Lestrup Racing Team join forces with Comtoyou Racing for WTCR finale

Lestrup Racing Team will enter a cooperation with Comtoyou Racing for the last two FIA World Touring Car Cup races as the Belgian team expands from four to six Audis.

The Swedish outfit, which secured the 2022 STCC TCR Scandinavia team vice-champion title, will provide Comtoyou Racing with engineers and mechanics for the running of the two additional Audi RS 3 LMS race cars with drivers Franco Girolami and Viktor Davidovski.

”We are delighted to join Comtoyou Racing on the international touring car scene for the FIA WTCR season ending,” said Fredrik Lestrup, co-founder of Lestrup Racing Team.

”Comtoyou Racing has performed a mighty impressive season so far this year in the WTCR and TCR Europe. We are confident that we can bring our part in their fight for the WTCR honours, as well as gaining valuable international touring car experience.”

Audi Sport drivers Gilles Magnus and Nathanaël Berthon are placed fourth and fifth respectively in the drivers’ championship with two race weekends and a total of four race heats remaining.

“Expanding to six cars will of course mean more work so the partnership with Lestrup Racing is really important,” said Comtoyou Team Manager François Verbist.

”But not only are some of their guys joining our team, as part of a common discussion with Audi Sport, we are giving other Audi customers the opportunity to gain experience in a world series and we are very happy to have the support of Lestrup, an Audi customer team in the STCC TCR Scandinavia.”

The penultimate WTCR round takes place at Bahrain International Circuit on November 10-12 while the season finale will be held at the Jeddah International Circuit in Saudi Arabia on November 25-27.

Lestrup Racing Team victorious in eventful STCC finale

Lestrup Racing Team driver Oliver Söderström claimed a victory as team-mate Andreas Bäckman secured the bronze medal overall in the 2022 STCC TCR Scandinavia finale at Mantorp Park.

The results saw the team claiming the runner-up spot in the teams’ championship.

”We are always racing with the ambition to win. We didn’t win the titles this year, but we won races and podiums. Andreas, Oliver and team have fought hard from the first to last race this year, I am thoroughly proud of everyone of them,” said Fredrik Lestrup, team co-founder.

Andreas Bäckman had a tough start to the weekend, but managed to bounce back in the final race with a podium finish to secure third place overall.

”My goal was to challenge for the title ahead of the finale. But we still got a strong end to the year with a podium finish and third overall. A huge thanks to the team for a really good year and now we’re looking forward to the future with excitement,” said Andreas Bäckman.

Oliver Söderström started the weekend strongly by winning the first race, finishing second in the following race while he was forced to retire from the last to finish fifth overall.

”The win was incredibly nice, especially from third on the grid. The retirement in the last race was obviously a disappointment, but that’s racing sometimes. This has been a frustrating, hectic and thrilling end to the season,” said Oliver Söderström.

Mantorp Park results
Final points standings

Mixed but promising STCC finale qualifying at Mantorp Park

Lestrup Racing Team had a mixed but promising STCC TCR Scandinavia season finale qualifying at Mantorp Park, with Oliver Söderström securing third for the first two races while Andreas Bäckman was further down the order.

”This result feels awesome after the struggles we’ve had. It hasn’t come easy, we’ve had to start from scratch with the setup. I’m not happy about the tenths we lacked to the absolute top, but we will keep fighting to close that gap for the races tomorrow,” said Oliver Söderström.

Following a recent judgement of the Swedish Motorsport Federation, Andreas Bäckman is the only driver left with a theoretical chance for the title – trailing the points lead by 51 points with 60 points left from the three races of tomorrow.

The Swede faces a tough race day, having qualified seventh and eighth.

”It was a really tough qualifying for me, we had balance issues with the car and I’m of course disappointed. We will reload for tomorrow, there are still three races left and I will push as hard as I can to climb the order,” said Andreas Bäckman.

The team championship fight is closer, with Lestrup Racing Team currently placed second overall, trailing the lead by 39 points with 111 points left to fight for.

”Obviously this isn’t the result we hoped for today. But we will never give up. Oliver is in a prime spot to get into the top fight of the races and we will leave no stone unturned to find further improvement for Andreas. It will be tough tomorrow, but that’s why we are here,” said Fredrik Lestrup.

All three races on Saturday are broadcast LIVE on: plus.stcc.se

Weekend schedule.
Points standings.

Lestrup Racing Team goes flat out in STCC title decider

Lestrup Racing Team heads to the 2022 STCC TCR Scandinavia title decider at Mantorp Park this weekend in contention for the drivers’, teams’ and juniors’ titles. And the team is eyeing an offensive strategy.

”We are going flat out to try and win all three races. Our overall goal remain on bringing the STCC titles back to Lestrup Racing Team, but we are not going to divert from our strategy of having both of our drivers going for raw speed and the best possible positions in the final races of the season. The fight is too close and hard for us to utilise any other strategy than that,” said Fredrik Lestrup, team co-founder.

Both drivers are in contention for the drivers’ title, with Andreas Bäckman in second place overall – 24 points from the points lead – while Oliver Söderström is further behind in fifth, 55 points adrift with 65 points still available.

Andreas Bäckman heads to Mantorp Park strengthened by an impressive penultimate round at Anderstorp where he scored a double win.

”It’s going to be a tough finale and this is what we are all here for. The goal is to score as many points as possible in qualifying and the races. Mantorp is the circuit that I look forward to the most this season and I had strong speed there last year, breaking the qualifying lap record. I think the new Audi should suit Mantorp really well,” said Andreas Bäckman.

Oliver Söderström had a tough weekend at Anderstorp despite showing strong speed and is aiming to end the season on a high.

”I have nothing to lose and I’ll go flat out for wins. I’m handling the season finale as any other race weekend. My title hopes are purely mathematical, it’s all about maximising our possibilities according to the conditions and score as strongly as possible,” said Oliver Söderström.

Lestrup Racing Team trails the team championship lead by just 14 points while reigning junior champion Oliver Söderström is just five points from the junior championship lead.

The last STCC TCR Scandinavia weekend of 2022 kicks off on Friday with testing and qualifying, with the final three races of the season on Saturday. The races are broadcast LIVE on: plus.stcc.se

Schedule – Mantorp Park
Friday 30/9
09:40 – STCC – Test
11:55 – STCC – Test 1
13:30 – STCC – Test 2
16:15 – STCC – Q1
16:40 – STCC – Q2

Saturday 1/10
10:38 – STCC – Race 1
13:10 – STCC – Race 2
15:43 – STCC – Race 3

Andreas Bäckman nears STCC points lead after twin win at Anderstorp

Andreas Bäckman has moved closer to the STCC TCR Scandinavia points lead after scoring two consecutive victories in the penultimate round at Anderstorp in Sweden.

The Lestrup Racing Team driver fought his way past Hugo Nerman in the first race to victory and headed the field from lights to flag in the second race, currently trailing the points lead by 24 points with 65 points left to fight for.

”It feels amazing to score a double victory. I had to fight hard in both races and the team gave me a great car, a huge thanks to everyone who made this possible. We’ve got three exciting races left in the Mantorp finale where I’m going to go flat out,” said Andreas Bäckman.

The two victories keeps Lestrup Racing Team right in the thick of the team title fight as well, just 14 points from the lead ahead of the Mantorp Park season finale in three weeks’ time.

”This really has been a weekend of mixed emotions. We are of course gutted for Oliver and we need to analyze the reasons behind it all. And at the same time, we are over the moon for Andreas who drove an awesome weekend under difficult circumstances. While we wanted more from this weekend, we have a strong position ahead of the season finale which no doubt will be one for the history books,” said Fredrik Lestrup, team co-owner.

Oliver Söderström left Anderstorp disappointed with a fourth and sixth place finish, but lost a second place finish in the final race due to a failed ride height check.

”It’s been a nightmare weekend and I’m gutted that I’m more or less out of the title fight. We had the speed this weekend for the top three, but things just did not go our way. I’m heading to the season finale with the points completely out of my attention and will just go for outright results on track,” said Oliver Söderström.

The STCC TCR Scandinavia season finale takes place at Mantorp Park on September 30th – October 1st.

Anderstorp – Results
STCC – Standings

Andreas Bäckman lands strong pole and valuable qualifying points at Anderstorp

Andreas Bäckman was on a charge during STCC TCR Scandinavia qualifying for the penultimate round of the year at Anderstorp, securing the Race 2 pole position and five vital points to the drivers’ championship.

The Lestrup Racing Team driver was just 44 thousands of a second from pole in the first qualifying session, meaning he will start from the front row in the first two races of tomorrow.

”It was a really tough qualifying as we had balance issues in the first session. But everything just came together for my last lap in Q2 and it was awesome to deliver a pole. A huge thanks to the team, they’ve done an amazing job today,” said Andreas Bäckman.

Team-mate Oliver Söderström meanwhile had a tough qualifying session and will line up in ninth position for the first two races.

”This is of course tough, both personally and for the team. Unfortunately the car felt completely different to how it was this morning. We have to analyze this, whether it was me or the car. And we’ll have to try and fight back up tomorrow,” said Oliver Söderström.

The pole for the first race means that Andreas Bäckman is 25 points from the championship lead with 60 points available to fight for in the three races of tomorrow.

”It’s really been a day of ups and downs. Heartbreak for Oliver of course, we’ll work hard tonight to get to the bottom of it. And an amazing effort by Andreas, he performed when he really needed to and we’ve got three exciting races ahead of us tomorrow,” said Fredrik Lestrup, team co-founder.

All three races on Sunday are broadcast LIVE on: plus.stcc.se

Weekend schedule available here.
Points standings available here.

Lestrup Racing Team faces decisive penultimate STCC round at Anderstorp

Lestrup Racing Team heads to the penultimate STCC TCR Scandinavia round at Anderstorp this weekend, with both Oliver Söderström and Andreas Bäckman facing a tough title battle.

Oliver Söderström, who claimed his first win of 2022 at Gelleråsen three weeks ago, trails the championship lead by 27 points.

”We’re facing an incredibly exciting weekend, especially as Anderstorp usually produces great racing. As for the title fight, nothing is decided yet and we’re going to do our very best to get even closer this weekend. We need to drive smart in the final couple of races and it’s vital to finish the races and score consistently – there is a lot at stake,” said Oliver Söderström.

Andreas Bäckman, who got his first win of the season following a ruling by the Swedish Motorsport Federation, is placed fifth overall – a single point behind team-mate Oliver Söderström in a tight five-driver title fight.

”We will hopefully have a strong weekend ahead where we can continue to build on the positive things from the most recent races. While we’re getting close to the final couple of races, the goal is pretty much the same as in the previous races. And it’s to get as much as possible from the car in qualifying and to fight for the podiums in the races,” said Andreas Bäckman.

The team championship fight is even closer ahead of Anderstorp where Lestrup Racing Team is currently sharing the points lead.

”Our ambition ahead of the final two rounds is crystal clear, just as it has been since the season start, and that is to bring the STCC titles back to Lestrup Racing Team. It’s going to be one of the toughest challenges we have ever faced, but we are no doubt ready for it,” said Fredrik Lestrup, team co-founder.

The Anderstorp weekend starts on Friday with testing, followed by qualifying on Saturday and three races on Sunday – all broadcast LIVE on: plus.stcc.se

Weekend schedule available here.
Points standings available here.

Andreas Bäckman secures maiden STCC win after SBF ruling

Lestrup Racing Team driver Andreas Bäckman has secured his maiden STCC TCR Scandinavia victory after a ruling by the Swedish Motorsport Federation (SBF) regarding the first Skellefteå race in June.

SBF announced today that it has reinstated a 20-second penalty for race winner Hugo Nerman for jumping the start in Skellefteå Race 1 and disqualified Robert Dahlgren, who finished second, due to failing the post-race ride height control.

This means that it’s a Lestrup Racing Team 1-2 in the first Skellefteå race as Andreas Bäckman is elevated from third to first and team-mate Oliver Söderström from fourth to second.

”We are pleased to see that the correct result is finally reinstated,” said Fredrik Lestrup, team co-founder.

”We prefer just as all of the other teams for the racing to be decided on track and the protest isn’t against any specific team, but rather regarding the procedures which must be followed. The jump start was clear cut and the SBF disciplinary board agreed with our judgement that the supposed damage on Robert’s car was not part of the reason for it failing the ride height check.

”While the short term outcome might not please all, I’m confident that the long term effect is the best for all involved and that we now have a result which represents the true sporting values of the STCC.”

The new result has shrunk the gap for Oliver Söderström and Andreas Bäckman to points leader Robert Dahlgren ahead of the final two race weekends, currently trailing the lead by 27 and 28 points respectively compared to 47 and 48 points before the ruling.

The next STCC TCR Scandinavia race weekend will be held at Anderstorp Raceway on September 10-11.