MAJOR HONOUR: European Under-19 Team Champion: 2008.
Sundström caught the eye when he made several late-season appearances in open events at the tail-end of 2008, including riding in the last-ever meeting at Reading’s Smallmead Stadium on 19 October, when he qualified for the final and finished fourth overall.
He was snapped-up by Rye House for his first full term of UK racing in 2009 and produced many excellent performances to post a real-time average in excess of 7 points per match.
It was thought that the Swede’s campaign had ended prematurely on 19 September, when he was brought down by Edinburgh’s Ryan Fisher in heat eleven of the Rockets’ Knock-Out Cup encounter at Hoddesdon. A fractured left scaphoid was the initial diagnosis, but he fortunately escaped with severe bruising and was able to return to action for Rye House in the Young Shield quarter-final at Sheffield on 1 October.
Having enjoyed such a fine debut season in Britain, it came as little surprise in November when Rye House agreed terms to keep Sundström on board in 2010 and, the following month, Ipswich revealed that he would also fill a ‘doubling-up’ role with them, alongside Carl Wilkinson.
The Swede began his second term in sensational fashion, hitting high scores on a regular basis and surging to the top of the entire Premier League averages courtesy of a figure in excess of 10 points per match. He was temporarily halted in mid-April, however, when marooned in his homeland due to the enforced airport closures caused by the volcanic ash cloud from Iceland.
Sundström was involved in an alarming crash in his homeland whilst riding for Piraterna in a home match versus Dackarna on 22 June. This saw a first bend domino effect involving all four riders, which sent the Rye House man into the safety fence and led to him being hospitalised overnight on an observational basis. Fortunately X-rays showed no damage and he was discharged the following day. He did, however, require a short break from racing whilst he recuperated.
In the season’s final analysis, Sundström slipped back to third place in the overall Premier League averages, having been overhauled by Edinburgh’s Ryan Fisher (10.01) and Newcastle’s Kenni Larsen (10.00). Even so, his final figure of 9.84 was an excellent return, the Swede having totalled 404 points from thirty-five official appearances.
Meanwhile, in the top-flight, he was called upon by Ipswich on ten occasions and registered 85 points for a 6.79 average. At home, his best performance was a haul of 14+1 points from half-a-dozen outings in a league match against Peterborough 23 September, whilst on the Witches’ travels his high spot was notching 8+1 points from five starts at Lakeside on 27 August; his tally on that occasion included 4 points from a tactical outing in heat eight.
The ambitious Swede joined Peterborough in the close season for a reputed £23,000 and looked forward to a new challenge in the Elite League. However, the Panthers were involved in a winter-long dispute with the BSPA – part of which allegedly centred around the conversion rate of averages for riders moving up from the Premier League to the top-flight – and, as a result, were late in coming to the line for the campaign.
Sundström suffered a broken right thumb in his homeland on 3 May, but vowed to ride on for Peterborough. Although there was a clear crack in the thumb, the Swede explained that it would be alright to continue racing with the injury strapped up.
The Swede was big points scorer for the Panthers both home and away in his debut season in the top flight, and was a popular returnee for the 2012 season.
He started his second season in the big league in good form winning the Brandonapolis at Coventry in mid-March. The Swede, who impressed at the Midlands venue in his Elite League appearances in 2011, headed home former Peterborough skipper Hans Andersen and home man Scott Nicholls in the Final.
He rode in twenty-six official fixtures for the Panthers during the campaign, whilst increasing his average to 8.55 from the previous year's 7.70 figure.
At the end-of-season Awards Night at the Parkway Club on November 2 he scooped-up a number of prizes, namely; Barry MacIntosh Award, Riders' Rider of the Year, Team Rider of the Year and Peterborough Panthers Speedway Supporters Club Rider of the Year.
Later in the evening he happily put pen to paper on his new 2013 deal in front of the gathered supporters.