Snowmobile racer and entrepreneur Tim Marklund, who had started to dip his feet into the world of rally raid, died Saturday after being involved in an accident. According to a report from Piteå-Tidningen, he was killed at a crossing in Hortlax, Piteå. He was 32.
Marklund grew up in extreme sports, riding snowmobiles and dirt bikes in events like watercross and stunt performances. In 2013, he broke his back after a motocross crash ended with him landing flat on his body; despite initial fears of his career ending and losing the ability to walk, he was able to return to action after recovering for eight months.
In 2015, he founded Norrlands Industri och Konsult AB (Nikab), a consultation firm for industrial workers, and Maddecks AB, which builds sled decks for pickup trucks.
When the SxS Nordic Series was established by Mattias Ekström in late 2022, the Swede decided to enter the championship with fellow snowmobile veteran Oskar Andersson as navigator. Despite their inexperience, the duo finished runner-up in the inaugural championship to Pontus Fredricsson and third in the team standings.
Ekström and Marklund eventually teamed up for the World Rally-Raid Championship‘s Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge in late February and early March, where they drove Can-Am Mavericks in the T3 category for South Racing. Andersson had hoped to once again serve as Marklund’s co-driver but was snagged by visa problems and Dakar Rally veteran Alexey Kuzmich filled in.
Marklund’s ADDC was plagued by mechanical troubles which culminated in a flip on the last stage, and he reached the finish fifteenth overall in class. His best leg run was seventh in Stage #4. With his prior experience in such vehicles coming on snow, ADDC was the first time he had raced in desert and prompted him to quip, “now I love and hate dunes.”
“It is so sad to lose a friend with whom you shared the same energy for life and passion for the sport,” Ekström said. “It was amazing to get to know you Tim and we had great time together in SxS races, Abu Dhabi desert and other events. My thoughts are with Tim’s family. Rest in peace, my friend.”
He returned to SxS Nordic for the spring season opener last weekend at Tierp Arena, where he finished second behind rallycross legend Johan Kristoffersson.
Kuzmich wrote on social media, “What is happening to the world? Another loss… Tim Marklund, whom we got to know right before the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge 2023 race, died… Fun, provocatively and adventurously, we raced the most difficult race in the World Championship with the crew. Tim is gone… Gone forever. Fiery boy! Always positive! I was always ready to fit into any situation with the MAD Performance team. Just got into racing… So many plans… My friend! Rest in peace.”