Record updated 22-Sep-06
Best know at a saloon car driver who won the British Touring Car title in 1998 for Volvo. Now racing in World Touring Cars.
Rickard Rydell was born in in Stockholm. He started racing in karts and won the Swedish Championship in 1984 and 1985. He graduated to Swedish Formula 3 in 1986 and to the British Championship in 1989 with Eddie Jordan winning at Truxton and finishing third overall in the series.
In 1990 he tried his hand in the British F3000 Championship, finishing a creditable 4th in the title race. He also raced a Group C1 Porsche in Japan.
He returned to British Formua 3 in 1991 with TOMS, taking one win and pole for the Macau Grand Prix before making the move to Japan to race in F3 there the following year. Still with TOMS he finished third in the Championship and won the Macau Grand Prix.
In 1993 he came second in the Japanese F3 Championsip.
His first year in the BTCC was 1994, driving the unmissable Volvo 850 Estate. The team switched to a saloon in 1995 and Rydell took pole for 13 of the 24 races, but several slow starts contributed to him winning only 4 times and finishing 3rd in the championship. a result repeated in 1996.
In 1997 he only won one race but then in 1998, he won the British Touring Car Championship in his Volvo, and also won the 1998 Super Touring Bathurst 1000, sharing a Volvo S40 with Jim Richards.
In both 1999 and 2000 he finished third in the BTCC driving for Ford and then spent 2001 waiting for his European Touring Car Championship Volvo to be built, however he did race a Ferrari 550 Maranello in the FIA World GT Championship.
He raced in the ETCC with works support for 2002 and as a privateer a in 2003. Since 2004 he has raced for SEAT in the World Touring Car Championship.
In 2004 he took part in two races in the Swedish Touring Car Championship, claiming one victory.
Rydell lives just north of Stockholm with his wife Ulrika and their two children and helps out with the family flower business when he's not racing.