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The 2021 STCC title defense starts this weekend at Ljungbyhed

Lestrup Racing Team will start the 2021 STCC TCR Scandinavia season this weekend at Ljungbyhed as the reigning drivers’ and teams’ champions.

“We are ready and our goal for this season is unchanged from last year – to stand on the very top step of the standings when the dust settles after the season finale in October,” said Fredrik Lestrup, team co-owner.

The team faces a challenging first race weekend at Ljungbyhed, a completely new circuit for everyone in the team. The pre-season test was held at Ljungbyhed but in very wet conditions in bright contrast to this weekend’s dry and sunny weather forecast.

All eyes are on Oliver Söderström after his now former team-mate and reigning STCC champion Rob Huff was drafted for the FIA World Touring Car Cup just two weeks ago by Cupra team Zengo Motorsport.

The 22-year-old Swede heads to the first race of 2021 behind the wheel of his Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR following a promising 2020 season where he won the first race.

“There is no hiding in that Rob played a big part both as my team-mate but also as a rival on the track. But I feel no pressure. I want to win this year and it feels natural keeping last year’s season in mind. It’s going to be a tight season, but we’ve got just as good resources as last year and I feel really confident,” said Oliver Söderström.

Oliver Söderström’s new team-mate Mikael Karlsson, who made his STCC debut last year, impressed during his first run with Lestrup Racing Team during the official pre-season testing.

“We’ve had a solid pre-season and I feel right at home with the team. I have high goals personally for this season, but I know that we have an even tougher field this year compared to last. The main thing will be to claw into the top five and score points consistently,” said Mikael Karlsson.

Robin Knutsson, who is new to the team as well, had a baptism of fire during the pre-season testing, crashing heavily at Ljungbyhed in the pouring rain. The car has been repaired since then and the 19-year-old is raring to get going.

“It was a big crash, but the only thing I could think of after the crash was when I could get back behind the wheel again. We had made really good progress prior to that and I am confident that we can continue building strongly on that as the season progresses. My goal for this season is to learn as much as possible and build experience. If I can match my team-mates on speed, I will be very happy,” said Robin Knutsson.

Lestrup Racing Team will face a field of 13 drivers from eight teams that represent five manufacturers.

Follow the races LIVE via STCC+ this weekend: plus.stcc.se

Schedule – Ljungbyhed
Friday 4/6
09:35 – Test 1
13:45 – Test 2
16:59 – Qualifying Q1
17:20 – Qualifying Q2

Saturday 5/6
10:50 – Race 1
13:45 – Race 2
16:50 – Race 3