Arkiv: STCC

Mikael Karlsson completes Lestrup Racing Team’s four-car STCC assault

Mikael Karlsson completes Lestrup Racing Team’s expanded four-car programme for the 2021 STCC TCR Scandinavia season.

“I am very excited to join Lestrup Racing Team, especially after their impressive season last year and I hope to play a part in their title defense this year,” said Mikael Karlsson.

The Swede made his STCC debut last year, scoring an impressive debut win in his second race weekend at Skellefteå to finish tenth overall.

“Mikael impressed us last year and we know that he has a lot of potential,” said Fredrik Lestrup, team co-owner.

“We have a strong line-up with two very experienced drivers with Mikael and Rob, as well as two young talents with Oliver and Robin.

“To expand from two to four cars is a massive task that we by no means underestimate. But I know that everyone involved has got what it takes for it and we will work methodically towards our goal of defending out titles.”

While Karlsson is new to the STCC, he has claimed the 2000 Formula 3 Sweden and Nordic titles, as well as finishing as runner-up in the 2019 V8 Thunder Cars Sweden season.

“I’m quite comfortable behind the wheel of the Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR now and it’s going to be really interesting to work with the team with all the new data they have,” said Mikael Karlsson.

“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.”

Mikael Karlsson is going to have Robin Knutsson as team-mate at Lestrup Racing Team while reigning champion Rob Huff and Oliver Söderström will drive together, just as last year, at Lestrup Racing Team by Volkswagen Stockholm.

The official STCC pre-season tests will start next week at Knutstorp and Ljungbyhed Park. The first race of the year will take place at Ljungbyhed Park on June 4-5.

Rob Huff returns for STCC title defense with Lestrup Racing Team

Reigning STCC TCR Scandinavia champion Rob Huff will return to defend his title with Lestrup Racing Team for 2021 driving a Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR.

“I’m very excited to return to the STCC as champion after what was probably one of the most emotional seasons I have experienced in a long time,” said Rob Huff.

The Brit crowned the best ever season to date for Lestrup Racing Team in a thrilling season finale, as it claimed both the drivers’ and teams’ STCC titles.

“Last year was an awesome milestone for us all in the team and we are delighted to continue our successful cooperation with Rob,” said Fredrik Lestrup, co-owner of Lestrup Racing Team.

“We had high expectations ahead of our first season together that he surpassed, and then some. Rob shares our passion for motorsport in just the right way and we have an unchanged team around him that will be a key factor in our title defence this year.”

The 2012 world touring car champion managed to claim the STCC title despite never having raced at any of the circuits before, something only achieved once before in the history of the championship by a non-Scandinavian driver.

“It was very much going into the unknown last year and I feel much more prepared for 2021 as I have visited at least four of the circuits that we will go to,” said Rob Huff.

“That should definitely make life easier to dial in the car for each particular circuit, rather than having to learn everything from scratch.

“I’m hugely thankful to Lestrup Racing Team for what they delivered last year and I’m very much looking forward to getting started again. I’m expecting a very tough championship this year, probably even tougher than last year, and we will do everything we can to rise to the challenge.”

Lestrup Racing Team will field at least three cars for the 2021 STCC TCR Scandinavia season, with further information to be revealed soon.

“We have plenty of interesting news coming and we are working flat out to get everything in order for our goal of defending both titles, as well as fighting for the junior title again,” said Fredrik Lestrup.

“Being defending champions is new to us and it is of course a massive challenge, especially as it looks like we will have an even stronger field this year.

“But I am confident that we have an even stronger team this year after all the challenges we had last year to face the new season and to fight for the very top again.”

The 2021 STCC TCR Scandinavia season starts on June 4-5 at Ljungbyhed Park in the south of Sweden, for a total of six race weekends until October.

Oliver Söderström seeking redemption in 2021 STCC campaign with Lestrup Racing Team

Oliver Söderström is back with Lestrup Racing Team for the 2021 STCC TCR Scandinavia season and is looking for redemption after a promising but frustrating 2020 season.

“I feel that I had a breakthrough last season that did not bear fruit. But I am really motivated for 2021 as the speed and potential was there all year in 2020,” said Oliver Söderström.

The 22-year-old will start his fourth year with the team and his third season in the STCC, finishing fifth overall last year with one victory and three podium finishes.

“We believe strongly in Oliver and his capabilities, he proved that he is quick and can win races last year,” said Fredrik Lestrup, team co-owner.

“We have built up a really good relationship over the years and we are delighted to continue to build on that. We are convinced that he can win the STCC, if not this year, then during the coming seasons.”

Söderström had 2012 world champion and reigning STCC champion Rob Huff as team-mate last year, a cooperation he says has helped him a lot.

“I had a great relationship with Rob last year and I learned so much, especially in terms of race craft and strategy as he has so much experience,” said Söderström.

“I started the season strongly last year but retired from four of the last six races due to a combination of technical issues, incidents and mistakes.

“But I know that I have the pace and that motivates me for this year – to get it all together and fight for the very top. It won’t be easy, but that’s why we are here.”

The confirmation of Söderström is the second entry of Lestrup Racing Team for the 2021 STCC season, with Robin Knutsson being confirmed last week, and further news will be revealed during the coming weeks.

The first race of the year takes place at Ljungbyhed Park on June 4-5.

19-year-old Robin Knutsson joins reigning STCC champions Lestrup Racing Team

19-year-old Robin Knutsson will make his racing debut with reigning champions Lestrup Racing Team in the 2021 STCC TCR Scandinavia season, driving a Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR.

“This is a key milestone for our junior programme and we are delighted to have Robin with us, he has shown impressive form during testing,” said Fredrik Lestrup, co-owner of Lestrup Racing.

Robin Knutsson will take the big step to the STCC from go-karts, where he has raced for the past five years, becoming vice-champion of the 2019 Swedish 125 gokart championship.

“I’m thrilled to join reigning champions Lestrup Racing Team and to take the step up to the STCC TCR Scandinavia,” said Robin Knutsson.

“This is a bigger step than I had first imagined as young drivers usually go from single seaters or a support class to the STCC rather than straight from go-karts. But this spurs me on and I can’t wait to get properly started, especially after my first test that went really well.”

Lestrup Racing Team launched the Young Driver Programme in 2020 together with team co-owner Kenth Öhlin, the founder of renowned damper manufacturer Öhlins, to create a structured way for young drivers to reach the top of Swedish motorsport.

“As a co-owner and investor of the team, I am very happy to welcome Robin onboard and to see our Young Driver Programme bearing fruit,” said Kenth Öhlin.

“It’s a brave step for Robin to take but I am confident that he is in the best possible environment to evolve as a driver. The capabilities that we have seen of him so far fills me with confidence ahead of the challenges that he and the team will face in 2021.”

Robin Knutsson is the team’s first driver to take the step from the programme to the STCC line-up of the team after a thorough test in November of 2020.

“He drove more than 100 laps at Mantorp Park last year and showed impressive speed,” said Fredrik Lestrup.

“The day started with freezing temperatures and rain, but he didn’t put a wheel wrong all day and set a competitive pace when the circuit finally dried up. We will work closely throughout the season to give him all the tools to take the step from go-karts to the STCC in the best way possible.”

Lestrup Racing Team, the reigning drivers’ and teams’ champions, will field at least two cars for the 2021 STCC TCR Scandinavia season, with further information on the line-up to come during the coming month.

“I am really excited to learn from my team-mates that have so much more experience than me,” said Robin Knutsson.

“And that’s my goal for this season, to learn as much as possible and build experience. If I can match my team-mates on speed, I will be very happy.”

The 2021 season will start on June 4-5 at Ljungbyhed Park.

Rob Huff and Lestrup Racing Team crowned 2020 STCC TCR Scandinavia champions!

Rob Huff claimed the 2020 STCC TCR Scandinavia drivers’ title and Lestrup Racing Team the teams’ title after an extremely close season finale at Knutstorp.

The Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR driver was on equal points with last year’s champion and title rival Robert Dahlgren ahead of the final race. The Brit managed to fight his way from seventh on the grid to win the race, his second win this weekend.

“This is just crazy! What a day, what a win! Huge thanks to Lestrup Racing Team, without these boys and girls it could not have been done,” said Rob Huff.

“I got myself in a good position in the final race and stayed there. I was able to control the race and claim my second win of the weekend. It’s been a tough year and this is such a great reward for everyone in the team.”

Lestrup Racing Team beat last year’s team champions Brink Motorsport by 22 points after what has been only the second year for the team in the championship.

“I am incredibly proud over everyone in the team. We managed to secure the STCC titles for drivers and team in only our second season in the STCC,” said Fredrik Lestrup, co-owner of Lestrup Racing Team.

“We have fought through a lot of problems this year and when it really mattered, everyone has delivered to 110%. Rob drove amazingly well today and throughout the entire season, he is definitely a worthy champion. A massive thanks to all the partners and supporters to the team, this result wouldn’t be possible without them. The plan is to be back next year to defend our titles.”

Oliver Söderström had a tough season finale weekend, finishing second in the junior championship and fifth in the drivers’ championship.

“The outcome for me personally is obviously something I am not happy over. But I am extremely happy for Rob and for the team. We secured the team championship together and that is what I will carry with me for next year. And trust me, I won’t settle for fifth place next season,” said Söderström.

Knutstorp results
STCC – Race 1
STCC – Race 2
STCC – Race 3

Final driver championship standings
1 Rob Huff 209 poäng
2 Robert Dahlgren 202 (-7)
3 Tobias Brink 184 (-25
4 Hannes Morin 111 (-98)
5 Oliver Söderström 108 (-101)
6 Mattias Andersson 97 (-112)
7 Emil Persson 96 (-113)
8 Andreas Ahlberg 87 (-122)
9 Mikaela Åhlin-Kottulinsky 79 (-130)
10 Mikael Karlsson 53 (-156)
11 Magnus Gustavsen 15 (-194)
12 Albin Wärnelöv 10 (-199)
13 Kevin Engman 9 (-200)
14 Isac Aronsson 5 (-204)
15 Daniel Haglöf 4 (-205)
16 Poker Wallenberg 0 (-209)

Final team championship standings
1 Lestrup Racing Team 317 poäng
2 Brink Motorsport 295 (-22)
3 PWR Racing 281 (-36)
4 Kågered Racing 1 183 (-134)
5 Honda Racing Sweden 97 (-220)
6 Kågered Racing 2 53 (-264)
7 Brovallen Design 23 (-294)
8 Experion Racing 10 (-307)
9 Isacs Racing 5 (-312)
10 Poker Racing For Charity 4 (-313)

Final junior championship standings
1 Hannes Morin 266 poäng
2 Oliver Söderström 186 (-80)
3 Magnus Gustavsen 120 (-146)
4 Isac Aronsson 109 (-157)

Lestrup Racing Team in the top fight of ultra-close STCC finale qualifying

Lestrup Racing Team drivers Rob Huff and Oliver Söderström were right in the middle of an ultra-close STCC TCR Scandinavia qualifying session for the season finale at Knutstorp.

2012 WTCC champion Rob Huff was just 52 thousands of a second from pole position in the first qualifying session with second place and claimed fourth position in the second session.

“I’m quite happy with the Q1 time but got tyre vibrations in Q2 which cost us a few tenths. But it could have been much worse and I’m in fighting spirit for the races. We’re close to Dahlgren and Brink on the grid and I’ve got my trusty team-mate alongside me. The weather could play a big role tomorrow as rain is expected, it’s going to be exciting,” said Rob Huff.

Oliver Söderström was fastest of the two Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR drivers in the second qualifying session with third position, less than three tenth from the Race 2 pole position.

“I had a really good qualifying session and I’m pleased to be so close with Rob. We had a really good car and I think we have an even better race car for tomorrow. I’m really looking forward to the races and I think we can make up some places,” said Oliver Söderström.

Rob Huff received two points for fourth position in the Q2 session and shares second place with Robert Dahlgren, 14 points from points leader Tobias Brink ahead of tomorrow’s three final races of the 2020 season.

Lestrup Racing Team is just 14 points from current leaders Brink Motorsport in the team championship and Oliver Söderström is 39 points from junior championship leader Hannes Morin.

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

Results
Qualifying 1
Qualifying 2

Schedule – Knutstorp
Saturday October 10th
10:35 – Race 1
13:30 – Race 2
15:35 – 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)

Lesturp Racing Team ready for intense STCC season finale title fight

Lestrup Racing Team drivers Rob Huff and Oliver Söderström are headed for an intense STCC TCR Scandinavia season finale at Knutstorp in the south of Sweden this weekend.

Rob Huff is just 14 points from championship leader Tobias Brink with three races and a total of 80 points up for grabs in the final race weekend of 2020.

“I am closer to the points lead than I was ahead of the previous race. We know that the last race at Knutstorp is definitely a circuit that should suit the Volkswagen well. Our rivals will 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.

The 2012 WTCC champion will carry 10kg of compensation weight this weekend while Tobias Brink will carry 60kg.

Team-mate Oliver Söderström had a tough weekend in the previous race at Mantorp Park but is still in contention for the junior title, trailing Hannes Morin by 39 points.

“I’ve already forgotten the weekend at Mantorp Park and my full focus is on the season finale. The goal is obviously set on the titles and we need to work together smartly to make it happen. I feel more than ready for this!” said Oliver Söderström.

The fight for the team title is extremely close ahead of the finale, with Lestrup Racing Team just 14 point from current leaders Brink Motorsport.

“We’re heading to Knutstorp with our sights set on the very same thing that we’ve had all year, to claim all three titles. It will by no means be easy, but that’s why we’re in it. We wouldn’t be here if it was easy. I’ve got full confidence in Rob, Oliver and everyone in the team. The time for us to deliver is now,” said Fredrik Lestrup, co-owner of Lestrup Racing Team.

The season finale weekend starts on Friday with testing and qualifying, followed by the final three races of the season on Saturday.

Follow the final races LIVE via STCC+ for 125 SEK this weekend: plus.stcc.se

Schedule – Knutstorp
Friday October 9th
09:00 – Test 1 – 30 min
13:10 – Test 2 – 30 min
16:35 – Q1 – 20 min
17:00 – Q2 – 10 min

Saturday October 10th
10:35 – Race 1
14:10 – Race 2
15:35 – 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)

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: plus.stcc.se

Results
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)