Learn as Much as Possible and Progress as Quickly as Possible

The NXT Gen Cup is the world’s first 100% electric junior touring car cup founded by Fredrik Lestrup and Lestrup Racing Team. The winner of NXT Gen Cup will be crowned the official Swedish Junior Champion and receive financial support to race in the 2024 Scandinavian Touring Car Championship (STCC). Currently there are two young women among the 11 drivers announced – 15-year-old Swedish driver Louise Larsson and 16-year-old Swedish driver Siri Hökfelt. We spoke to Siri when she was in the FIA Girls on Track – Rising Stars program. Now for the NXT Gen Cup, we caught up with Siri. Here’s her expectations for the new series.

© All photos provided by Siri Hökfelt

Paddock Sorority (PS): We talked about the possibility of you racing in NXT Gen Cup this year the last time we spoke, and now you are actually in it. How did you make this happen?

Siri Hökfelt (SH): There was a lot of conversation with the sponsors, because the Cup is very expensive to drive. It’s also why it took such a long time to actually announce it, because we hadn’t got the support until now. We talked to sponsors and they think it’s possible. We joined and it’s being great so far.

PS: Hows your experience so far with the Cup?

SH: I’ve been to at least one educational program, but I know they had another one. It’s been great, they’re very professional. It’s a great series so far, especially for us drivers to learn about professional racing.

PS: Besides the program they offer for you, how are you preparing for the races on your own?

SH: I’m a training a lot physically to gain the muscles to last the long race. I started training in go-karts again for the season. There is a lot of training and getting to my peak performance before the race.

PS: Have you changed either your diet or your physical training because of what they taught you in their education program?

SH: My diet is pretty much the same. I’ve added some physical exercises to enhance the driving muscles. But a lot of the training are the same as from before. I’m sticking a lot to the program.

PS: Your previous experience were mostly in karting and this series is actually in touring cars. So how are you adapting to a racing discipline?

SH: Two years ago, I raced cars. I have a little bit of experience in the Renault Cup, another junior racing series. So I have some experience, but it’s going to be very difficult. I haven’t really tested the car yet, but I’m excited to get started.

PS: Whats your expectations of your first season in the series?

SH: My expectations are very positive and I’m really excited to start driving. I don’t really know how I will place yet, but I’m hoping for the best, because there are lot of experienced and very talented drivers in the series. The series is probably going to be great. There’s gonna be a city race, which I’m very excited about.

PS: What challenges do you anticipate in the new series?

SH: I think the main challenge is that the series is electric. I’ve never driven an electric car before. I tested electric go-karts. I’m thinking the car is going to be very different. It’s everyone’s first season with the car. So nobody really got the advantage. You just learn as much as possible and trying to progressed as quickly as possible.

PS: Do you know what could be transferable from your electric karting experience?

SH: I think the acceleration might be comparable, because it’s so direct. It’s not something you find in the normal cars or go-karts.

PS: What do you think are your advantages and disadvantages among the drivers?

SH: I think my advantage is that I’ve already driven a front-wheel-drive car before, some of the drivers are just going directly from karting. I think my disadvantage is mostly the electric aspect, which some drivers had a little bit more experience. But most of us don’t anyways.

PS: Formula 1000 is also part of you plan for this year. Is that happening? What else are you racing this year?

SH: This season I’m doing mostly NXT Gen Cup. We were thinking about doing a training competition in Formula 1000 before the Cup, but not the full series. I will also do some karting competitions and train a lot there.

PS: The NXT Gen Cup would lead to STCC if you win it. So is touring car where you’re aiming for now? Are you still planning a future in single-seaters?

SH: It depends on where it leads me. If touring car is where it’s leading, then I will be happy to drive that. Of course I love the single-seaters, but the touring car is very fun to drive as well.

The NXT Gen Cup kicks off its first round at the the Falkenberg circuit on July 8-9. We wish both Louise and Siri a successful and fruitful first season!


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