Jimmy Eriksson is hoping to be the next Swedish star in the top level of motorsport, having seen Marcus Ericsson become the first Swedish driver in Formula 1 since Stefan Johansson in 1991. Eriksson returns to the GP3 series for a second season having debuted last year for Status Grand Prix, this year switching over to the Koiranen GP outfit.
Of course it almost did not happen for Eriksson. He had previously been announced by the Russian Time team as the first driver for their debut season in the series having taken over the Bamboo Engineering entry, but the sudden death of team boss Igor Mazepa saw his contract nullified, as well as those of German drivers Marvin Kirchhofer and Markus Pommer.
“Of course it was a shock when I got the news that Russian time was shutting down the GP3 team,” said Eriksson to Checkered Flag. “I didn’t knew if I could find another team for this season. It was a big relief to secure a seat at such a good team like Koiranen.”
Koiranen GP made their GP3 series debut in 2013 and won two races with Finnish driver Aaro Vainio (at Barcelona and the Hungaroring), and Eriksson is hoping that he can add to that number in 2014, especially after a fraught and frustrating season last year for the Swede that saw him fail to score a point all year.
“It was not a good year for me but I learnt a lot about the GP3 car and also about myself. It was a really tough year mentally for me but in the end it only made me stronger. I think the biggest difference is going to be how I work with the people around me in my team.
“My goals for this season are to win races and be near the top in the championship.”
Looking at seeing Marcus Ericsson joining up with Caterham in F1, Eriksson is happy for him to be there and for there to be a Swede in F1 after so many years, but it changes nothing about his own motivation.
“It’s nice to finally see a Swede in Formula 1 but it doesn’t change my motivation really. I’m already 100% focused and motivated to achieve my dreams and goals.”
Koiranen GP have only announced Eriksson and Uruguayan Santiago Urrutia for the 2014 season at present. The third driver will be confirmed at a later date. The series begins May 10th-11th at the Circuit de Catalunya in Spain.