Rob Huff keeps title fight alive in challenging Mantorp Park weekend

Lestrup Racing Team driver Rob Huff is within reach of the STCC TCR Scandinavia points lead after the penultimate round of 2020 at Mantorp Park.

The 2012 world champion claimed two second place finishes and is 14 points behind Audi title rival Tobias Brink.

“Considering that this is definitely an Audi circuit, I am really pleased with our performance. I’m also pleased to be second in the championship and closer to Brink than what I was to Dahlgren ahead of this weekend. We know that the last race at Knutstorp is definitely a circuit that should suit the Volkswagen and our rivals should have some ballast which will obviously not help them very much. I’m really excited to take a big fight to the last race,” said Rob Huff.

Team-mate Oliver Söderström meanwhile had a nightmare weekend with two retirements and has dropped to fourth position in the championship, 63 points from the lead with 80 points remaining in the season finale.

The 22-year-old is still in contention for the junior championship title fight, trailing Hannes Morin by 39 points.

“We had the opportunity to fight for the title, especially after the strong qualifying yesterday. Now I just want to forget it all. There are some positive things from the weekend, qualifying was one of my best performances ever. This is racing sometimes and now I just want to do my very best in the final and try to claim a victory,” said Oliver Söderström.

Lestrup Racing Team is 14 points behind Brink Motorsport in the team championship standings ahead of the Ring Knutstorp season finale next weekend on October 9-10.

“Rob had a strong weekend and we’re very happy that he is right in the mix for the drivers’ title fight. The results for Oliver was unfortunate, especially as he continued to deliver really strongly, and we need to analyse the issues closely. But we are far from giving up, there is still a quarter left of the season and our competitors are going to have bad weekends as well. Our goal is still to win all three championships. It’s a quick turnaround for Knutstorp, but we are going to reload and make the very best out of a circuit that should suit us well,” said Fredrik Lestrup.

The 2020 STCC TCR Scandinavia season finale will be broadcast live on STCC+ where this weekend’s races are available as well:

Race 1
Race 2
Race 3

Driver championship standings
1 Tobias Brink 153 points
2 Rob Huff 139 (-14)
3 Robert Dahlgren 136 (-17)
4 Oliver Söderström 90 (-63)
4 Hannes Morin 90 (-63)
6 Emil Persson 77 (-76)
7 Mattias Andersson 71 (-82)
8 Andreas Ahlberg 63 (-90)
9 Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky 57 (-96)
10 Mikael Karlsson 53 (-100)
11 Magnus Gustavsen 15 (-138)
12 Albin Wärnelöv 4 (-149)
13 Isac Aronsson 3 (-150)

Team championship standings
1 Brink Motorsport 243 points
2 Lestrup Racing Team 229 (-14)
3 PWR Racing 193 (-50)
4 Kågered Racing 1 140 (-103)
5 Honda Racing Sweden 71 (-172)
6 Kågered Racing 2 53 (-190)
7 Brovallen Design 16 (-227)
8 Experion Racing 4 (-239)
9 Isacs Racing 3 (-240)

Junior championship standings
1 Hannes Morin 197 points
2 Oliver Söderström 158 (-39)
3 Magnus Gustavsen 120 (-77)
4 Isac Aronsson 58 (-139)

Double front row qualifying for Lestrup Racing Team at Mantorp Park

Lestrup Racing Team drivers Rob Huff and Oliver Söderström claimed one front row qualifying result each at Mantorp Park for the penultimate STCC TCR Scandinavia round of 2020.

2020 world champion Rob Huff was second fastest in the first qualifying session and third in the second.

“I am really pleased with the result, we knew the Audi would be super strong here. But we know we’ve got, as always with the Volkswagen, a great race car. One that lasts really well, uses its tyres really economically in the race. It’s great to be on the front row for race one and to be there together with Oliver. We’re pretty much the only team that has two team-mates with very similar speed that can work together. I’m excited for the weekend,” said Rob Huff.

Current junior championship leader Oliver Söderström was second fastest in the second qualifying session, receiving four points to the drivers’ and juniors’ championship.

“Testing didn’t go well for me, I wasn’t 100%. But then on new tyres for qualifying I felt that everything just came together. And the feeling is great, I’m really pleased with the result. Rob and I have to be smart tomorrow and work together, we have a good cooperation. It’s going to be three really interesting races, especially on how the tyre wear will play out,” said Oliver Söderström.

The result of qualifying has strengthened the team championship lead of Lestrup Racing Team, now heading Brink Motorsport by 33 points.

“We can’t be anything but pleased with the result today. We couldn’t challenge Tobias Brink today, but he is going to get 60kg of compensation weight for the season finale and we won’t get any. It’s been a good day,” said Fredrik Lestrup, co-owner of Lestrup Racing Team.

The first race of three tomorrow starts at 10:00 CEST and is broadcast live on:

Qualifying 1
Qualifying 2

Driver championship standings
1 Robert Dahlgren 100 points
2 Tobias Brink 93 (-7)
3 Rob Huff 91 (-9)
4 Oliver Söderström 88 (-12)
5 Andreas Ahlberg 57 (-43)
6 Hannes Morin 53 (-47)
7 Mattias Andersson 49 (-51)
8 Emil Persson 46 (-55)
9 Mikael Karlsson 35 (-65)
10 Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky 21 (-79)
11 Magnus Gustavsen 13 (-87)
12 Albin Wärnelöv 2 (-98)

Team championship standings
1 Lestrup Racing Team 179 points
2 Brink Motorsport 146 (-33)
3 PWR Racing 121 (-58)
4 Kågered Racing 1 103 (-76)
5 Honda Racing Sweden 49 (-130)
6 Kågered Racing 2 35 (-144)
7 Brovallen Design 13 (-166)
8 Experion Racing 2 (-177)

Junior championship standings
1 Oliver Söderström 140 points
2 Hannes Morin 122 (-18)
3 Magnus Gustavsen 75 (-65)
4 Isac Aronsson 10 (-130)

Lestrup Racing Team enters crucial stage of STCC season at Mantorp Park

Lestrup Racing Team is entering a crucial stage of the 2020 STCC TCR Scandinavia season with the penultimate round at Mantorp Park this weekend.

Team-mates Rob Huff and Oliver Söderström are both within reach of the championship lead, just 12 and 16 points behind respectively.

“I’m very excited to be back in Sweden for the final STCC races and I’m obviously staying here until the end of the season. I’m pleased to have completed a test here and at Knutstorp, that gives me confidence going into the last two rounds. I’ve been treading the water carefully so far this season to understand the rules and other drivers. Now it’s very much time for me to make my move and forge to the front of the championship,” said Rob Huff.

“We had a good test at Mantorp Park earlier this summer and we found solutions to problems that we’ve had. I want to head from this weekend as the best scoring driver. I know that it’s not in anyway easy, but I’ve done it before this year,” said Oliver Söderström.

Lestrup Racing Team heads the team championship by 31 points and the junior championship by 14 points with Oliver Söderström.

The team is on its way to Mantorp Park strengthened by a productive mid-season test.

“The entire team is in a season end sprint mode now and our goal is to leave Mantorp Park with the best possible conditions for the season finale. We had a good mid-season test and we have a lot of valuable new data. I have no doubt that this going to be a very tough weekend and we will make our utmost to make it rewarding,” said Fredrik Lestrup, team co-owner.

The action at Mantorp Park starts on Friday with testing and qualifying, followed by three races on Saturday.

All three races are broadcast live at STCC+:

Schedule – Mantorp Park
Friday 2nd October
09:00 – Test 1 – 30 min
13:40 – Test 2 – 30 min
16:46 – Kval Q1 – 20 min
17:11 – Kval Q2 – 10 min

Saturday 3rd October
10:00 – Race 1 – 15 laps
13:33 – Race 2 – 15 laps
15:34 – Race 3 – 15 laps

Driver championship standings
1 Robert Dahlgren 100 points
2 Rob Huff 88 (-12)
3 Tobias Brink 88 (-12)
4 Oliver Söderström 84 (-16)
5 Andreas Ahlberg 57 (-43)
6 Hannes Morin 53 (-47)
7 Mattias Andersson 48 (-52)
8 Emil Persson 44 (-56)
9 Mikael Karlsson 35 (-65)
10 Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky 21 (-79)
11 Magnus Gustavsen 13 (-87)
12 Albin Wärnelöv 2 (-98)

Team championship standings
1 Lestrup Racing Team 172 points
2 Brink Motorsport 141 (-31)
3 Kågered Racing 130 (-42)
4 PWR Racing 121 (-51)
5 Honda Racing Sweden 48 (-124)
6 Brovallen Design 13 (-159)
7 Experion Racing 2 (-170)

Junior championship standings
1 Oliver Söderström 136 points
2 Hannes Morin 122 (-14)
3 Magnus Gustavsen 75 (-61)
4 Isac Aronsson 10 (-126)

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:

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:

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+:

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)