Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Björn Wirdheim is a racing driver born on April 4, 1980 in Växjö, Sweden. Wirdheim is son of Örnulf Wirdheim , a Swedish racing driver. He began racing karts competing in his first race at the age of 10. His main title is the title of the International Formula 3000 Champion in 2003.
He began racing karts at age ten until the age of fifteen winning the Southern Swedish Karting Championship. In 1996 he progressed to single-seaters in Swedish Formula Ford 1600 Junior Championship were he took the championship title in 1997 with staggering 17 wins.
For the season of 2002 Björn Wirdheim switched once again, this time to FIA International Formula 3000 championship joining Arden International. He finished fourth overall in addition to being named Rookie of the Year, and helping Arden to win the team title in the championship.
Wirdheim stayed with Arden in the following season of 2003 that would prove successful both for the team and driver. Dominating the championship so much that an obligatory pit stop for tyre change was introduced at the end of the season in an attempt to leveling out the advantage, but Arden managed to do better pit-stops overall than other teams and still came out on top. Björn Wirdheim became the first Swede to win the championship in its 19-year history, breaking Juan Pablo Montoya's previous record of most points won in one season of the series.
Still most people will probably remember that season for the race in Monaco. Driving to an easy win on the streets of Monte Carlo, Wirdheim slowed down to wave at his pit-crew believing he already had taken the checkered flag and thus giving away the win to Nicholas Kiesa meters away from the actual finishline.
At the end of 2003 the young swede had been noticed by several Formula One team bosses giving him opportunity to test with both Jordan and BAR. After turning down an offer to drive Champ Car, Wirdheim signed with Jaguar as third-driver performing the friday-testing for the team at Formula One Grand Prix week-ends during the 2004 season.
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