Kenneth Eriksson

Kenneth Eriksson

Sweden (S)

Date of Birth:
13/5/1956 at Appelbo

Marital status:

Hunting, fishing, dogs

World Drivers' Champion:
1986 (Group A)

Entries of WRC Events














1977: Started rallying with Saab 96

1980: Finished 51st on Swedish Rally with Saab on his WRC debut 

1981: Drives Saab

1982: Drives Saab

1983: Switch to Opel

1984: 7th in Sweden with Opel

1985: 10th in Sweden with Opel

1986: Move to VW, 10th WRC for Drivers, Group A World Champion

1987: 1st WRC win in Ivory Coast with VW, 4th WRC for Drivers

1988: Move to Toyota, 4th in Kenya

1989: 2nd in Australia with Toyota, 6th WRC for Drivers

1990: Move to Mitsubishi, 2nd in RAC

1991: Win in Sweden with Mitsubishi, 2nd Australia and RAC, 5th WRC for Drivers

1992: Drives Mitsubishi

1993: 2nd in RAC with Mitsubishi, 6th WRC for Drivers

1994: 4th in New Zealand with Mitsubishi

1995: Wins in Sweden and Australia with Mitsubishi, 3rd WRC for Drivers, Asia- Pacific Champion

1996: Joined Subaru, 2nd in Kenya and Australia, 6th WRC for Driver, Asia- Pacific Champion

1997: Wins in Sweden and New Zealand with Subaru, 5th WRC for Driver, Asia- Pacific Champion

1998: 4th in Sweden with Subaru, Move to Hyundai

1999: Drives with Hyundai, 1st in Greece, New Zealand and Australia (F2)

2000: Drives with Hyundai, 4th in Australia

2001: Drives with Hyundai

2002: Move to Skoda

Kenneth Eriksson is a forgotten world rally champion; for the 1986 season only (the last year when the Group B Supercars were competing) there was a special category for Group A cars, and he won this in his VW.

He had grown up in the world of front-wheel drive. He made his initial forays into the sport with a Saab 96, funded by his job as a dustman. Eriksson only competed on his home event, before stepping into an Opel Kadett. During the early 1980s he continued his innovative driving approach, making a secondary name for himself with several world records for driving the Opel on two wheels. He drove round Karlstad´s horse track for over 20 kilometres; a feat entered in the Guinness Book of Records. He already held the made a speed record at Anderstorp race track at 122 kph also on two wheels... Only his contract with Opel stopped him from being whisked off on a six month´s tour of Scandinavia with the international Hell Driver´s stunt team. 

After his World Rally debut outside Sweden, on the 1984 RAC, Volkswagen snapped him up in 1986 and he ended the year as Group A World Champion - at the time, the sports 'second division'.

In 1987 Group A took over, and Eriksson stayed with VW. Despite a rallying career that had been going since 1977, it took 10 years before he got to drink the champagne on the Ivory Coast 'drivers-only' event. The win helped him to fourth in the Championship.

Toyota gave him his first break in a works four-wheel-drive car for 1988 and 1989, but, while turning in solid performances in the top six, he never really looked ready to go all the way. In 1990 he moved to Mitsubishi, continuing his results in much the same way until a home victory in Sweden in 1991.

His career seemed to slump again, but in 1995 he was revitalised by the new Lancer models. Team orders helped him to a second win in Sweden, but he fought tooth-and-nail to defeat Colin McRae in Australia. That win set him up for the Asia-Pacific title, but he was allegedly unhappy with his lot at Mitsubishi and joined Subaru for 1996, ending the season as Asia-Pacific Champion for the second consecutive year.

10 outings with Subaru for 1997 netted a pair of wins and a pair of thirds, but six retirements meant Piero Liatti got the nod for 1998. With only a limited programme for this season, Eriksson has to impress all over again. After the last event with the Subaru in Sweden '98, he made the big move to Hyundai, spearheading the Korean manufacturer´s assault on the 2-litre category of the World Championship.

For 2000, he had his best ever shot at the driver's championship, piloting the Hyundai Accent WRC in a full campaign. With the brand new car is was not so easy, but in Australia he placed fourth gaining Hyundai´s best ever result so far. In 2001 Eriksson drove with Hyundai nine loose-surface events and the best result was the sixth place in Great Britain.

in 2002 he drove the whole WRC series with the Skoda taking sixth place in Argentina. 

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