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FORMULA ONE

Swedish racer to make Formula One debut

Swedish rookie race car driver Marcus Ericsson has been confirmed in Caterham's new driver line-up for the 2014 Formula One season, marking the first time a Swede has raced on the circuit since 1991.

Swedish racer to make Formula One debut
Marcus Ericsson. Photo: www.marcusericsson.com
 The 23-year-old Swede, together with Kamui Kobayashi, replace sacked racers Charles Pic and Giedo van der Garde. 
 
"This is a very proud day for me and everyone who has helped make my F1 dream come true," the Swede said in a statement. "I'm already excited about the season ahead, and the first race in Australia in particular.
 
"It's obviously great for Sweden that we'll have a Swedish driver back on the grid in 2014. This is what I've been working for since I first started racing karts back when I was nine years old, and now I know I'm ready for the step up to F1."
 
The 23-year-old native of Kumla in central Sweden added that he is in good physical shape after visiting family for the Christmas break, and that the hard work has already begun in preparation for his debut.
 
"I'm going to be in the factory in Leafield as much as I can before and during the tests in Spain and Bahrain so I can play an active role in helping understand the 2014 car, and what we need to do to unlock its performance. We have a big task in front of us but it's an exciting one, and one both the team and I are ready for," he said.
 
Ericsson's leap into racing at Formula One level follows four years in GP2, where he finished sixth in last year's championship.
   
Caterham was the last team to confirm its driver line-up for the forthcoming season. The Formula One season kicks off on March 16th in Australia.
 
Sweden's last Formula One driver, Stefan "Lill-Lövis" Johansson, drove in 79 races between 1980 and 1991, finishing in second place on four occasions. 

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SPORT

Swedish driver Bräck back on track

Swedish driver Kenny Bräck, who was seriously injured in a horrific crash in the Indy Racing League in 2003, will race in the Indianapolis 500 later this month replacing America's defending champion Buddy Rice, team officials said on Wednesday.

The May 29th race will mark Bräck’s return to Indy racing after he broke his back, sternum, ribs, right leg and both ankles in a crash at the season finale at Texas Motor Speedway in October 2003.

“When we heard that Buddy had to sit out the rest of the month, Kenny was the immediate choice. Kenny is a sensational driver,” Bobby Rahal of the Rahal Letterman Racing team said in a statement posted on Brack’s website.

Rice, last year’s Indy 500 winner, has been forced to sit out the remainder of the season after suffering a concussion in a May 11 crash while practising at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

He also injured his back in the single-vehicle smash.

On Wednesday, Bräck drove his first lap in an Indy car after passing a medical the day before. He professed himself to be in fine form.

“I’m back to the same physical condition as I was before the crash because I have basically been pounding myself in the gym ever since I got out of the hospital. So I feel physically very good.”

Bräck is the 1998 Indy Racing League champion and 1999 Indianapolis 500 winner and will race the No. 15 Argent/Pioneer Honda car on May 29. (AFP/The Local)