Before his Indy 500 triumph, Marcus Ericsson laughed about Cumra’s former fame in Sweden.
“We are known to have the largest and safest prison in Sweden,” Eriksson told NBC Sports. So they are trying to change the image of Kumra from a ‘prison city’ to ‘Marcus Ericsson, the city of racing drivers’. “
With a population of just over 20,000, Kumla took a big step in that direction when Ericsson took home the BorgWarner Trophy in tow a few weeks ago.
estimated 8,000 Participated in an open eventThis was the highlight of Ericsson’s Swedish tour from November 3-7. Celebrations in his hometown include local music acts and a “This is Your Life” style recap of Ericsson’s career (Chip His Ganassi, videos from his racing teammate Scott His Dixon, and more). including tributes) were included.
Marcus Ericsson had a hometown celebration this weekend.
— NBC’s IndyCar (@IndyCaronNBC) November 7, 2022
Ericsson was initially unsure “whether it will be in the hundreds or in the thousands,” but organizers said the event would draw the largest crowd in Kumla’s history, drawing the city’s crowds. It was said to fill the square of
“This is the biggest event they’ve pulled off, so it’s been a huge success for them,” Erickson said. “It’s a really small town, but Kumra has done a really good job building this massive stage.
“I was hoping it would be something special. blew my mind.
Ericsson posed for photos and signed autographs with fans for nearly three hours after the event. This reaffirmed the growing popularity of IndyCar in Scandinavia.
“It’s a great opportunity to build not only my own brand, but also an IndyCar brand,” he said. “IndyCar, Indy 500, BorgWarner, we are all winners here. But I’m happy to be able to promote the sport and the series. , I always say that everyone will fall in love with it because it is a very good series and a good product.”
With the emergence of Ericsson and Felix Rosenqvist (and Indy Lights champion Linus Lundqvist could form the Swedish trio for some races in 2023), this season’s IndyCar practice, qualifying and The race is now available live in Sweden through Viasat.
Ericsson was already well-known even before IndyCar due to his Formula One career, but the Tour saw the Indy 500 victory boost his profile and give him “one more” to gain more frequent public recognition. He said it was a step.
“People want to say congratulations and take pictures. It’s great that so many people are interested and happy about what we do,” he said. “500 wins has really taken it to another level. American racing his series of TV shows are very good. They are amazed at how good their numbers are.”
“There are a lot of people saying they want to be in the 500 next year, so I think there will be quite a few Swedish fans in the stands next year. I hope to line up on the grid with you, but let’s see about it, it’s going to be huge.”
This year’s Indy 500 Off-Season Champions Tour marked the fourth time the BorgWarner Trophy left the United States. The iconic trophy traveled to Japan with Takuma Sato after taking his first Indy 500 win in 2017, and 2019 winner Simon his Pagenaud brought BorgWarner to Paris in 2019. rice field. Also in 2018 he was exhibited at the Goodwood He Festival in Sussex, West of England.
Ericsson’s tour was particularly extensive, with stops around the country (including two 90-minute meet-and-greets at Scandinavian Westfield Mall in Stockholm).
“They did a really good job preparing a pretty solid schedule for the week,” Erickson said. “We covered all the morning and evening programs on TV. We produced all the magazines and major articles. That was it.”
There is no place like home. 🇸🇪
This trip to Sweden was incredibly special for us. @ Ericsson Marcusreturned home to a hero’s welcome with BorgWarner in tow.From Stockholm to his hometown of Kumla, these are memories of a lifetime!#INDY500 /// @indycar /// @Borg Trophy pic.twitter.com/pwzkZhT9ym
— Chip Ganassi Racing (@CGRTeams) November 7, 2022
Other highlights from Ericsson’s home visit include:
—tattoo you: Eriksson was one of a group of about 20 fans who traveled from Sweden to watch him win the Indy 500 in May, and the man from Kumla may be his biggest fan. I reunited with When Ericsson learned that the speedway main a few days before the race he would congregate at a watering hole in the street, he postponed his arrival at the event to surprise his Swedish fans.
“They didn’t expect me to show up. All of a sudden, I was there and said, ‘Hey guys,'” Erickson said. “And this guy was there as a fan of his first 500 and there he said to me, ‘Man, I’m your biggest fan. If you win this race on Sunday, where are you? ‘ I’m like, ‘Okay, let’s do it.’ We shook hands and he was screaming under the podium after the race. “I’ll do it! I’ll do it! he was very happy “
The follow through did not disappoint. After seeing an Instagram photo of a fan’s back covered in tattoos honoring Indy’s victory, Ericsson saw the real deal at Kumla.
“He went all-in,” said Ericsson. “He’s a cool dude. I appreciate his support. It was fun meeting him at Kumla. I was thinking of my logo or ‘ME’ somewhere or something subtle.” . He was very impressed with his entire 500 experience and had a great time. It seemed to mean a lot to him. “
—Legend Honor: During a stop in nearby Orebro, Ericsson visited the statue of two-time Formula 1 winner Ronnie Peterson.
“He is still the biggest racing name in Sweden and an inspiration to me throughout my career,” said Eriksson. Ericsson’s helmet design was in fashion for helmets worn by Peterson in the 70’s.
– cover guy: Eriksson on the cover of the next issue of a major Swedish fashion magazine. The photo was taken during a shoot at a classic car facility.
“They wanted a vintage racing driver vibe,” says Ericsson. “I think it’s going to be really cool.”
—royal presence: While the Swedish king, a racing fan, was unable to make it to the Tour, Ericsson raced the country’s prince at the Porsche Cup event last month.
“I actually had a little talk with the king there,” Ericsson said. , said he wanted to race IndyCar in the future, so hopefully next year we can make it happen, that would be really cool.”