Lestrup Racing Team endures frantic Gelleråsen weekend with positive glimpses

Lestrup Racing Team drivers Oliver Söderström, Mikael Karlsson and Robin Knutsson endured a frantic STCC TCR Scandinavia weekend at Gelleråsen Arena with plenty of ups and downs.

“This has not been a good weekend in terms of the results we achieved with the speed that we had. But we are bringing the positive parts with us, with Mikael qualifying on the front row, Robin taking another big step forward and Oliver’s podium,” said Fredrik Lestrup, co-owner of Lestrup Racing Team.

Oliver Söderström claimed a podium finish with third in the second race, but was involved in an incident in the first race and he stalled at the start of the third race due to a technical issue.

“It’s been a very tough weekend. We’ve had the pace all weekend but have just not been able to capitalise on it properly. It felt good to be on the podium but we deserved more than the overall result that we got. We need to bring the positive parts with us and reload for the next race,” said Oliver Söderström, who keeps fifth in the drivers’ standings.

Mikael Karlsson looked set for a podium finish in the first race as he crossed the finishing line in third, only to receive a penalty for contact with another driver, dropping him to fourth.

“We had the speed to fight for the podium, unfortunately I made terrible start in the first race and got a penalty that I don’t entirely agree with. But that’s racing sometimes. I had a technical issue in the final race and lost too much time. We’re bringing all of this with us to the next race where we will try to score as much points as possible,” said Mikael Karlsson.

Robin Knutsson took yet another leap forward, finishing fifth in the first race and chased down points leader Robert Dahlgren in the final race.

“I am incredibly pleased with the weekend. It’s so much more fun to be able to fight higher up the order and show that I can be part of the top fight further on. I’m really looking forward to Anderstorp where I am going to try and keep the momentum from here,” said Robin Knutsson.

Lestrup Racing Team by Volkswagen Stockholm keeps second place in the teams’ standings and Oliver Söderström keeps the lead of the junior championship ahead of the coming round at Anderstorp on September 4-5.

“It has been a tough weekend but we are going to keep fighting hard ahead of the next race at Anderstorp where we completed a very positive private test earlier this month,” said Fredrik Lestrup.

Race 1
Race 2
Race 3

Championship standings

Mikael Karlsson claims close front row position in Gelleråsen qualifying

Mikael Karlsson claimed his so far best STCC TCR Scandinavia qualifying result with second position at Gelleråsen Arena, just 96 thousands of a second from pole sitter Robert Dahlgren.

“My lap was really good and I thought it was enough for pole, but unfortunately Dahlgren went a bit quicker. But this was my so far best result, so we’re moving forward and the team has done a great job. My goal for the races is still set on the podium,” said Mikael Karlsson.

Team-mate Oliver Söderström was fourth fastest in the first qualifying session (Q1) and improved to third for the second session.

“I’m a bit frustrated, I thought we would have more pace. But we had some understeer as we didn’t know how the car would react on new tyres after running on older tyres during testing. We made some improvements for Q2 and the car felt better. But we have a strong race car and I hope to be able to climb,” said Oliver Söderström.

Robin Knutsson also claimed a new personal best qualifying result with seventh in both sessions, making it onto the second qualifying session for the first time ever.

“I felt really confident in the car and it feels great to have made it to Q2. What I’m most excited about is that I finally have the same speed as the mid-field drivers, so that I can fight with them. It’s going to be really interesting tomorrow,” said Robin Knutsson.

The first race of the STCC weekend at Gelleråsen Arena starts at 10:50 CEST tomorrow and is broadcast LIVE on: plus.stcc.se

Results – Q1
Results – Q2

Lestrup Racing Team in fight back mode as STCC resumes

Lestrup Racing Team heads for the third STCC TCR Scandinavia round at Gelleråsen Arena this weekend, strengthened by a successful summer test at the same circuit and an additional test at Anderstorp. The goal is firmly set to catch and pass the competitors in the standings.

Oliver Söderström, currently placed fifth overall, was just 29 thousands of a second from the top time during the test and is keen to gain lost ground.

“The fight back up the order starts now,” said Oliver Söderström.

“I think we are looking strong ahead of Gelleråsen, especially after the successful test we had there. I won a race here last year and that’s my goal for this weekend, although I know it will be very tough.”

Mikael Karlsson was even closer to the top during the summer test, lapping just 0.006 seconds slower than the fastest time.

And the Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR driver is keen to do well during his home race.

“I want to beat my personal best STCC result and claim a podium finish this weekend,” said Mikael Karlsson.

“We got plenty of laps done during the test and got a lot of answers to questions that we had. I have a good feeling ahead of the race weekend.”

Robin Knutsson is continuing his hard work forward in what is his first-ever STCC season and comes boosted by a strong test.

“The test at Gelleråsen was my best so far, we found a lot of time and we were much closer to our competitors than before,” said Robin Knutsson.

“My confidence has increased a lot and I think we have a good shot at challenging for the top six this weekend.”

Lestrup Racing Team, the reigning STCC champion team, is currently placed second overall in the team championship standings, 66 points from leading team PWR Racing.

“We have a lot of hard work ahead of us to gain on our competitors and we come strengthened by two successful tests last week,” said Fredrik Lestrup, co-owner of Lestrup Racing Team.

“We are obviously not happy with being behind at this stage in the season, but we are going to keep our heads down and keep pushing – we won’t stop until we are first.

“Gelleråsen is a circuit where we have scored strongly in the past and if we play our cards right this weekend, there is no reason we cannot keep delivering at the very top.”

The STCC races at Gelleråsen Arena are broadcast LIVE on: plus.stcc.se

Schedule Gelleråsen Arena
Saturday 21/8
09:35 – Test 1
13:35 – Test 2
16:25 – Q1
16:50 – Q2

Sunday 22/8
10:50 – Race 1
14:00 – Race 2
16:15 – Race 3

Lestrup Racing Team at the top in very close STCC summer test

Lestrup Racing Team drivers Mikael Karlsson and Oliver Söderström were right at the top of a very close STCC TCR Scandinavia summer test at Gelleråsen Arena.

Mikael Karlsson set the second fastest time of the two test days, just 0.006 seconds from the top.

“The test has gone really well and we completed well over 130 laps. We had some brake issues during the previous race at Skellefteå that we have solved now as well. The coming race at Gelleråsen is my home race and my goal is to beat my so far best STCC result which is fourth position,” said Mikael Karlsson.

Oliver Söderström was very close to his team-mate in third position, just 0.029 seconds from P1.

“I think we’re looking strong ahead of the races at Gelleråsen. We’ve done plenty of laps with both qualifying and race simulations, getting through our complete test plan. I look forward to the races, especially as I won here last year – but it will no doubt be very tough,” said Oliver Söderström.

Robin Knutsson kept building experience and confidence in his Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR, setting the tenth fastest time, logging a lot of laps.

“We’ve had two solid days of productive and trouble-free testing. The pressure is on now to deliver as we head into the final part of the calendar. We need to claw back points on our competitors and the test has definitely boosted our confidence ahead of the challenges to come,” said Fredrik Lestrup, co-owner of Lestrup Racing Team.

The team will complete another test at Anderstorp ahead of the third STCC race weekend of 2021 at Gelleråsen Arena on August 21-22.

Combined times – Wednesday and Thursday
Test 3 – Thursday afternoon
Test 2 – Thursday morning
Test 1 – Wednesday

Lestrup Racing Team endures tough but promising Skellefteå weekend

Lestrup Racing Team drivers Oliver Söderström, Mikael Karlsson and Robin Knutsson all endured a tough but promising STCC TCR Scandinavia weekend under the midnight sun race at Skellefteå Drivecenter Arena.

“This has certainly been a trying weekend for everyone involved, fighting crashes, technical issues and torrential rain. Despite all this, we are not leaving the weekend empty handed. We are going to use the summer break to get back even stronger for the final half of the season,” said Fredrik Lestrup, team co-owner.

Oliver Söderström was forced to retire from the first race due to a broken driveshaft but bounced back with a fourth and fifth place finish in the final two races – setting the fastest lap of the second race.

“The toughest part of this weekend was the retirement and zero points of race one. But after the repairs, the car felt completely different and we were quicker than Dahlgren who won the second race. That’s what I’m bringing with me to the next race where we will be back stronger,” said Oliver Söderström.

Mikael Karlsson scored his so far best result for Lestrup Racing Team with fourth in the first race but was hit hard from behind in the third race, with his Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR sustaining a lot of damage.

The big impact saw Mikael Karlsson heading to a hospital routine check up after the race.

“We hade some technical issues this weekend unfortunately. Then I was hit so hard from behind in the third race and I had to spend three hours at the Skellefteå hospital. I’m ok fortunately and a huge thanks to the team for their efforts this weekend. Fourth in the first race is something I am really pleased with. Now I’m looking forward to my home race at Gelleråsen where I hope to score a lot of points,” said Mikael Karlsson.

STCC newcomer Robin Knutsson continued his impressive form of finishing in the top ten of all races so far.

“It was an eventful weekend with almost all types of challenges thrown at us. I am really pleased to have scored points in all three races and I can’t wait until we go racing again,” said Robin Knutsson.

Oliver Söderström is placed fifth in the drivers’ championship and leads the junior championship, while the team keeps second position in the teams’ championship, 66 points from PWR Racing.

The STCC heads into its summer break, resuming action on August 21-22 at Gelleråsen Arena.

Race 1
Race 2
Race 3

STCC TCR Scandinavia 2021 – Points
1 Robert Dahlgren 122 points
2 Tobias Brink 83 points
3 Mattias Andersson 81 points
4 Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky 76 points
5 Oliver Söderström 67 points
6 Andreas Ahlberg 65 points
7 Mikael Karlsson 58 points
8 Hugo Nerman 46 points
9 Isac Aronsson 42 points
10 Hannes Morin 41 points
11 Robin Knutsson 33 points
12 Rasmus Hedberg 25 points
13 Albin Wärnelöv 25 points

1 CUPRA Dealer Team – PWR Racing 198 points
2 Lestrup Racing Team by VW Sthlm 132 points
3 Brink Motorsport 124 points
4 Kågered Racing 112 points
5 MA:GP 81 points
6 Brovallen Design 42 points
7 FH Racing 25 points
8 Experion Racing 25 points

1 Oliver Söderström 65 points
2 Hugo Nerman 46 points
3 Isac Aronsson 42 points
4 Hannes Morin 40 points
5 Robin Knutsson 33 points
6 Rasmus Hedberg 25 points

Mikael Karlsson shines in Skellefteå qualifying as the team races against time

Mikael Karlsson continued his strong form in the twilight STCC TCR Scandinavia qualifying session at Skellefteå with a pair of fourth place finishes – his so far best result. Lestrup Racing Team meanwhile raced against time to get Oliver Söderström back on track after a technical issue.

“It felt great to finally get everything together! A massive thanks to the team that has coached me to this level and provided me with a perfect car. Now it’s time to reload and get ready for three intense races tomorrow,” said Mikael Karlsson.

Oliver Söderström’s first qualifying session ended abruptly as a driveshaft broke on the out lap. This forced the team to a race against time to repair his Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR before the end of the session.

The team only just managed to get the car together and enabled Oliver Söderström to finish seventh and make it onto the final Q2 session.

“An unbelievable effort by the team to get me back out again. Then how I managed to get that lap together to make it onto Q1, I do not know. I was sliding all over the place in almost all of the corners. Then there was something not quite right for the Q2 session that we have to analyze for tomorrow. We need to try and bounce back in the races,” said Oliver Söderström.

Robin Knutsson secured yet another solid top ten finish in what is his first ever visit to the 4.1km circuit in northern Sweden.

“I am pleased with the progress we have made today. There are a lot of impressions for me to digest ahead of tomorrow and I hope that we can take another step forward in the races,” said Robin Knutsson.

The first race of three starts at 14:50 CEST tomorrow and is broadcast LIVE on: plus.stcc.se

Qualifying 1
Qualifying 2

Lestrup Racing Team heads into the twilight for STCC round two

Lestrup Racing Team heads to the north of Sweden and Skellefteå to race under the midnight sun for round two of the 2021 STCC TCR Scandinavia season.

“We need to play our cards right this weekend. We’re racing on a circuit that we struggled on last year and we need to claw back points in the standings,” said Fredrik Lestrup, team co-owner.

“But we are working methodically and have taken vital steps forward with our cars compared to last year. We are quietly confident of being able to give our main rivals a good run for their money this weekend, just as we did in the first race two weeks ago.”

Oliver Söderström heads to the race weekend sharing second place in the standings with Tobias Brink, 17 points from points leader Robert Dahlgren.

“We know that Skellefteå isn’t the best circuit for our Volkswagen Golf GTI TCRs, but we have analysed the data from last year and know that there is a lot of room for improvement – this motivates me strongly,” said Oliver Söderström.

“If we can put all of this together, I’m confident our chances are much better this year. This is one of the best circuits on the calendar and I’m really pumped ahead of the weekend.”

Team-mate Mikael Karlsson claimed his maiden STCC victory at Skellefteå last year and is aiming to return to the top step this weekend.

“It’s going to be exciting to see where we will stand this weekend as I’ve got a much better feeling for this circuit compared to the Ljungbyhed season opener,” said Mikael Karlsson.

“I’m aiming for a victory and one that isn’t from a reversed grid race like last year. We have plenty of things to test ahead of the races and I’d say we’re in a pretty good position.”

Robin Knutsson has never before raced at Skellefteå and is hoping to pick up on his strong STCC debut two weeks ago where he finished in the top ten in the first two races.

“The track looks awesome and it’s going to be really interesting to see how we will fare this weekend. I have no outright ambitions in terms of positions, but rather to improve for each session that we drive – just like we did at Ljungbyhed,” said Robin Knutsson.

The STCC weekend at Skellefteå Drivecenter Arena starts on Friday with testing and qualifying, followed by three races on Saturday – all broadcast LIVE on: plus.stcc.se

Schedule – Skellefteå
Friday 18/6
11:40 – Test 1
15:00 – Test 2
20:20 – Q1
20:50 – Q2

Saturday 19/6
14:50 – Race 1
16:40 – Race 2
20:40 – Race 3

Solid points haul in eventful STCC opener at Ljungbyhed

Lestrup Racing Team drivers Oliver Söderström, Mikael Karlsson and Robin Knutsson endured an eventful STCC TCR Scandinavia opener at Ljungbyhed but managed to secure a solid points haul.

Oliver Söderström finished on the podium in the first of three the races, with two further fourth place-finishes to leave the weekend placed second overall.

“It has been a good weekend that I feel rather pleased with, especially as we anticipated that this circuit would not really suit our car. I think we could have fought for a win if it hadn’t been for the start light issues in the third race. But I managed to fight back and we have shown that we have proper race pace. We still lack some in qualifying that we need to improve, but I am confident that we can do that in the coming races,” said Oliver Söderström.

Team-mate Mikael Karlsson was right in the thick of the action, finishing fifth in the second race as his best result.

“I am happy with the speed that we have, it feels like we are not far from taking further steps up the result list. It’s great to work with such a professional team for the first time in my career,” said Mikael Karlsson.

Robin Knutsson made his STCC debut for Lestrup Racing Team this weekend and took a proper leap forward from qualifying to the races. The 19-year-old finished in the top ten of the first two races while he was forced to retire due to a start incident in the third race.

“This result was definitely over my expectations. This is my first proper race weekend since I took the step from gokart to racing and the difference isn’t as big as I thought. We managed to score points which was our target and I really look forward to the next race weekend where I think we can do even better,” said Robin Knutsson.

Lestrup Racing Team heads to the next race in Skellefteå (June 18-19) placed second in the teams’ championship.

“We had hoped for better results and we had more speed than what we managed to materialise result-wise. Oliver drove consistently, aggressively and is in the top fight – where he should be. Mikael has a lot of potential but had some bad luck this weekend. I am impressed over the steps Robin have taken. This bodes well for the coming races and we know that we can improve from what we have achieved this weekend,” said Fredrik Lestrup, team co-owner.

Race 1
Race 2
Race 3