Patrik Sandell Finds Perfect Fit With New Team, Bryan Herta Rallysport
Red Bull Global Rallycross supercar driver Patrik Sandell first exploded onto the scene back in 2013 when he earned the third place spot on the podium in the very first round of that season at Foz do Iguacu, Brazil. Since that first race, Sandell has been a familiar face within the ranks of Red Bull GRC supercar drivers.
Having raced the first couple of years in GRC with the Olsbergs MSE team, Patrik has switched gears and is now piloting the #18 Ford Fiesta ST M-Sport for the Bryan Herta Rallysport team. "We sat down at the end of last year," said Patrik. "[Bryan] presented his idea and his plan with going forward in the sport. I realized that we were sharing the same idea, with his background and what he is representing in racing, pure racing in asphalt and tarmac racing and I thought that as a dirt guy, and my dirt background, I should be able to develop more with tarmac guys because that's where I need to develop. It was a perfect fit to go with a proper race team. I bring the dirt side of it and it works well."
It is a new racing season for Sandell and a new racing discipline for Bryan Herta. The partnership seems to be a great fit. "It's been a new challenge for the team," said Sandell. " We talked about how it was tough for the team to adapt to the way you need to work and sometimes things cannot be perfect going out to the track and that they just need to get the car back out. We have been working as a team. If I can stay with this team for five or ten more years, I would love to do that."
Sandell's first podium this season came in the fourth round of Red Bull GRC at MCAS New River. There he battled his way to 2nd place right behind Ken Block. The next podium came in the form of a win at the second round of the Detroit doubleheader, which turned out to be a mixed bag of results. He was well on his way to winning day one of the doubleheader until his car suffered mechanical failure. "I was leading the first race there and then my prop [drive] shaft broke and I ended up last. I just needed two more laps on the first day and I would have won," said Sandell. "But, I came back really strong the next day and I won that final."
After Detroit, the team moved on to Washington D.C. where Sandell earned another 2nd place finish. In mid-September, the team met up again at the Port of Los Angeles in Long Beach for rounds 8 and 9. The first day of the doubleheader didn't start out as well as team had hoped but progressively improved. Sandell won his semifinal and earned third step on the podium. "We were not happy. We were actually qualifying the worse ever," said Sandell. "Going into the day, we really didn't know what to expect. I felt we had a pretty good car but I was afraid all the time that I was destroying my outside rear tire. It is a good course but it is not my favorite. [The track] was very technical but they should have added some more right hand turns. I was trying to drive clean, nice lines and no drift at all. It paid out well and I won my semifinal race. I also had a good start in the final and was able to sneak inside in the first corner and just tried to not do anything crazy. I ended up in third place which was some really good points."
So which track has been Patrik's favorite? "This season I really liked Daytona," said Sandell. "I also really liked Detroit, Washington D.C. and I know that I will really like Barbados."
The Red Bull Global Rallycross season is winding down with only three events left to go. The final event taking place during the first week of November in Las Vegas. However, don't expect Sandell to slow down during the off-season. "I will go back to Sweden maybe in mid-November and I will start off my Flat Out Sweden business," said Sandell. "We have all the World Rally Championship teams coming to my place to do testing before Rally Sweden. I will have a lot of clients coming out doing personal rally schools with me in the lights cars. Driving wise, I think it will be a very busy winter."
During the off-season Patrik will also be spending as much time as possible with his young son, who resides in Sweden, hitting the ski slopes and enjoying being a dad.
You can follow Patrik on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. To learn more about his company, "Flat Out Sweden", visit Flat Out Sweden.com .
Header Photo Credit - Red Bull Global Rallycross
Photos 1,2 & 3 by Rallycross360