Slim Borgudd

And no it’s not fashion-challenged Eddie Jordan!

Today, we’re actually celebrating the birthday of former F1 driver Slim Borgudd, who led a unique double life when outside of his short-lived stint as a Grand Prix racer…

Born as Karl Edward Tommy Borgudd, the Swede’s first career was as a drummer, most famously as a session percussionist for several ABBA tracks.

He dabbled in junior motorsport events from the mid-1960s, but his career kick-started when he won the 1973 Scandinavian Formula Ford series and the 1979 Swedish Formula 3 championship.

An attempt to move into Formula 2 was not a happening thing, and his sole outing in 1980 was the Monaco F3 race, where he rose to third until bodywork became loose, and fell to finish sixth while hanging onto the flailing bodywork with one hand.

By 1981, Borgudd – now 34 – had amassed enough funding to make his F1 debut with the ATS outfit at the San Marino Grand Prix, placing ABBA logos on the car’s sidepods in a hopeful move to lure more investors (ABBA itself provided no financial backing).

Despite several non-qualifications in events such as Belgium, Monaco, Spain and France, he made the grid next time out at Silverstone and picked up a point for sixth in a race of attrition, his sole points finish in F1.

Slim Borgudd, 1982 Ken Tyrrell hired Borgudd for the 1982 season, and expected big things from the Swede, who had out-qualified the team’s regular driver, Michele Alboreto, on a number of occasions in 1981. But results proved thin, and he was dropped early in the season when his sponsorship money ran out.

Borgudd spent several years in the motorsport wilderness – only making occasional outings – but in 1986 he discovered a new passion in truck racing.

It would take until 1993 before he returned to motorsport full-time, joining the works Mazda outfit in the British touring Car Championship (achieving few results, sadly), but he went on to win the Nordic Touring Car Championship in 1994.

That year also saw Slim enter truck racing full-time, losing the championship title to Steve Parrish after a season-long battle, and then winning the 1995 title by a comfortable margin. Borgudd retired from full-time motorsport after 1997 and now lives in Coventry.

[Images via Flickr]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.