HSO Interview #2 : Jacob Fredriksson

Jacob

Sweden’s Jacob Fredriksson is now entering his fourth year of racing at HSO, having joined us back in January 2014. His first race with the league was a round of that year’s DTM championship in Zolder, while his first victory came in March of 2015 when he became the first driver to win an official race with our then new 1973 USAC Champ Car mod. At the time this interview was made, Jacob had started in a little over a hundred HSO races, taking five wins and 32 podiums in the process. He also scored two championship third place finishes, first in the 1998 CART Indycar series of 2015 and then in the following year’s 1989 BRDC C2 one.

 

Hi Jacob, can you please tell us a little bit more about yourself ?

 

Hello ! My name is Jacob Fredriksson, I am 27 years old and I am a simracer. I am from the city of Uppsala, Sweden, where I am currently finishing my master’s degree in history of science and ideas. My sister is also studying in Uppsala, and my parents live in the village of Hummelsta, about 45 minutes west, where I spent most of my childhood.

 

Tell us more about Jacob the simracer.


The first racing sim I ever touched was good ol’ Grand Prix 2, when I was 6 or 7. Since we didn’t evolve beyond 56k modems in Hummelsta before 2005, I didn’t get very serious with any racing games until GT Legends. Later on, GTR2 and rFactor got on my computer, and I joined a few leagues, of which Swedish Sim Racers is the one I stayed with the longest. When SSR’s GTR2 league was at its strongest, there were almost 100 people entered over 3 divisions. I started in Div.3 in 2006, progressed to Div.2 after one season, and won Div.2 as a 17-year-old to progress to Div.1. After a couple more of seasons, interest in GTR2 diminished, and some of the best drivers left, so I managed to finish runner-up in Div.1 in my final season. SSR had a brief Touring Car Legends league for rFactor around 2009-2010 (if I remember correctly), which I managed to win. After that, I started with iRacing.

One of my most memorable races was on iRacing : Petit Le Mans 2012 in a Ford GT, a 2h30 race. With 30 minutes to go, I was chasing down the leader, someone with a lot higher “iRating” than me. I hadn’t done a single mistake all race, and was catching him hand over fist. Then my internet connection died. It was disappointing, but I had driven as well as I could : faster and faster with every stint, smoother and smoother with every stint, and not a single “incident” point for 2 hours, despite a 30 car field and lots and lots of cars in the faster classes (especially prototype drivers are infamous in iRacing).

Those good old sims are the ones closest to my heart : rFactor, GTL, GTR2 and of course Grand Prix Legends. Touring Car Legends is probably the mod I’ve been on the most.

As a history buff, it’s more historical seasons I would love to see more of. A 1951 Formule Libre mod perhaps ? With the pre-war Mercedes GP car against the more modern Ferrari F1s. Or just the Swedish Touring Car Championship supertouring years with HSO’s terrific physics for rFactor.



Are you an avid motor racing fan or just the casual follower ?

 

Since my father was a big Ronnie Peterson fan in the 1970s, motor racing came naturally for me. I think the earliest race I have some kind of memory of must be a race from 1991 or 1992 when Michael Schumacher was new in F1. The first race I attended was a historical meeting at Mantorp Park when I was 4, and the first pro race I went to was the 1996 BPR GT race at Anderstorp; I was 6.

My favorite drivers when I was younger all came from American racing. I quickly found Indycar racing more enticing and exciting than F1. Especially Greg Moore caught my attention, and Kenny Brack was a big hero too. So Indycar racing, when it was at its biggest is dear to my heart. So the last three seasons at HSO have been fantastic for me !

 

Tell us more about your HSO experience.

 

I can’t remember how I joined HSO, but in the first year I did some Formula Atlantic and DTM. I saw that I was ok competitive still, so I continued.

My best race was definitely Phoenix late last year, the 1973 USAC finale. I knew that my Foyt-Coyote was not among the fastest cars on such a short oval, but I used up all its strengths, stayed with the leaders, made no mistakes, stayed out of other people’s troubles, and outsmarted everyone to lead the final 24 laps to win. I was very happy with that.

I have been a bit outspoken about the penalty system on HSO before, I don’t like warnings and so on, I think every incident should be dealt with individually. Otherwise, I’m very happy about the racing here !

As I said before, STCC supertouring would be epic, or another era of Indycars ? Perhaps some Can-Am would be cool ? Or a BPR GT series ?!

Phoenix 2016

 

Tell us more about your 2017 season.

 

This year I aim to continue my hot streak in the Indycars (but the return to Phoenix was very disappointing, with an early engine failure after a spin). I can’t say I’m very confident with my “stock” #11 Machinists Union March-Cosworth (as driven by Kevin Cogan, Scott Pruett and Rich Vogler in 1988), I had hoped for a Judd engine, but I think I can squeeze out more out of it than anyone else. The goal is to win every race (not going to happen, but that’s what I’m always racing for), or at least to become the best March or Cosworth driver in the standings.

I also long for some success in the 1996 BTCC (where I drive James Thompson’s Vauxhall) and in the WEC races. Highlight of the year so far, somewhat ironically, was trying to nurse home the Aston-Martin Nimrod in the Silverstone 1000 Km with Matthias Weber. An odd challenge with an odd car. We didn’t make it.

Weber is also one of my favourite competitors. We’re usually very close on pace. Petr Hlavac is another who often is chasing me ! Dana Schurer drove amazingly in the 1973 USAC races, the most difficult driver to pass on the ovals !

1996 Thompson

 


Finally, let’s round up this interview with our Prost Questionnaire.


Your chief characteristic as a simracer : that no one else has any idea where I’m able to pass them.
Your biggest flaw as a simracer : too passive in certain tight situations.
Your favourite qualities in a simracer : calculated aggressiveness.
Your ultimate simracing dream : to win a HSO championship !
Your ultimate simracing nightmare : disqualification (haha).
If you could be a real driver who would you be : the winner of the Dakar rally.
The circuit on which you could live : Mount Panorama, Bathurst.
Your favourite colour for a car : red.
Your favourite racing car ever : the Chaparral 2J.
Your favourite motoring author or journalist : Denis Jenkinson or Nigel Roebuck.
Your favourite fictional racing movie or book : the movie Grand Prix (1966).
What do you hate above all in racing : the current “glamour” in F1. Why is Nicole Kidman in Ferrari’s garage now again ?
What do you hate above all in simracing : how people are constantly feeling entitled to more content.
The greatest racing feat you remember : Kimi Raikkonen’s win in the 2005 Japanese GP !
Your current state of mind : It’s on.
Your racing motto : « If you’re not winning, you’re not trying ».

 

A big thank you to Jacob for accepting to play the interview game with us !