Gothenburg kicks off new electric STCC era this weekend

The new electric Scandinavian Touring Car Championship (STCC) era will start this weekend with two days of Head 2 Head racing in Gothenburg, the second largest city in Sweden.

A field of 12 drivers will tackle an all-new 625-metre temporary Head 2 Head circuit, racing against the clock in a Race of Champions-style format where two drivers meet each other in each session in an elimination ladder.

The STCC rounds on traditional circuits will feature a regular sprint race format.

Robert Dahlgren, who secured the last STCC title in 2022 as the 2023 season was cancelled due to delays in delivery of the new cars, is back racing with PWR Racing and is the hunted driver.

The Cupra Born driver did however not top either of the pre-season testing sessions at Ljungbyhed, Mantorp and Knutstorp. Instead it was Dahlgren’s main rival of the previous seasons, Tobias Brink, who showed strong pace.

The Brink Motorsport driver has finished second and third overall a total of four times and is keen to put his Tesla Model 3 on top in 2024.

Brink’s team-mates Jimmy Eriksson and Mikael Karlsson have shown strong form as well during the pre-season testing and are likely to be front-runners.

Dahlgren’s team-mates Axel Bengtsson, the 2022 junior champion, and Anton Marklund, a multiple European rallycross champion, have struggled for pace somewhat during pre-season testing. But it should be noted that teams could have been sandbagging during the tests.

Half of the grid comes from Exion Racing, with three Volkswagen ID.3s and three BMW i4s.

Former karting world champion and STCC newcomer Viktor Gustavsson (Volkswagen) impressed during the pre-season testing, as did former STCC driver Alexander Graff (Volkswagen).

The duo will be joined by reigning Porsche Carrera Cup Scandinavia champion Ola Nilsson for the first race and the Swede showed promising form despite missing some of the tests.

Five-time Carrera Cup Scandinavia champion Lukas Sundahl is another interesting Gothenburg entry, racing one of the team’s BMW i4s. Sundahl only got a single day of testing at Ljungbyhed but reported that it went “beyond expectation” and has got plenty of experience from powerful rear-wheel drive race cars.

Sundahl will race alongside junior drivers Calle Bergman and Månz Thalin who both struggled during pre-season testing in terms of pace.

Rain is expected for the two race days on Saturday and Sunday which will add further uncertainties for the drivers on the all-new temporary circuit.

The main topic among the drivers during pre-season testing is the Yokohama road car tyres.

Several drivers have stated that the tyres are a bigger difference compared to what they have raced previously rather than the electric powertrain.

The STCC organsiation has stated that the main reason for selecting road car tyres is to reduce grip level and increase braking distance for improved racing.

The cars have so far been around four seconds slower per lap at for example Knutstorp during pre-season testing compared to the TCR lap records, with the slicks vs road tyres being the main factor in the difference.

Two individual Head 2 Head ladders, including qualifying, are held on Saturday and Sunday respectively with championship points being awarded according to the following scale:

Qualifying: 5-4-3-2-1

Final: 25-18-15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1

STCC Gothenburg entry list

2 – Robert Dahlgren – CUPRA Sweden-PWR – CUPRA Born
14 – Jimmy Eriksson – Brink Motorsport – Tesla Model 3
19 – Viktor Gustavsson – Exion Racing – Volkswagen ID.3
20 – Ola Nilsson – Exion Racing – Volkswagen ID.3
26 – Calle Bergman – Exion Racing – BMW i4
27 – Månz Thalin – Exion Racing – BMW i4
48 – Mikael Karlsson – Brink Motorsport – Tesla Model 3
55 – Axel Bengtsson – CUPRA Sweden-PWR – CUPRA Born
74 – Lukas Sundahl – Exion Racing – BMW i4
71 – Tobias Brink – Brink Motorsport – Tesla Model 3
77 – Alexander Graff – Exion Racing – Volkswagen ID.3
92 – Anton Marklund – CUPRA Sweden-PWR – CUPRA Born

STCC Gothenburg time table

Saturday 8/6
09:00 Test 1
11:00 Test 2
13:30 Qualifying
15:00 Eight and quarter final
16:30 Semi final and final

Sunday 9/6
09:00 Test 1
11:00 Test 2
13:30 Qualifying
15:00 Eight and quarter final
16:30 Semi final and final