Sweden’s Lestrup Racing Team makes its 24H SERIES return this weekend at the Hankook 12H HOCKENHEIMRING, doing so with a Volkswagen Golf GTI and a brand-new Audi RS 3 LMS.
Words – James Gent
Images – Lestrup Racing Team / Petr Frýba
The Lestrup Racing Team will make its first 24H SERIES start in more than two years at this weekend’s Hankook 12H HOCKENHEIMRING, doing so with its brand-new Audi RS 3 LMS.
The Swedish team last competed with CREVENTIC at the 2020 Hankook 24H DUBAI, at which Hannes Morin, Martin Öhlin, Oliver Söderström and Marcus Fluch secured TCR class pole position and 2nd in-class. Covid-related logistical issues prevented any further series entries in 2020 or 2021, but Lestrup Racing has entered a two-car line-up for this weekend’s Hankook 12H HOCKENHEIMRING. Team staples Mats Olsson, Peter Fahlström, Stefan Nilsson and Christian Axelsson reunite and will pilot the team’s tenured Volkswagen Golf GTi (#110).
Söderström and Fluch meanwhile will team up with compatriots Emil Sällberg and Andreas Bäckman for the first competitive event for the team’s brand-new Audi RS 3 LMS, a TCR machine with which the Swedish outfit will also contest this year’s TCR Scandinavia.
This marks the first time Lestrup Racing will compete at a 24H SERIES event with anything other than a Volkswagen Golf since its debut in 2017 Hankook 24H SILVERSTONE.
“This is a critical switch for us in order to remain competitive and reach our goals of fighting for the STCC titles with the latest machinery,” explains team co-founder and manager Frederik Lestrup. “The new Audi is a considerably more competent race car with more setup possibilities, enabling us, as a team, to tailor the cars much better to the preferences of our drivers.”
“I can’t wait to get the season going this weekend and to make my debut in the new Audi. It looks awesome!” continues team driver Oliver Söderström. “This will be a perfect opportunity for us to get to know the new car and to prepare for the STCC season with plenty of driving. And while this is primarily preparation, I think we can be competitive this weekend and challenge for a top position in the TCR class.”
A second Audi RS 3 is due to be delivered to the team from Audi Sport in due course.
Prior to its last 24H SERIES outing, Lestrup Racing has frequently been among TCR’s frontrunners, having secured four class podiums in its last five events with CREVENTIC. Team boss Frederik meanwhile is also a class winner in the 24H SERIES as a driver, having most recently taken A2-class wins at Dubai and Mugello in 2016, both with Besaplast Racing.
Among the team’s most notable rivals this weekend are Thailand’s BBR, which won two of the three TCR races contested so far in 2022 and currently leads the standings, three-time Overall TCE Teams’ champion Wolf-Power Racing, and Holmgaard Motorsport, which took it first TCR win and podium in the 24H SERIES last time out at Spa-Francorchamps.
The Lestrup Racing Team has also registered an interest for the Hankook 24H PORTIMAO on 8-9-10 July.