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

Lestrup Racing Team keeps STCC points lead following chaotic Skellefteå weekend

Lestrup Racing Team drivers Rob Huff and Oliver Söderström fought hard in the second STCC TCR Scandinavia weekend at Skellefteå Drivecenter Arena, a circuit the team knew would be difficult, to keep the team championship lead with two podium finishes and three top five finishes.

Despite lacking top speed compared to the competitors on the fast 4100 meter circuit, 2012 WTCC champion Rob Huff qualified third and secured two podium finishes from the three races.

“It has been a good day on the whole with two podiums and a strong qualifying result,” said Rob Huff.

Rob Huff was involved in an incident in the final race that forced him to pit for suspension repair. The team was able to quickly repair the car and get the Brit back out to finish eighth and score four valuable points.

“Great job by Lestrup Racing Team in every sense this weekend. In getting my car as good as it was setup-wise for qualifying, for the races to be P2, P3 and to get my car back out in Race 3 to finish P8 and get four what could be very valuable points at the end of the year,” said Rob Huff.

Team-mate Oliver Söderström fought hard from further down the grid to a top five result in all three races.

“Qualifying was a bit of a disappointment for me but we were able to make up some ground in the races,” said Oliver Söderström.

“I was hit really hard by Robert Dahlgren in the third race and I’m heading to the hospital for a checkup. We lost some points today but I still think we made the best out of what we had and I am confident that we can fight back in the coming races.”

Rob Huff has climbed to second place in the drivers’ championship with Oliver Söderström dropping to fourth.

Lestrup Racing Team heads the teams’ championship on 172 points ahead of Brink Motorsport on 141 points.

“We knew that Skellefteå was going to be tough for us,” said Fredrik Lestrup, team co-owner.

“Rob, Oliver and the team has performed really, really well under the circumstances. We didn’t give up. We managed to get Rob back out to score points in the last race and those points could end up deciding the championship. I am confident that we will bounce back for the coming races at Mantorp and Knutstorp.”

The STCC TCR Scandinavia season continues on October 2-3 at Mantorp Park and can be watched LIVE through: https://plus.stcc.se

Lestrup Racing Team heads to northern Sweden for the Midnight Sun Race

Lestrup Racing Team has headed to the north of Sweden for the Midnight Sun Race at Skellefteå Drivecenter Arena and the second round of the 2020 STCC TCR Scandinavia season.

The team celebrated a sensational season start at Gelleråsen Arena two weeks ago with pole position, a victory and the lead of all three standings.

“It was almost unreal to leave the season opener with such an amazing result, especially as we had so many issues in the weeks before. Everyone in the team performed at their absolute best,” said Fredrik Lestrup, team co-owner.

“Skellefteå is of course a different matter as we haven’t raced with the TCR car here before and the special surface of the circuit with new asphalt, old asphalt and concrete all mixed together.

“The season opener has boosted our confidence and we are in a championship mode with our sights set on more wins. But we are under no illusions that it will be easy at Skellefteå, we need to continue pushing forwards as our competitors are not standing still.”

Oliver Söderström made his mark on the STCC paddock in the season opener by beating the established drivers and claiming the championship lead.

“The amazing feeling from the first race weekend is still with me. But I am humble ahead of the Skellefteå race and I take nothing for granted. It’s going to be really tough this weekend and we have to keep working hard,” said Oliver Söderström.

Team-mate and 2012 world champion Rob Huff is second in the drivers’ championship, just four points behind Oliver Söderström.

“Skellefteå is another new challenge for me, as all circuits are for me this year. I’m excited after what was the best opening weekend we could ask for and we need to continue the momentum this weekend,” said Rob Huff.

“We have some added weight this weekend that obviously will make the challenge harder. But all of us at Lestrup Racing Team are up for the challenge and I am confident that we are going there with a well-balanced car.”

The Skellefteå event is held over just one day, with free practice, qualifying and three races, meaning a really intense day for the team.

The circuit was opened in 2019 and is the longest circuit in Scandinavia, measuring 4100 meters.

All three races are broadcast live at STCC+: https://plus.stcc.se

Schedule – Gelleråsen Arena
Saturday 29th August
09:30 – Free practice 1
10:40 – Free practice 2
13:00 – Qualifying 1
13:25 – Qualifying 2
14:45 – Race 1
16:45 – Race 2
18:15 – Race 3

Driver championship standings
1 Oliver Söderström 52 points
2 Rob Huff 48 (-4)
3 Robert Dahlgren 45 (-7)
4 Andreas Ahlberg 35 (-17)
5 Emil Persson 34 (-18)
6 Tobias Brink 33 (-19)
7 Mattias Andersson 32 (-20)
8 Hannes Morin 18 (-34)
9 Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky 15 (-37)
10 Mikael Karlsson 4 (-48)
11 Albin Wärnelöv 2 (-50)

Team championship standings
1 Lestrup Racing Team 100 points
2 Kågered Racing 69 (-31)
3 PWR Racing 60 (-40)
4 Brink Motorsport 51 (-49)
5 Honda Racing Sweden 32 (-68)
6 Experion Racing 2 (-98)

Junior championship standings
1 Oliver Söderström 75 points
2 Hannes Morin 54 (-21)
3 Magnus Gustavsen 24 (-51)
4 Isac Aronsson 10 (-65)

Lestrup Racing Team lands pole, win and triple STCC championship lead

The STCC TCR Scandinavia season opener at Gelleråsen Arena went from nightmare to a dream as drivers Oliver Söderström and Rob Huff delivered a pole position, victory, four podiums and the lead of all three championships.

Oliver Söderström claimed his career-first STCC pole position on Saturday and followed up with his maiden victory in the first of three races on Sunday.

“I have dreamt of this ever since I was a kid, the feeling is incredible. I took my first ever pole yesterday and today my first STCC win. The team has done an amazing job and to be on the podium together with Rob Huff is almost unreal,” said Oliver Söderström, who also heads the junior standings.

Rob Huff managed to overcome an array of issues with his race car to secure two podiums and is placed second in the drivers’ championship, just four points from team-mate and championship leader Oliver Söderström.

“I’m really pleased with the weekend. The team has worked 24 hours a day for two weeks as we have had some issues. It was such a relief when we could put in quick laps during qualifying. And the races have been fantastic, not only for myself but for my team-mate Oliver as well. To give the team a reward with this result feels great. A big thank you to everyone in the team for all their hard work,” said Rob Huff.

The week leading up to the season opener had the team racing against time to sort several issues related to engine and electronics.

The team changed engine on Rob Huff’s car with seconds to spare ahead of the qualifying session start.

But the hard work of the team paid off, with Lestrup Racing Team holding the teams’ championship lead on 100 points, 31 points ahead of Kågered Racing after the first race weekend of 2020.

“We have two amazing drivers that have delivered really well. That Oliver won the first race really shows that we have got a package that works. I am really proud over his efforts, as well as Rob’s, he clearly shows why he is a touring car world champion. We’re heading home in the lead of all three championships and that’s just so cool. A massive thanks to everyone in the team, their commitment is fantastic, especially as none of them are full-time employed. But we need to keep working to stay ahead, our competitors are not resting. but neither are we,” said Fredrik Lestrup, co-owner of Lestrup Racing.

Next up is the second round of the STCC TCR Scandinavia at Skellefteå Drivecenter Arena on August 28-29.

Results Race 1

Results Race 2

Results Race 3

Oliver Söderström and Rob Huff fights to a qualifying 1-2 for the STCC season opener

Lestrup Racing Team drivers Oliver Söderström and Rob Huff fought back to a 1-2 in the first STCC TCR Scandinavia qualifying session of 2020 at Gelleråsen Arena as the team fought technical issues.

“It feels quite nice to be able to say that I have claimed an STCC pole position, it is definitely a tick in the box,” said Oliver Söderström.

“I wanted to challenge for the top in the second qualifying session as well, but unfortunately I lost a wheel and had to park the car. I want to win tomorrow of course, but I have to be humble as there are so many good drivers in the championship.”

Rob Huff claimed second position in the first qualifying session (Q1) and third in the second (Q2) qualifying session and was a happy man.

“I’m unbelievably happy with the result considering that the team has worked 24 hours a day for the last two weeks and that we had to change engine just before qualifying,” said Rob Huff.

“To give the team a reward with second and third, it’s not the best we could have done, for sure. But with what we have handled for the last two weeks, I’m really pleased for myself and for the team.”

The start of the STCC premiere week began with technical issues and the team fought hard to secure a perfect car for Rob Huff ahead of qualifying.

“Rob and Oliver have delivered a fantastic result under immense pressure and I am so proud of them and everyone in the team that have fought so hard to get where we are now,” said Fredrik Lestrup, co-owner of Lestrup Racing Team.

Oliver Söderström was fastest in the first qualifying session and will start from pole in the first race with team-mate Rob Huff right behind in second place, setting the positions for the second race.

Rob Huff was third fastest in the second qualifying session while Oliver Söderström was sixth fastest as he had to abort his second attempt when a wheel came loose.

Championship points are awarded for the top five drivers of the second qualifying session, meaning that Rob Huff has secured three points so far.

The first race of the season opener weekend at Gelleråsen Arena starts at 11:10 CEST tomorrow August 16th and can be watched live at: https://plus.stcc.se

Results Q1

Results Q2

Schedule – Gelleråsen Arena

Saturday August 15th
09:40 – Test 1 – 30 min
13:00 – Test 2 – 30 min
16:55 – Q1 – 20 min
17:20 – Q2 – 10 min

Sunday August 16th
11:10 – Race 1 – 17 laps
14:00 – Race 2 – 17 laps
15:40 – Race 3 – 17 laps

Entry list 2020 STCC TCR Scandinavia

1 – Robert Dahlgren – PWR Racing – Cupra León Competicíon
7 – Oliver Söderström – Lestrup Racing Team – Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR
12 – Rob Huff – Lestrup Racing Team – Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR
19 – Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky – PWR Racing – Cupra León Competicíon
20 – Mattias Andersson – Honda Racing Sweden – Honda Civic Type-R
21 – Andreas Ahlberg – Kågered Racing – Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR
22 – Albin Wärnelöv – Experion Racing Team – Hyundai i30 N TCR
45 – Emil Persson – Kågered Racing – Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR
48 – Mikael Karlsson – Kågered Racing – Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR
51 – Hannes Morin – Brink Motorsport – Audi RS 3 LMS
59 – Poker Wallenberg – PWR Racing – Cupra León Competicíon
70 – Isac Aronsson – Isac’s Racing – Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR
71 – Tobias Brink – Brink Motorsport – Audi RS 3 LMS
91 – Magnus Gustavsen – Brovallen Design – Audi RS 3 LMS

Lestrup Racing Team heads to the 2020 STCC premiere with high ambitions

Lestrup Racing Team will make its STCC TCR Scandinavia return this weekend at the Gelleråsen Arena opener with drivers Rob Huff and Oliver Söderström. And the team is aiming high.

“We want to win and be in the very top with both drivers, there is no doubt about that,” said Fredrik Lestrup, co-owner of Lestrup Racing Team.

“We have a great line-up with Rob and Oliver, they complete each other really well with vast experience and young hunger. We feel ready after a really good pre-season with plenty of testing.”

The team has completed five test days with its pair of Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR race cars in the weeks leading up to the season opener and 2012 touring car world champion Rob Huff is keen to make his STCC debut.

“I am very excited to get into the first race weekend and we are here to win, we’re not here for anything else,” said Rob Huff.

“I have full confidence with Lestrup Racing Team and that they can provide me with a car that I can win with. I am relieved and very happy to be able to take part in the new season and congrats to the STCC organisation on putting together a new season quickly and conveniently for all the teams and competitors.”

Oliver Söderström impressed during the official pre-season test at Gelleråsen Arena in July where he was fourth fastest during the shootout and is hopeful but humble ahead of the season start.

“I think we have a really solid package and we will be strong. But I say that humbly as I know the competition is going to be so tough,” said Oliver Söderström.

“I have made progress during the testing and got my head wrapped around a lot of new things, especially the Yokohama tyres that I haven’t raced on before. The goal for the team is to win the the team championship and I will do my very best to contribute to that.”

The season opener weekend starts on Saturday with testing and qualifying, followed by three races on Sunday.

All of the races will be broadcast live on the online platform STCC+ as no spectators will be allowed on site at Gelleråsen Arena due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“We will miss the spectators on site but we are really happy over the TV coverage that the STCC organisation has secured through STCC+,” said Fredrik Lestrup.

Schedule – Gelleråsen Arena

Saturday August 15th
09:40 – Test 1 – 30 min
13:00 – Test 2 – 30 min
16:55 – Q1 – 20 min
17:20 – Q2 – 10 min

Sunday August 16th
11:10 – Race 1 – 17 laps
14:00 – Race 2 – 17 laps
15:40 – Race 3 – 17 laps

Entry list 2020 STCC TCR Scandinavia

1 – Robert Dahlgren – PWR Racing – Cupra León Competicíon
7 – Oliver Söderström – Lestrup Racing Team – Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR
12 – Rob Huff – Lestrup Racing Team – Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR
19 – Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky – PWR Racing – Cupra León Competicíon
20 – Mattias Andersson – Honda Racing Sweden – Honda Civic Type-R
21 – Andreas Ahlberg – Kågered Racing – Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR
22 – Albin Wärnelöv – Experion Racing Team – Hyundai i30 N TCR
45 – Emil Persson – Kågered Racing – Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR
48 – Mikael Karlsson – Kågered Racing – Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR
51 – Hannes Morin – Brink Motorsport – Audi RS 3 LMS
59 – Poker Wallenberg – PWR Racing – Cupra León Competicíon
70 – Isac Aronsson – Isac’s Racing – Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR
71 – Tobias Brink – Brink Motorsport – Audi RS 3 LMS
91 – Magnus Gustavsen – Brovallen Design – Audi RS 3 LMS