ARVIKA – Western Värmland
Kenny Bräck moves home and talks about his paradise
Kenny Bräck
Racing star Kenny Bräck has partialy returned home to Värmland and Glava. He bought a summerhome in his beloved hometown during the early summer and here he gives his best tips to those who wish to visit. It was on the ice of this lake, Stora Glava that Kenny Bräck began his racing career. “I sat in my dads lap and drove on the ice as a six year old” he explains.
Kenny Bräck from little Glava in Värmland is Sweden’s greatest racing star, alongside Ronnie Petersson.
He moved away from Värmland in 1996 but Glava is and always will be home to him. Now he returns, partially at least.
–In may I bought a summer place back home in Glava, only 150 meters from mom and dad. An incredibly pleasant contrast to the rush of London, he says.
55 year old Kenny lives in London since many years. He moved there after his racing career. Here he has a job that would make every car enthusiast green with envy. Kenny is chief test driver and product developer at the exclusive sports car manufacturer McLaren. The most extreme speed demons costs roughly 25 milions!
–I test drive and tune. My role is very similar to developing racing cars.
But back to Värmland and Glava”.

What is it that makes you love your childhood hometown so much?
–There is a kind of primordial power up here that I’ve gathered energy from during all these years. In this calm you can really recharge! Glava glassworks was once Europes largest manifacturer of window glass. Now there’s not much left but we have a folk museum that keeps the intriguing history alive.

What tips do you have?

–Glava is located in the middle of a nature reserve, with plenty of nice trails and shelters. Hikers from all over Europe travel here. It’s like steping into another era.
The glassworks was founded in 1859, was shut down in 1939 and most of the buildings where demolished. The chamber containing the crucible was left standing and became a museum, glass foundry and art gallery. The old packing chamber was turned into an exhibition hall whilst the office became a hostel. The smithy and manor house were refurbished into private homes.
Kenny’s recently bought vacation home is located next to the lake Stora Gla. It was here, on the ice that his racing career began.
–I started driving on my dads lap on the ice of Stora Gla as six. Later a cousin and I bought an old Saab 92 when we were ten. That career ended when dad found us with a 10 liter can of gasoline. We had siphoned the fuel from his car! After that there was no more driving with the Saab, haha!”

It was in Glava he developed his impressive ability to quickly get to know all new models of racing cars he steped into.
–All the driving as a little boy back home in Glava enstilled a feeling in me that I could later use as a racing driver. I had driven on snow, ice, gravel, asphalt and in the woods Very useful.
Kenny has driven quickly outside of Glava as well, and outside the race tracks.
He now confirms this fun story to be true; A dark winter evening in Karlstad he drove up to a pump at a gas station, skidding dangerously.
A police car was parked close by and a policeman reacted with anger. He stepped out of the police car, banged on Kennys car roof and urged him to roll down the window. The policeman shouted:

–Who the hell do you think you are? Kenny Bräck?!
Kenny pulled the hat back on his head and fired off his patented roguelike smile:
–Yes, I actually think you’re right!

Kennys greatest victory came during legendary Indy 500 in 1999. The race track in Indianapolis has the most seats in the world of sports, 257 000, and with standing space for a further 50 000 it’s the worlds sole largest sports event. The victory made him a super celebrity in the US and resulted in a much praised apperance on David Lettermans TV-show.
The year before, Kenny won a total victory in the US equivalent of F1. Indy Racing Leauge.
The racing career ended in 2005, when Kenny made a comeback after two years of tough rehab following the violent crash during Texas Motor Speedway that nearly cost him his life.
Kenny returned against all odds in 2005 and managed to set the fastest qualifying time in Indy 500. After that he was forced to quit the race due to a broken suspension.

100-year-olds celebrated in Arvika!
Arvika konsthantverk
The sign that still hangs over the store’s door was designed by
Gösta Schultzberg and was manufactured by the forger
Lars Holmström.
Sweden’s oldest Arts and Crafts Cooperative,
Arvika Arts and Crafts, turns 100 years old this year and everyone who wants to celebrate is invited.

Arvika Arts and Crafts today consists of almost thirty proud designer craftsmen. High quality is and always has been a hallmark of the store and the designer craftsmen are all knowledgeable in various areas of design and handicraft, where the common denominator is to work with high quality materials and with great care for the common environment.

The 100th anniversary will be celebrated in several different ways. Already on April 23, it was celebrated with a cake party in the store. The craft society´s anniversary tablecloth was introduced on the very same day. It was designed by Christina Ekelund
and woven by Klässbol´s Weaving Mill.

Between May 14 and September 11 a large exhibition is going to be held at the Rackstad Museum where they are going to put the craft society´s vintage and modern handicraft on display. This autumn, an exciting exhibition is going to be held at Värmland´s Museum
as workshop processes and the individual designer craftsman are put in the limelight. The exhibition is going to open on October 8 and runs over the turn of the year. The members of the craft society are also going to offer lectures and workshops throughout the year to celebrate a little extra.

Sågudden´s Museum
in Arvika is also celebrating 100 years this year with various exciting activities.