Motorsport and nuts – do they really go together? Alx Danielsson is the race car driver who always keeps a big bag of nuts in his kitchen. He explains the connection between nuts and car racing.
Alx, whose real name is Alexander Danielsson, is originally from Frösön, near Östersund, Sweden. True to his roots in northern Sweden, he strapped on his first pair of skis when he was just two years old, and kept riding downhill throughout his adolescence. He started racing and did well. In his quest to become number one, he enrolled in a ski-oriented high school in Skellefteå. There was only one problem with downhill skiing…If you go all-in, there is no way to protect yourself from injury 100 percent of the time. And if you were born determined to win, chances are you’re going to go all-in. For the better part of middle school, Alx was in a cast. But since he was a regular at the local orthopedic clinic, his requests for customized casts were heeded. By enclosing a ski pole in his cast, he was able to keep up with his training schedule.
Most people who are good at downhill skiing are also good at racing cars on a track. Both sports basically require the same skills: being able to handle high speeds and sharp turns. After trying go-kart during pre-season training one year, Alx never looked back. He sold his motocross motorcycle and bought his own go-kart. Alx’s constant injuries didn’t stop him from racing and while still in high school he won Formel Ford, the racing class above go-kart, which features cars similar to those that are used in Formula 1.
After graduating from high school, his successes on the downhill front were few and far between. So when he was faced with the choice of hanging out in the Swedish mountains Funäsfjällen or in Monaco, racing and Monaco won. Alx moved to England and shortly thereafter he started racing internationally across Europe. He won the World Series and became a test driver for Formula 1. Today he competes in two racing classes: MW-V6 and V8 Thundercars, which are comparable with stock car racing time attack. In these types of classes, you are alone on the race track and compete against the clock. He is also a local driver for Monster Jam, the big monster trucks that tour around the world with their shows.
People who are not into motorsport may not think of race car drivers as athletes. Alx begs to differ. He sits in a baking hot car and before he’s even crossed the start line his pulse is up to 120 beats per minute. During the race it increases to 140-150 beats per minute, and when he passes the finish line, his heart beats around 174 beats per minute. It’s hot and sweaty. Sometimes the race is like a sprint and other times it’s more like an ultramarathon.
Aside from his specialized training, i.e. racing and indoor go-kart, Alx runs and rides his bike a lot. Staying in shape is a necessity if you want to compete in car racing. The reality on the track is sometimes compared with riding a stationary bike in a sauna, while at the same time solving math problems.
During training and races Alx drinks water, and to boost his energy he eats This Is Nuts. He keeps his nuts in a big bag at home. It’s a mix of roasted and salted nuts, The Ultimate Mix, and they are a part of his regular diet. “When I’m abroad and my nuts run out I always buy new ones…but they don’t taste as well,” Alx says and laughs.
Five quick questions
Salted roasted mix with macadamias, cashews, hazel nuts and pistachios. (The Ultimate Mix)
At what time of the day do nuts taste the best?
After lunch, at bedtime, in between meals, as a snack.
Favorite training equipment?
Bike. My road bike, that is. Sometimes I run.
Which nut were you on the nut test?
Favorite recipe with nuts?
Flying Jacob with cashews.