The cars will be TCR-cars, and hopefully it will be more cars on the grid than before. Last year was not the finest moment in Swedish racing history. Don’t get me wrong, the racing was great, the drivers phenomenal, and we have some great tracks here. But we need larger grids, and cheaper cars that do not cost an arm and a leg to run. Last year there were way too few cars competing. At Falkenberg racetrack I watched a race with just five cars finishing (ok there was some carnage, but what the heck). That has got to change; otherwise the audience will stay at home.
SEAT Leon TCR during the first shakedown. It sounded fantastic and looked quite fast. Photo : Johan Åhlund
The former STCC cars were extremely expensive, it’s very important that the new cars will be cheaper to run and maintain. If there are less cars racing next year, the sport will lose its attraction to many fans. Fortunately the former STCC-cars will race in the GT-series next year.
This is Swedish racing driver Tomas Engström putting the pedal to the metal in a very fast Honda Civic, back in 2012 at Mantorp circuit in Sweden. I’m looking forward seeing at least one Honda on the grid next year! Photo by Johan Åhlund
In May, I visited the Mantorp Park circuit at a sports car event and watched the testing of the new Seat Leon TCR-car. Man, it did sound awesome. And it seems to behave very well on the soaked track. I was actually surprised by its performance and its sound, it did look fast and I imagined in my mind a starting grid with a bunch of other cars like it. That would be great to watch.
This is the new Volkswagen Golf TCR, a car that will be driven by at least two teams in the SCTT next year. Photo: Lestrup Racing Team.
Right now, only five teams are presented for 2017. That is alarmingly few. However, STCC driver Markus Annervi just signed on to run a Honda Civic TCR, and Greger Petersson, head at Sportpromotion just said to STCC.se that he has two more JAS-built Honda Civics available for other drivers to rent. PWR Racing Team will run at least two Seat Leon cars. LMS Racing will enter with the Audi RS3 TCR, and Fredrik Lestrup at Lestrup Racing Team and Experion Racing Team will race join the others in the very popular VW Golf TCR.
It sure will be exciting to see how many cars will be joining the grid on Ring Knutstorp the fourth of May. Hopefully the grid will hold at least 12 cars, less would be a disappointing.
Text : Johan Åhlund - Photos by Johan Åhlund and Lestrup Racing Team
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