ABBA's Drummer Slim Borgudd Dead at 76
Tommy Karl-Edvard "Slim" Borgudd, the former F1 racer and truck racing champion who also served as a drummer for ABBA, has died. Borgudd recently passed away following a lengthy illness, The Daily Star reported. He was 76. A cause of death was not disclosed.
Born on the southern Swedish island of Borgholm in 1946, Borgudd's love of racing began at an early age, with the racer previously recounting, per MotorSport, how one of his earliest memories was watching Stirling Moss race at Karlskoga. Borgudd, however, did not enter the racing world until 1968 after jazz musician Chris Barber sold him an old Lotus 22 Formula Junior car for £900. Borgudd went on to the Jim Russell Racing Drivers School to learn how to drive it, and the vehicle was eventually shipped back to Sweden and converted into a Formula Ford car.
The career of Tommy ‘Slim’ Borgudd, who died last week from Alzheimer’s Disease, just lacked long-term backing to be more successful, yet 125 wins from 379 races underlines his incredible graft.— Autosport (@autosport) March 2, 2023
Marcus Pye pays tribute: https://t.co/YCSVRpfuRK
Throughout his racing career, Borgudd won 16 races at Club Level before his career skyrocketed in 1972 when he raced in the Swedish Touring Car Championship in a Hillman Imp, Borgudd finishing as runner-up in class the series in 1975 and the following year second overall in a Volvo. He went on to switch back to single-seaters initially in Formula Ford with Royale and raced in the European FF Championship, and in 1978, he finished 11th in the European Formula 3 Championship. In 1979, he won the Swedish Championship and finished third in the European Championship.
Outside of racing, Borgudd was an avid drummer, and, according to MotorSport, "carved a reputation as one of Sweden's best drummers." He played with groups like Lea Riders Group and Made in Sweden, with the latter's 1968 album Made in Sweden with Love earning them the Swedish Grammy for Best Band in 1969 and 1970.
Borgudd's racing career eventually crossed paths with his drumming career. Close friends with ABBA founding member Björn Ulvaeus, the band sponsored Borgudd, who played with the band as a regular session drummer, to drive for the ATS team with the band's name on his car. His connections to ABBA and Ulvaeus's support helped pave the path for Borgudd's Formula 1 career, with Borgudd making his F1 debut in 1981. He went on to score a World Championship point as he finished sixth at Silverstone in the same year.
Following two years in F1, Borgudd became a European champion in truck racing, joining the "Heavyweight Heroes" in 1986 driving for Ian Buchan's smart West Coast Diesel outfit. In 1987, 1988, and 1990, he won the Mobil Superprix, considered to be Britain's most prestigious truck event. He went on to take part in UK Porsche Club racing in 2003, joined Radical Sportscars as their Overseas Distribution Manager, and raced Radicals in the States winning at the 2006 Sebring Winterfest before retiring.