Hi I am Simon Larsson, race car driver from Sweden. I am 19 years old and this is my history and career!
My interest from engines and racing started at an age of two. My Dad and older brother drove Motocross and I loved it. When my older sister Felicia got a Minicross Yamaha PW 50 and I wanted to drive it. My dad got a used sidecar and added that to the PW and off we went. I could drive but my sister had to pull back my hand from the gas, not to crash…
When I was four I got my first Motocross bike, a KTM 50 SX Pro. It was to wild for me som our Danish friend made the clutch a little bit soft and then I cold drive. I drove in local races and club races in Sweden.
I also rode the Fast50’s bikes. I liked to ride on gokart tracks as supermoto. It was great fun. I started to ride club races again with a Suzuki 65cc bike, but then my family started to quit, and my 4-wheel career started.
From 8 years on it was all karting. I started in Micro and moved over to Mini. I had a year with a arm injury, I got that in daycare, falling from a sofa…
In Mini I drove local races and clubraces for my club Helsingborg. At 13 years old I took my racing licens at Anderstorp in our families BMW X6 on winter tires. I was supposed to drive the new Abarth 500 Asseto Corse , but it was damaged with a non working clutch. I got my racing licens and I started to practice driving real race cars in Ljungbhyed and Ring Knutstorp. I was too young to compete som we still kept the Karting alive.
When I was 14 I moved over to the fastest kart (except Superkart) ICC KZ2 mainly to practice speed and control. I was still too young to race the Abarth so it was all practice.
At 15 I decided with my mentor Ola Nilsson, Micke Ohlsson and Dad that it was time to leave the Karting world and go full focus on Racing. We went to a test in Anderstorp with Ginetta. I drove the Ginetta G40 among GT4 and GT3 cars in the test. I liked the car soo much, nice handling, light and responsive. Now I was ready for my challenge, the Ginetta GT5 challenge in Sweden.
Later that autumn we went to Bedford in England to drive a scholarship shoot out. It was my first time in a race car sitting on the right side of the car… They tested our physics and also media training. I came to the final day and I was very pleased with my results. In UK they have a Jr series with slower engines and street tires, but it turned out that I couldn’t drive there as a Swedish citizen even if I had the speed and the right age.
I drove the whole series Swedish GT5 challenge series (seniors) for the team Race Labs and I improved every race, getting closer and closer to the top drivers, even if they were between 4 to 10 years older. After the full season I was fifth place in the series. I also drove three races in the international race rack of SPA Francorchamps. It was 32 cars on the grid and average speed of 154 Km/h in the Ginetta! My best moment in my race career, I was 3rd among the Scandinavians and I was entering the F1 podium!!
I was 16 years old when I applied to Volkswagen Motorsport in Germany to join a 2 day qualification round in Oschersleben. It was more than 500 applicants and only 30 people got the chance. So I was thrilled about getting a chance to show my skills with young drivers from all around the world. Day one it was all about skills and car handling. They tried our skills in 4 different stations; speed slalom, ball slalom, brake test and skidplate.
I started out with speed slalom, it was a narrow, fast and tricky. It started with a very fast chicane to U-turn and last a tricky S-curve. After the first session we was heading towards the ball slalom. It was a ordinarie slalom but we had a bowl with a ball on the hood. Here it was all about be able to drive fast but still smooth and complete the slalom without the ball leaving the bowl. Both this slaloms felt very good and I was happy with my effort.
We had a short lunch and was heading out for the third test, the brake test it was a simple brake test. Acceleration up to 70,80 and 90 then full brake and stop so close to the wall of cones as possible. For the last test of the day it was the skidplate. They removed the rear wheels from the car and installed some kind of shopping kart wheels to the car so it could easily do a 360. It was the hardest task of the day but also the funniest. When we were all done with the first day I was really happy with my effort, everyone gathered up and the instructors shouted out all names that have passed to the next day, they started with Simon Larsson and the happiness was indescriblable.
Day 2 of the qualification it was all about the clock, how fast you could drive on the track. The conditions was hard and very different. It started of with cold and rainy and my first test was on rain tyres on wet conditions. But then it happened and i had to drive rain tyres on dry on my first real test, just after 3-4 laps the tyres was going really hot and almost undriveable. The second test I was on slicks on dry but after 3 laps i spun, and VW rules was if you spin you go in and talk to the mechanics so they can look over the car. That pitstop took a lot of time and i only had 3 laps left and no time to get heat in my tyres. I was really disappointed and angry at myself after the second day, because i knew i could do much better.
17 years old and my first international season is over. It feels great, that my rookie year is over and I am looking forward for this upcoming year.
2015 – prepare for Magic
In 2015 I was supposed to continue with Scirocco R cup but it’s cancelled and Audi is taking over. I have been looking over many plausible series to contest in, but none has been as good as Volkswagen Golf cup. The series has a perfect layup for me to grow in and get even more experienced and even faster than before. It is also a really good place for my sponsors. I can offer more for my main sponsors this year than I could before. This year will be full focus on my racing, and this year I really got the chance to show what I am capable of!
2017 – A year of competition
I have just finished of 2016 and it was not a perfect season but it was good and I have learned so much during the year that I get impressed when I look back over the year. For this year I will take a new turn again but continue to drive an Audi. I will instead drive the new Audi RS3 LMS in ADAC TCR Germany.
In the end of 2015 I was invited to co-drive a Seat Leon Supercopa in the RTG Gladysz Racing team. It sure gave “a taste” of what 2016 will have to offer.