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Ulf Svensson

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#1 Cirrus

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Posted 07 March 2003 - 16:31

Does anybody have any memories of the Swedish F3 driver Ulf Svensson? I met him a couple of times in the seventies, and was impressed not only with his easy going and friendly personality, but also his ability to turn up with an immaculately prepared, but bog-standard, car and be right on the pace of Piquet/Warwick etc. As far as I recall, he managed all this with just one helper - his wife! His name continually crops up in F3 results over a ten year period, and I wondered why he never progressed further.


#2 Stefan Ornerdal

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Posted 07 March 2003 - 20:59

A very good driver, always at the top but not really a winner. His wife was called "Johan", a very masculene name! I suppose he was quite satisfied to be on the upper half on the scoreboard in F3, and had no great ambition to go any further. It's hard to get sponsors when you are not "spectacular" and from a small motorsport country.
Multi-champion in Swedish bike racing in his younger days.
I have no idea what he is up to now. A google search of Ulf Svensson is useless, it's one of the most common names in Sweden... like John Smith.


#3 RJH

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Posted 09 March 2003 - 12:33

Ulf was a super guy who relished all aspects of Formula Three. He was an example to some of the more bumptious drivers with his quiet yet friendly attitude. He was the Brabham agent for Scandinavia and then the Ralt and Hewland agent, finaly retiring a couple of years ago. If the records are checked, he was a winner in F3 and was always competitive despite having a very serrious accident in the late 60's. It's true that his wife did most of the routine maintenance, changing ratios etc and was always ready with soapy water to wash the car down after practice and the race. They were quite a pair.

#4 Mohican

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Posted 12 March 2003 - 12:21

I think that the main reason that he did not progress further was the fact that 1968 and, particularly, 1969 saw the "Ronnie & Reine" phenomenon take European F3 by storm and completely overshadow all other aspects of racing in Scandinavia.

Both Peterson and Wisell of course made it to F1 (and how), but it is interesting to remember that in the summer of 1970 Wisell actually appeared the greater prospect. At that time he was dominating F5000 in Sid Taylor's McLaren M10, having taken over the drive from Peter Gethin when the latter was promoted to the McLaren F1 team, following which he was taken on by Gold Leaf Team Lotus as no 2 to Emerson Fittipaldi. Wisell actually finished third in his first race for GLTL (the 1970 US GP at Watkins Glen), a fact which was completely overshadowed by Fittipaldi winning the race - thereby securing the title, posthumously, for Rindt.

All this time Ronnie was biding his time, learning the ropes driving Colin Crabbe's (very) private Antique Automobiles March-Ford 701. The following year was different, to say the least. Wisell retained the second Lotus through 1971, switched to Marlboro-BRM for a few races in 1972 and then faded from F1.

#5 Cirrus

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Posted 12 March 2003 - 14:48

Ah - Reine Wisell, the sideburn kid! I remember seeing him driving in F5000 in Sid Taylor's McLaren in 1970, and he looked the genuine article. When he finished third at Watkins Glen I really thought he was set for stardom.

Another reason why Ulf Svensson did not progress out of F3 was that he was quite a few years older than most other drivers in the category. As RJH says, he relished all aspects of F3 - I can remember him walking round the paddock taking photographs of all the other F3 cars, not for any sinister reason, he just wanted a record of the event. I had the impression that racing F3 in Europe was exactly what he wanted to do, and so he probably didn't have any great desire to go on to bigger things.

#6 Jesper O. Hansen

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Posted 15 March 2003 - 00:08

Is this Ulf Svensson the same Ulf Svensson who drove Volvo 240 Turbos in Sweden in the 1980's?

Jesper OH

#7 Rainer Nyberg

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Posted 20 March 2003 - 15:54

Originally posted by Jesper O. Hansen
Is this Ulf Svensson the same Ulf Svensson who drove Volvo 240 Turbos in Sweden in the 1980's?

I think not, as already stated, it IS a quite common name in Sweden.

Back to the driver in question, yes Ulf was a successful bike rider in his first career. He won multiple Swedish road racing championships, both on 125cc and 250cc bikes, during the years 1959, 1961 and 1964.

I think a big part of the reason for his failure to progress past F3 was his age . By the time he switched from bikes to cars, he was already 30 years old. By the time he got serious with his F3 driving around 1971, then he was 35. He eventually carried on into his 40s.