BTCC champion and touring car legend Rickard Rydell retires

Rickard Rydell has hung up his helmet to end a career that made him a modern-day touring car legend

BTCC champion and touring car legend Rickard Rydell retires

The Swede, 48, claimed a total of 21 race victories over a seven-year stint in the British Touring Car Championship, which included winning the title with Volvo in 1998.

That made him the second most successful driver in terms of victories during the BTCC's Super Touring era, behind Alain Menu.

His achievements in tin-tops also include five race wins in the World Touring Car Championship with SEAT and Chevrolet and claiming the 2011 Scandinavian Touring Car Championship title aboard a Chevy.

Rydell told Autosport that he had decided to retire after failing to land a full-time drive since 2012.

"I've only done a few races over the past couple of years, and if I can't do a full season, I'd prefer to stop," said Rydell, who contested three WTCC rounds last year with the NIKA Honda team.

"I feel very privileged that for 20 years I had a manufacturer contract; I don't think too many drivers can say that."

Rydell revealed that he contemplated retirement after his second stint with SEAT in the WTCC came to an end in 2009.

"I didn't race at all in 2010, but then I was able to come back for a couple of seasons in Sweden [where the majority of the Scandinavian series races were held]," he said.

"It meant a lot of be racing again in Sweden for the first time since 1988 and I had a really good couple of years."

Rydell said the highlights of his career were winning the Macau Formula 3 Grand Prix in 1992 with the TOM'S team, claiming the BTCC title and scoring a GT1 class victory at the Le Mans 24 Hours with Aston Martin in 2007.

Asked if he had any regrets, Rydell told Autosport: "Not at all. After winning in Macau, I had an offer from Jordan to go to Formula 1 in 1993.

"But it was dependent on finding the money and at that time F1 wasn't even shown on TV in Sweden, so there was no chance.

"I decided to stay in Japan and then said yes to Volvo for 1994, so it all worked out for me."

Rydell will retain an involvement in motorsport through his links with Swedish GP2 racer Gustav Malja, who will race with the Rapax team in 2016.

"I'll be helping him on the sporting side as well as commentating on GP2 for Swedish TV," explained Rydell.

shares
comments
McLaren F1 reserve Stoffel Vandoorne seals Honda Super Formula seat

Previous article

McLaren F1 reserve Stoffel Vandoorne seals Honda Super Formula seat

Next article

Ex-Renault protege Ben Hanley to make comeback in ELMS LMP2

Ex-Renault protege Ben Hanley to make comeback in ELMS LMP2
Load comments
The one-time Schumacher rival rebooting his career Down Under Plus

The one-time Schumacher rival rebooting his career Down Under

Joey Mawson made waves in the middle of the last decade, beating future Haas Formula 1 driver Mick Schumacher - among other highly-rated talents - to the 2016 German F4 title. A run in F1's feeder GP3 category only caused his career to stall, but now back in Australia Mawson's S5000 title success has set that to rights

General
May 8, 2021
The lesson football’s would-be wreckers could learn from racing Plus

The lesson football’s would-be wreckers could learn from racing

OPINION: The greed-driven push for a European Super League that threatened to tear football apart is collapsing at the seams. Motor racing's equivalent, the football-themed Superleague Formula series of 2008-11, was everything that the proposed ESL never could be

General
Apr 21, 2021
The F1 and Indy 'nearly man' that found contentment in Japan Plus

The F1 and Indy 'nearly man' that found contentment in Japan

Having had the door to F1 slammed in his face and come within three laps of winning the Indianapolis 500, the collapse of a Peugeot LMP1 shot meant Japan was Bertrand Baguette's last chance of a career. But it's one which he has grasped with both hands

General
Feb 27, 2021
The female all-rounder who arrived "too early" Plus

The female all-rounder who arrived "too early"

From Formula 3 to truck racing, Dakar and EuroNASCAR via a winning stint in the DTM, there's not much Ellen Lohr hasn't seen in a stellar racing career that highlights the merit in being a generalist. But she believes her career came too early...

General
Feb 17, 2021
How Radical's latest machines fare on track Plus

How Radical's latest machines fare on track

The lightweight sportscar manufacturer has not rewritten the rulebook with its latest machines, but the new SR3 XX and SR10 still provide a step forward on its previous successful models

General
Feb 8, 2021
The real-life racing rogues stranger than fiction Plus

The real-life racing rogues stranger than fiction

The forthcoming Netflix film linking the world of underworld crime and motorsport plays on a theme that isn't exactly new. Over the years, several shady figures have attempted to make it in racing before their dubious dealings caught up with them

General
Jan 31, 2021
How a GP is thriving in a COVID-free territory Plus

How a GP is thriving in a COVID-free territory

The New Zealand Grand Prix's mix of rising talent and big-name stars thrilled the crowds (yes, remember crowds?) assembled for the Toyota Racing Series meeting at Hampton Downs last weekend and left distant observers craving a repeat

General
Jan 26, 2021
How a much-changed Macau GP kept the party going Plus

How a much-changed Macau GP kept the party going

OPINION: The 67th edition of the Macau Grand Prix might have been a largely muted affair to the outside world without its international influx and star line-ups, another victim to the COVID-19 pandemic, but organisers deserve huge credit for keeping the party going

General
Nov 24, 2020