Share Report

Related Articles

Acura stand at the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach

Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach Part One

Josef Newgarden coming around a corder with a row of race cars behind him.

Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach Part Three

Interview With Marcus Ericsson

Marcus Ericsson being interviewed

We Interview The Swedish IndyCar Driver Before He Races Through Long Beach

Marcus grew up in Sweden, which is world’s away from Southern California. It begs the question; can Marcus tell us some of the differences between driving in Sweden and Los Angeles?

By John Grafman

Fri, Apr 28, 2023 12:52 PM PST

featured photo by John Grafman

The Long Beach Grand Prix in 2023 has a little bit of something for everyone. The annual earsplitting event lures in 185,000 cheering fans with a wide range of races from IndyCar to IMSA to Stadium Super Trucks. The melting pot of cultures and countries of origin are evident not just in the overflowing bleachers, but also in the drivers’ seats.

Racer Marcus Ericsson is one of the fan favorites that adds a little, sweet Huski chocolate to the “melting pot”. The natural question to be asking the 2022 Indy 500 champion is, at least from an Angeleno’s perspective, what cars do you love?

“I'm a big fan of SUVs, so I like SUV's! My first car was a [Volvo] Model 740. You know, that's a pretty cool car,” says Ericsson, with a wide grin on his youthful face.

Marcus Ericsson racing in Long Beach
photo by John Grafman

Marcus grew up in Sweden, which is world’s away from Southern California. It begs the question; can Marcus tell us some of the differences between driving in Sweden and Los Angeles?

“We don't have like 6 files [lanes], or whatever how many files you have, [on] motorways or highways. In Sweden it’s one or two files maximum, that's for starters, that's a big difference,” states Marcus. “We're quite a small country. So, we don't have the same road net [network of roads/highways] that you have here in the states. So, it's quite different. And you know, we don't have traffic like LA traffic, that's for sure [laughs].”

Marcus Ericsson racing at the Long Beach Grand Prix
photo by John Grafman

IndyCar races typically have a fair share of accidents, and Marcus Ericsson is able to thread the needle and deftly avoids those. However, when it comes to normal street driving, does he find it's safer here or safer driving in Sweden?

Ericsson eagerly replies, “I think percentage wise it's probably similar because you have so many cars and probably people here. I think Sweden we're pretty good at the safety side with the cars and stuff these days. So yeah, I'm not an expert. I'm not sure.”

Of course, what we really want to know is, how is it that somebody in Sweden finds their way into IndyCar racing?

“I think it started for me watching IndyCars, when I was younger, on TV. It was broadcasting on Swedish television. As a kid I was watching Kenny Bräck racing here in the States and winning the 500 in ’99, and that sort of got me interested in IndyCar and dreaming of IndyCar from being a kid.” Marcus goes on to say, “I was doing go-karts as a kid, so I was already started in in Motorsports.”

Marcus Ericsson on the podium in Long Beach
photo by John Grafman

It's hard to deny it, Sweden is a small country with big aspirations. Marcus Ericsson’s third place podium finish at the Grand Prix at Long Beach shows that it doesn’t matter where you start, it’s where you finish. Marcus came in P1 at The Thermal Club, and he earned a first-place finish at the IndyCar race at St. Pete. At the moment, the smiling Swede is ranking first in overall points. Today Long Beach, tomorrow the world… or maybe Indianapolis!

Editor’s note: LA Car’s Publisher, John-Fredrik Wright, hails from Sweden, as well. While Wright enjoys his time behind the wheel, don’t expect our esteemed publisher to be piloting an IndyCar anytime soon. But, never say never!

About The Author

John Grafman's profile picture

John Grafman

John Grafman spent far too much of his youth thriving on the canyons that connect the valley to Malibu. This antisocial behavior has evidentially scarred him for life. Nevertheless, using his powers for good rather than evil, John has spent the past dozen or so years working on models for numerous automotive design studios on the west coast. You’ve seen his work on the exterior and interiors of some of your favorite concept and production cars. You can now see his imprint throughout LA CAR.

You Might Also Like These Articles:

blue race car coming around a turn

2023 Long Beach Grand Prix - Part One

image from the IndyCar races in Long Beach California

The Race On Two Feet

porsche taycan at sunset with a camera crew

Taycan Turbo + Super Bowl = ?


Porsche Taycan Breaks Indoor Speed Record

gymkhana car barely staying on dock while racing

Launch Control: Road to Gymkhana