestrup Racing Team reveals selected drivers for 2020 Young Driver Programme

Lestrup Racing Team has revealed its selection of drivers for the 2020 Young Driver Programme that starts today with a test at Gelleråsen Arena.

”We are delighted to present these three promising drivers for our first year of the Young Driver Programme,” said Fredrik Lestrup, co-owner of Lestrup Racing Team.

The selected drivers are Anton Bergström (18), Alfred Nilsson (19) and Kevin Engman (30) who will get behind the wheel of the Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR at Gelleråsen Arena today.

”Our trio is going to get to work straight away with a full test day together with our STCC team,” said Fredrik Lestrup.

”They are going to get more mileage than during a normal race weekend, a key part of this programme is for them to drive a lot and work hard.

”We are going to complete a qualifying simulation, a full race distance and they will work through all the data and setup changes with our engineers.

”Our STCC driver Oliver Söderström is going to test alongside them, providing them with an excellent chance to compare their performance straight away.”

Anton Bergström has raced in Renault Junior Cup Sweden and DS3 Cup Denmark, finishing second overall in both championships during the 2017 and 2018 seasons.

”I’ve been at STCC races since I was a kid and my dream is to race at that level. I was delighted when I got the chance to join the Young Driver Programme and said yes straight away. I’m really excited to compare and develop my performance with the team, especially as they have two really skilled drivers in Rob Huff and Oliver Söderström,” said Anton Bergström.

Alfred Nilsson is a two-time Swedish champion in karting and made the move to racing in 2018 in Formula STCC Nordic and most recently Swedish GT with Lestrup Racing Team.

”I am very glad to join the Young Driver Programme. And what feels so good about this is the fact that Lestrup Racing Team is at the very top of the STCC. I’m really excited to get behind the wheel of material that I know can win in the top racing class of Scandinavia. My ambition for the future is to race touring cars internationally and that is what makes this chance so attractive for me,” said Alfred Nilsson.

Kevin Engman has claimed the bronze medal of the Swedish Junior Touring Car Championship three times, most recently in 2012 before taking a hiatus from his racing career. The 30-year-old returned behind the wheel of a race car during the STCC TCR Scandinavia mid-season test at Mantorp Park with Lestrup Racing Team earlier this month.

”I am really excited to be a part of this programme from the start. I’m heading to the first test with an open mind to get as much out of it as possible. It’s going to be exciting to compare myself against the other drivers of the programme and of course with Oliver and Rob. I’ve got a very clear goal and that is to be on the 2021 STCC grid. To be a part of the Young Driver Programme is a key part of that,” said Kevin Engman.

The 2020 Young Driver Programme will continue throughout the autumn and winter with work in the simulator of the team, sponsor and media training and more.

The team has already started the process of finding further drivers for the 2021 Young Driver Programme and interested drivers are invited to contact: fredrik@lestrupracingteam.se

Lestrup Racing Team launches Young Driver Programme to find future STCC champions

Lestrup Racing Team has launched the ’Young Driver Programme’ to create a structured way for young drivers to reach the top of Swedish motorsport. The 2020 STCC TCR Scandinavia programme of the team will play a key part for the selected drivers.

”Today there is no natural ladder for the juniors and we want to fill that gap, something I would have really needed at the start of my career,” said team co-owner Fredrik Lestrup.

”This is a long-term programme spanning over several years that we are keen to evolve and expand.”

Part of the programme is Kenth Öhlin, the founder of renowned damper manufacturers Öhlins.

”I am very glad to support this programme to create a stable and relevant tool for promising Swedish racing talents,” said Kenth Öhlin.

”Helping young drivers is a key part of securing the regrowth of Swedish motorsport, both nationally and internationally, and we strongly believe that our programme can contribute to this.”

The team is going to select three participants each year from applications and through scouting. The drivers must have a background in motorsport such as go karts, junior championships or sim racing.

”We are going to provide the junior drivers the conditions to evaluate and improve themselves as drivers,” said Fredrik Lestrup.

”They are going to drive our advanced simulator, learn data logging and other tools that are decisive for a successful career. They are also going to compare their performance with the established drivers of the team, including former world champion Rob Huff and the STCC race winner Oliver Söderström.”

The drivers are going to get behind the wheel of the team’s STCC cars, the Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR, the same type of cars that are used in the FIA World Touring Car Cup.

”There is no better practice than to actually drive a race car and to do it as early as possible in the career,” said Fredrik Lestrup.

”Our drivers are going to learn to work with engineers, mechanics and try qualifying simulations, as well as drive full race distances. They are going to feel the changes to the car and work after a well-prepared test plan.”

Another important part of the programme is media and sponsor work.

”We are going to help the participants with sponsorship work and profiling in both social media, as well as towards reporting media,” said Fredrik Lestrup.

”The participants are going to get access to our events and activities, as well as become involved in all of our media activities connected to our STCC programme.”

The Lestrup Young Driver programme is in its final stages of selecting drivers and a first test will be held with the final participants next week at Gelleråsen Arena.

Lestrup Racing Team completes strong mid-season test at Mantorp Park

Lestrup Racing Team completed a strong STCC TCR Scandinavia mid-season test at Mantorp Park in preparation for the final season half.

2012 world champion Rob Huff was third fastest in the shootout session and fourth fastest overall in the afternoon test session.

”It’s been a really good day. As always the team has done a really good job and it has been a good preparation for the race here in October. Now we can go away and really make ourselves ready. I’m really excited for the end of the season to fight and try to win this,” said Rob Huff.

Oliver Söderström was back on track following the crash at Skellefteå two weeks ago when a rival struck his Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR.

”It’s good to be back in the car and the team has done a fantastic job of getting it back together after the crash. We had some issues during the first part of the test but we were able to turn things around and end strongly. I’m really looking forward to the race here,” said Oliver Söderström.

The team fielded three cars for the test. Former Swedish karting champion Kevin Engman got behind the wheel of the Volkswagen previously used by the team for endurance races.

”We have a third car that we normally have for endurance races, last was the Dubai 24 hours. We have rebuilt it to STCC specification and we needed a shakedown of the car, opening for an opportunity to have Kevin to test for us. Overall, this has been a good test and we got a lot of valuable data from Rob and Oliver ahead of the final two races,” said Fredrik Lestrup, co-owner of Lestrup Racing.

Next up is the penultimate race weekend of 2020, held at Mantorp Park on October 2-3.

Results Test 1
Results Test 2
Results Shootout