Fredrik Lestrup started his championship defending season on a high, with a double victory at the season opener in Oschersleben. Together with the Dombek Motorsport and the same MINI Lestrup won the 2015 DTC championship in, the team were aiming to repeat the success of last year.
An electrical problem discovered after Friday’s free practice, had the team decide to sacrifice qualifying to spend more time trying to get the car in working condition before race 1. After an extensive search into the failure and repair work done to a damaged wiring harness, the car was ready to go.
Rule infringements on other teams and missing qualifying placed Lestrup 9th on the grid for race 1, and what a race it was!
After a strong start Fredrik climbed quickly through the field and began his chase of lead driver Hammel, getting closer within the last 15 minutes. After an exciting two lap battle, Fredrik finally managed to overtake Hammel and claim his first victory and championship lead after race one.
With dry track conditions, Lestrup claimed his first pole position of the year in Sunday’s qualifying in the lead up to his exciting showdown with Hammel in race 2.
A poor start to race two left Fredrik fighting back from third place behind Hammel in the Ford and Rambow in the Kia. By lap 3 Lestrup had overtaken Rambow and was working hard to catch Hammel, who had built up a healthy lead.
With only 8 minutes left and with help from a Safety Car period, Fredrik closed the gap between himself and Hammel and began the 4 lap fight for first place. After several attempts Lestrup finally managed to overtake Hammel through corner two, to take the lead and dominate the race weekend with a double victory.
Fredrik Lestrup now leads the overall standings and the hunt for the championship is on!
Next race is in two weeks at Sachsenring, a track where Fredrik last year secured the title with a double victory over the weekend.
Videos from the Oschersleben weekend
Race one tv-broadcast: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uBOT_URnCzM
Race two tv-broadcast: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggEYwngLZDA
Race two onboard: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eubMTcji91Q
The first race of the 2016 DTC championship starts this weekend at Oschersleben, Germany. Practice sessions kicked off this morning with Fredrik and the Dombek Motorsport Team starting on a high after posting the fastest lap time overall.
With a wet session and two red flags, laps were limited but the mini and the team were in top condition and posted a lap time 0.79secs faster than second position.
”I am super happy to be back in the race car and working again with the Dombek Motorsport Team. Starting the season on my favourite track, I hope to repeat last years success with a double victory. I’m looking forward to defending my title this year within the series.”
The weather forecasted for the rest of the weekend is mixed with sun and rain predicted for the remaining two days, but the team are ready for the challenge.
Saturday 16th April
Q1 09:55 – 10:25
R1 15:35 – 16:05
Sunday 17th April
Q2 08:45 – 09:15
R2 15:45 – 16:15
For live-timing and more information:
The second race of the year couldnt have gone any better for Fredrik Lestrup and the Besaplast Racing Team.
After the success in Dubai the goal was to win the race and that would put us far up in the total standings of the championship. We visited mugello in 2014 and at that race we managed to win the class and with the knowledge and experience from that we knew what we had to do.
The weekend started off with practice and qualifying and after some adjusting of the car we managed pole position in the class.
The race started smoothly and Fredrik Lestrup drove the car from a 64.th starting position to a 46:th position after the first two hour stint. We kept climbing in the standings but unfortunately after an hour in to Henry Littigs stint we suffered a major engine failure and had to pit to change the engine.
The race was divided in to two parts, with 4 hours of racing on the friday and 8 hours on the saturday. This meant we only had 50 minutes to change the engine before the night break. But we decided to not stress and change the engine overnight. This meant we lost 50 minutes of driving and recieved a 10 lap penalty for working during the parc ferme over night..
The team did a stellar job changing the engine and we where now ready to restart the race on the saturday morning.
We where now 21 laps behind the leaders in the class and had a big task infront of us to catch the lead.
We stayed to our strategy and managed to climb steadidly, the opposition in our class also suffered some problems and with 4 hours to go we where back in the lead in the class.
We extended the lead in the class and after the total 12 hours we finished first in the class and 51:st overall.
A big thanks to the Besaplast Racing Team for the amazing weekend and we now look forward to more success during the year!
This weekend Fredrik Lestrup and the Besaplast Racing team return to the track for the 2nd race of the 24H Series. The Mugello 12 hour race marks the teams return to the Italian track after winning in 2014.
Fredrik returns in the Mini Cooper with teammates Franjo Kovac and Henry Littig, fresh from their win at Dubai’s 24 hour race. “I am very happy to be back in the car and at Mugello, which is a very fun track. We hope to repeat our sucess with another win here. The 12 hours divided into two sessions is a good concept for these long races, as it gives both the team and car a chance to rest”.
A two day event, the Mugello 12 hour race commences Friday with qualifying from 11:00 – 11:45. The main race will be broken into two parts with the first 4 hours commencing Friday at 16:00 and continuing on Saturday at 09:30 for the remaining 8 hours.
Car: MINI John Cooper Works Endurance 1,6T
Friday 18th of March
Free Practice 1: 09:15-10:45
Race Part 1: 14:00-18:00
Saturday 19th of March
Race Part 2: 09:30-17:30
Webpage for live results and TV feed: http://www.24hseries.com/live/live-broadcast
The Dubai 24h race earlier this month was for me and the Besaplast Racing Team another successful endurance race.
This was the fourth time we tackled the Dubai Autodrome with our MINI and we had high hopes after our previously successful races here.
There is no such thing as an easy 24 hour race, just to finish the race is an achievement in itself and it is easier said than done. As a driver you need to be fit and make sure you don’t make any mistakes.
This year there was 97 cars on the starting grid and we were in one of the slowest cars so the challenge is hard to be able to overtake your competitors and at the same time stay out of the way of the faster cars, and do all that without loosing too much time. You have to watch your mirrors all the time and plan your every move. If you don’t, you will have an accident and the race will be over.
For the team it’s a lot of hard work. Our mechanics have to stay awake for up to 40 hours straight, be part of the strategy and always be ready to tackle any problem as well as regularly change tires, refuel the car, help the drivers in and out of the car and always be around. They are the real heroes and our mechanics deserve all the praise they can get for what they do.
Another important thing for being able to finish a 24 hour race is a well prepared car. Our team change every wear and tear part of the car before the race and makes sure everything is perfect. They can spend hundreds of hours making sure the car is ready for the race.
As always we started our race weekend cautiously and only did limited driving during the practice sessions. We completed a shake down to make sure the car was ready and then we only did the mandatory laps we as drivers had to drive to be cleared for the race.
I shared the MINI with team owner Franjo Kovac and joining us was Henry Littig and Friedhelm Erlebach. Together we are experienced of both MINI and endurance racing and we know each other well which is a good thing when sharing a race car during such a long race.
We decided I was going to take the start and drive the first stint, a two hour long stint which is the longest you are allowed to drive one stint for. The main focus would be to avoid the traffic and problems when the whole field is bunched up together and get us into the race and gain whatever advantage available.
We started on second position in our class and 85th overall, qualifying was never our focus, well aware we had a long race ahead of us. Everything went well and after two hours I had managed to pull out a class lead and placed us 58th overall.
The race continued according to plan which was to do two hour stints before refuel and driver change. Unfortunately the organizers decided shortly before start to change the amount of fuel we were allowed to refuel, something which impacted us and several others in our class. Normally we are allowed to refuel 100litres in the stops but now we were only allowed to refuel 80 litres. During any Code 60 period there are also new rules saying we can only refuel half of the refuelling amount, meaning only 40 litres. So we had to be smart with our strategy and make sure we used the Code 60 periods in a good way and stick to our strategy.
You almost never drive a perfect 24 hour race and there’s always something that goes wrong. For us this happened during the early morning hours when one of my stints was a few seconds too long. We made a mistake with my driving time and it cost us a 120 second stop-go penalty for exceeding the maximum two hours allowed. We also made a mistake of going too fast, something that sounds a bit strange for a race. But in Dubai you normally have a lap time target for each class you are not allowed to go go under. If you are faster you will be upgraded to a different class and this is set before the race. During the morning hours one of my team mates went slightly faster which also cost us a penalty, and we then got a third penalty when another team mate forgot to switch the driver id in the car when he got in the car. The driver id switch shows which driver is in the car which then is visible on the live timing.
So totally we had a 220 second penalty we had to take, meaning standing still with the race car 220 seconds before we could change driver and refuel.
Because of these penalties we entered the morning suddenly in second place in the class and the new class leaders were lapping just as fast as we did, so we had a tough race on our hand. But as we showed, you rarely go through a 24 hour race mistake free and later in the morning the class leaders had their mistake. They also managed to drive a longer stint than allowed and got a penalty which promoted us back in the class lead, a few seconds ahead of them.
A few hours before the finish of the race we started having vibrations in the car while accelerating, it was a drive shaft that started to break down. This made us a bit cautions, we had to drive very cautions out of right hand corners and make sure we could take the car to the finish flag. Pushing the car harder would force us to pit and replace the drive shaft, that would make us loose the lead for sure so we had no choice but to nurse the car home.
We managed to to do that, we kept and extend the lead in the final hours and could cross the finish line as class winners and a very good 38th overall. A great achievement by us and a great start to 2016.
This years race was a bit different from previous years because of the big numbers of competitiors. 97 cars started the race and the traffic was harder to manage than in the previous years. There was alot ot accidents and you really had to be on your toes not to end up in problems.
But we did a great job, driving an endurance race like this rarely is about having the best lap time or the fastest car. If you have a smart strategy and make sure you have margin while beeing overtaken or overtake you will suceed and finsih the race!
As always a big thank you to the whole team and to everyone who followed us over the internet for this first 24 hour race of the year.
Nothing is decided yet on the next race but we will most likely be at Mugello in Italy in March for the second 24-hour race of the season.