23
Jun
2014

Class victory and 24:th overall in Nürburgring 24 hours 2014!

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Fredrik Lestrup together with Besaplast team mates Franjo Kovac, Kurt Thiim and Martin Tschornia repeated last years success with a victory in the SP4T class in the Audi TT RS and they also placed an impressive 24th overall in the 178 car field with over 30 GT3 cars entered.

“We are very happy with this result although our goal was to get into the top 20 overall this year, but a class victory again, 24th overall and with a completely undamaged car is a great result,” Fredrik said afterwards.

Unlike last year this was a race held in completely dry conditions which meant the pace was high from the start and several manufacturer teams ran into problems. The Besaplast team however managed to steer the Audi through the red mist and finish not only top in class and just one place below their overall position last year but also with a completely faultless and undamaged car, no mean feat at this notorious and challenging track.

Drama at night 

The race was not without its drama though for the crew and it was Fredrik Lestrup that ended up with most of it. He was due for a double stint in the night, going out at 1 am for an almost three hour long stint and then planned for at least another double stint later in the early morning. But those plans were scrapped when Fredrik was struck with food poisoning in just the second lap of the stint. He managed to keep going for one and a half hour, 9 laps, before he had to give up and turn the car over. This kept Fredrik out of the race until the final hour when he could get back in to drive it home to the finish.

“It’s something I’ve never experienced before and the toughest thing I’ve ever had to do,” Fredrik explained. “I had done my normal preparation before a double stint at night, I had some rest, ate well before and just relaxed but I must have eaten something that didn’t agree with me and I felt it after just one lap. To be so sick and still drive at this track with all the elevations, bumps and fast corners was the biggest challenge I’ve ever had to do.”

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Fredrik had to drive an almost complete stint, 9 laps in about one and a half hour before he could turn the car over.

“Unfortunately none of my team mates was able to replace me straight away so I had to try and survive as long as possible until they were ready to take over. It cost me all my strength and it took me until Sunday afternoon to recover to a state where I was able to drive again. A special thanks to my fellow Swede Richard Göransson who helped me out with some fluid replacement. The plan before the race was for me to do most of the driving in the night which I really enjoy but now my team mates had to step in instead despite having already driven one stint each before midnight. They did an absolutely fantastic job and I can’t praise them enough and explain how impressed I was with how they stepped up. I could tell they were quite tired in the end so I really wanted to get back in the car and let them have some rest. This result really is all thanks to them, what a team this is!”

Good result in the end

Fredrik could get back in the car to drive the final hour of the race and bring the car home.

“It feels a bit bad to take the last stint after all the work they had to do when I was out of the race for so long, but I’m glad I got the chance to drive a third stint. This race and this place is so special and I enjoy driving here a lot so it feels great to end this race with a positive feeling. A big thanks to the entire Besaplast team and my fellow team mates for another great result together. We didn’t quite reach our goal of a top 20 finish but we won the class again and we once again drove very competitive and with quick lap times and brought the car back home without a scratch. We should feel very proud of this and I hope to be back again next year but hopefully without getting sick. Nürburgring always delivers something unexpected!”

Fredrik Lestrup now heads back to Australia for the fourth round of the Dunlop V8 Supercar Series, the Townsville 500 held in the streets of Townsville first weekend in July.

Complete results, Nürburgring 24H 2014:
http://www.24h-rennen.de/en/official-website/history/results-2013/results-2014/

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Photo: Martin Palm 

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