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Tales from the Trip: Örebro home of F1 legend Ronnie Peterson

The Super Swede. The Baker’s boy who made it big. Ronnie Peterson became the first Formula 1 winner from Sweden since one-hit wonder, Jo Bonnier, 1959 Zandvoort.

Tales from the Trip. From AVUS to Zolder. Part 1 of my journey takes us to Örebro, a small town in Sweden home of Formula 1 legend and motorsport great Ronnie Peterson.

The Super Swede. The Baker’s boy who made it big. Ronnie Peterson became the first Formula 1 winner from Sweden since one-hit wonder, Jo Bonnier, 1959 Zandvoort.

Ronnie won karting championships in his native country and was on pace when he moved to the European racing theatre.

He won the prestigious Formula 3 race in Monte Carlo, holding off fellow Swede and the man who gave him his racing license, Reine Wisell.

Tommy Peterson. Ronnie’s younger brother gave a helping hand to his early racing career, in both karting and single-seaters. Tommy has fond memories of the whole family travelling to European circuits. He was also interested in racing but, “Ronnie was always faster.”

The photo in the background is the mad dash to the checkered flag by five drivers in the last pre-chicane Monza in the 1971 Italian Grand Prix. In Formula 1’s closest finish England’s Peter Gethin took a maiden and narrow margin victory over Ronnie.

This restaurant is called Monza, and the menu features a “Ronnie Peterson” pizza.

The Peterson Boys. Ronnie in front and Tommy in the middle. Father Bengt raced motorcycles on ice, he and his wife enthusiastically supported Ronnie’s racing activities.

The Dirt Devil. Ronnie was quick on anything with wheels. The local police were the first to notice his talent, they served him several speeding tickets – on his moped.

Ronnie raced to his first Formula 1 victory at Paul Ricard in the 1973 French Grand Prix. He won three of the last four races, Austria, Italy and the United States to finish third in the championship. In 1978, he was teammate to Mario Andretti (at JPS-Lotus) who called Ronnie  “my best teammate.”

Ronnie’s tenth and final victory was in the 1978 Austrian Grand Prix at the fast Osterreichring, it was his tenth F1 triumph.

Peterson-lead

Baking success. The Peterson family owned a bakery in the town of Örebro, located north of Stockholm. It was started about a century ago and has moved from its original location. The family is no longer involved with the bakery. 

Eyes and Engines. Ronnie’s brother Tommy has always been a ‘motorhead.’ Here he is with his creation. While Ronnie was racing, Tommy was pursuing a career in the medical field, and worked as an ophthalmologist in their hometown.

The other Örebro Champion. Anders Hultquist won the Swedish Camaro Cup twice. He has been a Peterson family friend for many years.

Thanks to him and his friend Flemming Jantzen in Denmark, I had the opportunity to spend some time with Tommy.

R.I.P. Ronnie is laid to rest in the Almby cemetery, next to his parents and wife, Barbro. There was a nice touching letter from a fan of Ronnie from Belgium who had watched him race.

Jarama, Madrid, Spain. 26 - 28 April 1974.Jacky Ickx and Ronnie Peterson chat in the paddock, portrait. World Copyright: LAT Photographic.Ref: 74ESP13

Formel 1, Grand Prix Argentinien 1978, Buenos Aires, 15.01.1978<br /> Ronnie Peterson, Lotus-Ford 78<br /> www.hoch-zwei.net ,<br /> copyright: HOCH ZWEI / Ronco


Peter Gethin (GBR) BRM P160 leads Ronnie Peterson (SWE) March Cosworth 711, Mike Hailwood (GBR) Surtees Cosworth TS9, Francois Cevert (FRA) Tyrrell Cosworth 002 and Howden Ganley (GBR) BRM P160 in the closing stages of the race. Gethin would win the race by 0.01 seconds from Peterson.Formula One World Championship, Rd9, Italian Grand Prix, Monza, Italy, 5 September 1971.
Ronnie Peterson (SE), John Player Special Team Lotus 79.. Swedish Grand Prix, Anderstorp, Sweden, 17/06/1978.