OCTOBER 11, 1999
Sweden's Grand Prix dreams
SWEDISH newspapers are reporting that Sweden is considering a bid to host a Grand Prix in 2005 or 2006. The country has a great tradition of racing stars with Jo Bonnier, Ronnie Peterson, Gunnar Nilsson and Stefan Johansson being the most successful. The country held a World Championship event at the Scandinavian Raceway at Anderstorp between 1973 and 1978. Prior to that there were sportscar races in the 1950s called the Swedish GP, which were held on the streets of the southern town of Kristianstad.
Although the country does not have a topline driver - although Kenny Brack won last year's Indianapolis 500 and moves to CART in 2000 - there is still a lot of enthusiasm for racing, notably from King Carl-Gustav who is a regular visitor to F1 races. It is also worth noting that the country is well-represented at the FIA with Lars Osterlind being a leading member of the World Motor Sport Council and an FIA Vice-President.
According to the reports the plans are for a new circuit to be built in the Kalmar region. This is on the Baltic coast, around 200 miles south of Stockholm. It is reported that the investment needed is already in place.
The Kalmar region has only about 250,000 people but the track could easily be reached by fans from Stockholm and from Finland and Germany, which are currently the major markets for Formula 1 racing. Thousands of Finnish fans make the trip each year to the Hungaroring and even larger numbers of Germans follow F1 around the Continent in their camper vans.
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