- BORN: April 21, 1982
- NATIONALITY: Swedish
- HOMETOWN: Are, Sweden
Although Patrik Sandell was well known early in his career as a top contender in rally, he made an official switch to rallycross in 2013 where he instantly became one of the sport’s most promising stars.
Patrik Sandell joined Subaru Rally Team USA in early 2017 and has transitioned to drive in both rally and rallycross events for the manufacturer.
Born in Sweden, Patrik wasn’t exposed to motorsports until he was 15 years-old which is rare in his part of the world where many children start racing before they hit 10-years old. Before he was born, his father was rallying in the 1970’s. Like any fathers who are into racing his father too wanted his son to start racing but for Patrik ice hockey was his love when he was growing up; however, it didn’t take too long for the rally bug to bite the young Swede. He was hooked by his 16th birthday and his first employer, a local burger restaurant, was his first sponsor and helped purchase his first rally car. Patrik is a man of determination; he worked hard finding sponsors during the days while driving a taxi cab at night!
His strong focus and natural talents led him to earn the Swedish Rally Championship title in 2005. He then moved into the international stage and competed with the world’s best up and coming rally drivers. The breakthrough of his career occurred with his winning of the FIA Junior World Rally Championship in 2006 and his name became well known in the rally world. He then entered different WRC classes and made his debut in a top specification World Rally Car in 2011 in his home country. He is a firm believer in discipline and training. He knows that no success is handed to him. He is known as one of the hardest workers in rallycross.
Patrik’s idol was legendary Subaru WRC driver Colin McRae who was famous for his never give up attitude, and so joining the Subaru team was a childhood dream for Sandell. To him Subaru always meant motorsports, and the opportunity to drive as a factory driver for Subaru Rally Team USA is a dream come true for him.
Patrik lives in Åre, Sweden with his fiancé and his son, Anton. When he isn’t racing, he runs a performance driving school in Sweden (Flat Out Sweden) which is a famous destination for ice driving experience seekers around the world. When he is in the states, you’ll find him hiking or mountain biking in the local mountains before each race.