Dennis Strandberg announces a one off comeback to British GT’s at Silverstone in June.
Dennis will be reuniting with the Academy Motorsport team for which he drove the 2015 season alongside Will Moore and achieved several podium visits and a dominating performance at the Aston Martin Le Mans Festival, ultimately ending the 2015 season as British GT team champions.
This time Dennis is racing alongside team owner Matt Nichol-Jones in the Aston Martin Vantage GT4 car.
Both know the Vantage well and have much experience between them, Matt Nichol-Jones is himself a former British GT champion so combined these two are more than capable of making their guest appearance unforgettable for the fans.
Earlier in May he competed at Mantorp as a guest driver in Swedish GT5 challenge of which he was a champion of in 2013, and won both his races with dominance.
Dennis is still seeking to form new partnerships with companies for next season
It’s been quite some time since I wrote anything other then emails, texts or tweets, alot has happened this past month.
Firstly we moved house, having moved the date forward by 2 days allowing us to all attend Silverstone for British GT’s, also that Ben had been away the previous 27 days and we moved the morning after he came home.
British GT’s was an amazing day, myself, Ben & Leah all attended as did our friends Lindsay Scott & Simon Tassie & the day was spent in the Academy Motorsport garage with the team, huddled around a small portable tv at one end and rushing up to the other end to look at a laptop with timings up on screen. Both myself and Leah were in full on work mode & got to what we needed to attend to whilst at the track in regards to Dennis Strandberg and we had the pleasure of being VIP so had a lovely lunch in the SRO hospitality unit.
Next up was settling into the new house, or so it should have been but off to Austria went Ben to work so again it was all down to me, again I seem to have not stopped until literally right now!
There’s been the usual things to sort out, doctors, schools & changes of addresses to everyone, all of which has been very time consuming.
After the Austrian F1 race there was an in season test so Ben had to stay on and fly from there straight on to Silverstone so the British GP was a welcome weekend to catch up together as a family not just to attend the race.
Now would be a good time to mention that paddock passes are like gold dust unless you wish to buy one with paddock club! So sorry to burst any bubbles but I and the children do not automatically get a pass each to live it up all weekend and neither can we get randomers who ask in the paddock, however, this doesn’t mean that we can’t with permission and arrangements made, as was the case this last weekend at Silverstone, we were allowed to enter the paddock with Ben who obviously has a permanent pass and went into the McLaren Brand Centre and spent some time in there mixing with Ben’s colleagues and showing the children around where Daddy works before the race team came over from the garage for their evening meal.
After a great Sunday watching the race and being with friends and family it was time to head home, alone, as Ben had to go back to the hotel as the de-rig was to start Monday morning, so he wasn’t home till late Tuesday evening, so if any of you were wondering why there was nothing afterwards much for fans involving the teams, I think you may find that getting home to families and loved ones after almost a month away was more important as some like McLaren had to stay on for filming days.
Time to get my head down as next weekend its all about British GT’s and my job rather than his, but I shall save all of that for my next post 🙂
While all the attention is on the main 24 hour race at Le Mans, a new star is beginning to shine.
In racing how can we tell when one driver is naturally uber talented over a learned skill set?
For me it is when a driver can do something extraordinary, when they can make a car do something that they shouldn’t have been able to and for the last 2 days thats exactly what Dennis Strandberg has been doing at the Aston Martin Festival at Le Mans.
This 21 year old naturally gifted driver arrived at Le Mans with the job of assisting his team Academy Motorsport who are there with both their Aston Martin V8 Vantage GT4 cars that are usually seen in the British GT Championship.
Dennis was not planning on driving but very last minute, late Wednesday morning the opportunity arose to race in the 2nd Academy Motorsport car and he signed up to drive with his team boss Matt Nicoll-Jones in the number 42 car.
This is the car that is usually number 62 in British GT’s so NOT his usual car and therefore is a different feeling car to usual.
Later that day it was time to take to the track in free practise and with just 4 laps in the simulator Dennis topped the time sheets. Impressive given that he has never driven the Le Mans circuit before and also that its a different car he hasn’t driven before and that only 4 laps had been driven in the sim, yet still being able to get the very best from his machine.
Qualification was the following day and just 23 hours after finishing free practise the fastest, the car finished quali in pole position for Tomorrow’s race.
This alone surely shows how talented this young man is but there is a little more to this yet as qualification took place with no downshift for Dennis as it had been used to replace a broken one in the team’s sister car.
Again showing his gift in racing in even being able to get the car around the circuit with no downshift. Could any of us ‘normal folk’ drive the socks of a car with no clutch? Let alone drive it on its limits in an the middle of somewhere we have never driven before and in the shadows of the greatest race on the planet?!
This naturally able Swede is now out from the shadows for all to see as he prepares to race tomorrow from the front in the 45 minute support race to the main Le Mans 24 hrs and I for one hope that all of those in Aston Martin Racing and especially the Evolution Academy are watching him tomorrow and taking notes.
Dennis Strandberg is found currently racing in British GT for Academy Motorsport and is 1 of 10 young racers under the wing of the newly formed Aston Martin Evolution Academy, in my opinion a very bright star of the future and one to watch, I think by the end of tomorrow he will have shown all of those at Le Mans that he will be back in the not too distant future as a competitor in the main race.
Following on from starting the blog and getting involved with some driver PR the opportunity came up to interview Dennis for the Pit Crew. For the interview I spoke with Dennis fair few times getting to know him. During this time we talked about lots of things including everything we had been up to since starting the blog. At this point Dennis asked if Leah and I would be willing to work with him this year too.
With alot going on at the moment the answer should of really been no, but with Dennis’s credentials and the fact the three of us get on so well, it was too much to refuse.
Without further ado, meet Dennis Strandberg..
Ranked 3rd best driver under 22 in Sweden it is in no doubt, Dennis is the most exciting GT4 driver in the UK. Boasting 15 wins and 28 podiums and a national ranking of 26th through all age ranges.
After having driven karts until the age of 19, Dennis decided to make the switch to real cars. He settled for a Ginetta 40 and driving in the Swedish Ginetta class, which got his racing career off to a flying start. With 11 podium finishes, 6 wins and an overall winner of the Swedish Ginetta GT5 Challenge. After winning the Swedish GT5 Challenge, he took the enormous step of heading abroad to compete in international racing.
Now racing in the British GT Championship for Academy Motorsports driving an Aston Martin Vantage GT4, Dennis was also selected as 1 of 10 young promising drivers with the Aston Martin Academy to be further nurtured as a future Aston Martin works driver.
The British GT Championship is a major series in the UK, a high-status class with enormous prestige.
Please view the calendar and let us know if you attend any dates. We can sort out meet and greets, photo opportunities etc.
When the opportunity came up to have a chat with Dennis, I wasn’t going to pass it up, true to what I now know to be his big personality he didn’t want to do a Q&A until he had something to talk about, his next race was Rockingham and he made 2nd on the podium, so I set about making the chat happen.
Dennis’s stats speak for themselves, currently ranked 3rd in the under 22’s in Sweden and nationally ranked 26th, with 15 wins, 28 podiums and 11 fastest laps all since changing from karting to ‘proper cars’ in 2013.
In his first year of Ginetta GT5 Challenge in Sweden he won the Championship and last year even though he came over to the UK to race too, still managed to finish 3rd in the Ginetta Challenge.
2015 is here and we are 3 rounds into British GT Championship season and Dennis is now driving an Aston Martin Vantage GT4 and is under the wing of Aston Martin’s Evolution Academy where they nurture the talents of 10 promising young drivers. Dennis is with the Academy Motorsport team and the very striking silver and black car with his team mate Will Moore.
Having spent some time getting to know Dennis, he is not your average 21 year old, with a very determined mindset and focused on achieving his goals as a driver, he certainly knows where he’s heading. A real likeable chap, with a great sense of humour and lots of fun to be around, I have no doubt he will be a very popular driver in the paddock as he is always willing to have a chat with fans and he’s new to twitter so do drop him a follow @DStrandberg.
I look forward to watching him this season and in my opinion he’s definitely one to watch!
Q) Describe your driving style in 3 words?
A) Aggressive, smart, fast
Q) Describe Dennis in 3 words?
A) Happy, positive, forward
Q) What’s your favourite film?
A) Talledaga Nights
Q) You’re going to dinner with up to 4 people, who are they?
A) Michael Schumacher, James ‘Bubba” Stewart, Travis Pastrana, to just talk about everything and do some crazy stunts and Niki Lauda, to have a chat about how he did it, how the racing was back in those days.
Q) Do you have a training schedule to help with endurance racing?
A) Cardio and gym work
Q) If you could have any wish to help with your racing this year, what would that be?
A) Sponsorship, I have everything else to be the best there is.
Q) What’s the worst part of racing in an international championship?
A) My motto is “If you ain’t first, you’re last”, I hate losing.
Q) What’s the most special thing about racing?
A) Adrenaline, the feeling you have when you get in the car and know you have to drive at the limit and show everyone that I’m that guy.
Q) What’s your best racing moment so far in your career?
A) My hatrick at Spa 2014
Q) Take us to your favourite place in the world, where are we?
A) Spa Francorchamps or we’re in the Alps, we have our snowboards on and the sun in our eyes
Q) McDonalds or KFC? A) Subway
Q) What music do you listen to most?
A) Anything, mostly club, house.
Thank-you Dennis for letting me interview you and good luck at Silverstone on the 31st!