Tommy Borgudd began racing in Formula Ford and sports cars in his native Sweden between 1969 and 1973, but lack of finance forced him to fall back on his career as a drummer (most famously in studio sessions with Abba). It was when he was working in New Orleans that he gained his nickname. After stepping in for a drummer called 'Memphis Slim', Borgudd was dubbed â€˜Little Slim'. Subsequently this was shortened to 'Slim' and it stuck, mainly because his subsequent pay-cheques were made out in this name and he had problems cashing them as his ID card showed his real name, Tommy! After a few drives in 1976, Slim returned to the tracks on a more permanent basis the following year, and was soon performing heroics in both the Swedish and European F3 series with an outdated Ralt. Particularly impressive were his efforts in the European championship in 1979 when he finished third overall behind the dazzling Prost and experienced Bleekemolen despite having to miss races due to lack of money as the year wore on. A planned season in Formula 2 in 1980 was aborted when the finance was not forthcoming, but Slim occasionally competed in a March in F3 while working on a deal that saw him join the ATS team in Grands Prix for 1981. Sixth place - and a championship point - in the British Grand Prix was the high spot in a difficult season. Borgudd then began the next campaign with the Tyrrell team, but his money soon ran out and he was replaced by Brian Henton. That there is more to life than struggling at the back of the grid in Formula 1 has surely been proved by Slim, who went on to carve out a hugely successful, enjoyable - and profitable! - career as truck racing European Champion as well as briefly racing a Mazda Xedos touring car in the Nordic Cup.
(c) 'Who is Who' by Steve Small, 2000