Rydquist won the Zandvoort 500 during the 2005 Dutch Winter Championship making him the first of only three Swedish drivers to ever win this race, following three successful seasons in the Swedish Endurance Racing Cup which earned him two GT-class titles (2001, 2004). This was the starting point of his international career in Europe and the USA.
Rydquist began his racing career with sports car club racing in 1996-2000 with his father's Lotus Super Seven Replica. Rydquist gained racing experience and won the Göteborg Sports Car Club racing championship in 2000.
In 2001, Rydquist earned his break into professionally organized racing by qualifying as the fastest driver during a weeklong gocart race (Eurosport Super Racing Weekend Challenge). The qualifying held at the 2001 Göteborg Auto Show saw more than 1100 drivers battling for a spot in the pro finals to compete against professional racing and karting champions. Rydquist's #1 laptime automatically secured a spot in the Top 32 driver roster. Through the bracket of 6-driver heats, Rydquist continued to beat all present professional racedrivers and karting aces, until the final 6-driver heat where Rydquist took 3rd place, with professional racing star Peter Dumbreck and karting racer Fredrik Danielsson in first and second places.
Shortly following the race, Rydquist was invited to test for the professionally operated Swedish GT racing team Apex Racing, a branch of Elgh Motorsport, co-owned and operated by professional racedrivers and Le Mans veterans. The test went successful and Rydquist brought the Apex Racing Porsche 964 RS to a GT-class victory in the 2001 Swedish Endurance Cup season through four 8H and 12H races, claiming 1 pole position and 1 victory in his maiden national GT racing season. Rydquist also took 2nd place in the 2001 Endurance Racing Cup (Touring cars) season finale in a BMW 320i.
2002 and 2003 saw now Champion-sponsored Rydquist visit the one-spec series Swedish Junior Touring Car Challenge with MH Motorsport in a front-wheel driven Volvo S40 JTCC car as well as adding ground-effects experience to his merits when racing in the Scandinavian Sports Racing Car Challenge. Rydquist's laptimes in the JTCC Volvo topped those of his two teammates in his first practice and in his second race weekend he won a podium position after taking 4th in two earlier heats. Rydquist also collected more points during his second weekend in JTCC than both his teammates. Racing a Radical the Scandinavian Sports Racing Car Challenge, Rydquist set faster laptimes than both of his teammates and took a podium finish in his first race weekend in this car type (in his 2nd event Rydquist made an advancement to 8th from 16th starting position stemming from mechanical failure in qualifying). In 2003 Rydquist also qualified an ex-BTCC BMW M3 in 3rd place in a Swedish Endurance Racing Series event.
In 2004, Rydquist was back full-time in the Swedish Endurance Racing Cup with MV Racing's Porsche 993 RSR. Rydquist broke four official class lap records, took two pole positions and won three out of six 3-hour races on the way to winning an overall Swedish 3H Endurance Racing Cup title.
In 2005 the Swedish Endurance Racing series was officially dubbed a National Swedish Endurance Racing Championship. Still sponsored by Champion, Rydquist set off with the win in the premiere 3-hour race of the season, piloting MV Racing's Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
During the remainder of the 2005 season Rydquist won twice and set the fastest qualifying laptime of all participating Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars twice, in the end earning the first runner-up position in the championship standings. Rydquist got invited by Loehr Racing at the end of 2005 to race in the inaugural Zandvoort 500 in the team's Porsche 911 GT3 RS. Supported by professionally operated Levin Racing, Rydquist did double stints and took the checkered flag as #1, making Loehr Racing the first Swedish team to ever win this race.
In 2006 Rydquist went to race in one of the world's most challenging races: The 24 Hours of Nurburgring Nordschleife. Rydquist and the Levin Racing team had a firm grip on their class podium until the gearbox mount of their Porsche 996 (3.5 litres) gave way in the middle of the night and was followed by an on-track incident. After repairs, the team salvaged a 9th in class finish. Rydquist also set the fastest lap of the race in the Swedish Endurance Racing series season premiere with MV Racing's Porsche 911 GT2 R.
Rydquist followed up with three more 24H races on the Nurburgring Nordschleife between 2007-2009 with Levin Racing's Porsche 911 GT3 RS, ultimately landing a valuable sponsorship contract with Hankook Tire.
In 2010 Rydquist won the Redline Time Attack Championship, a series focused on qualifying setup and driving ability, by 4 victories and 3 podium finishes racing the turbocharged Nissan 350Z of City Tire Online, in the process setting a new track lap record for his class at Willow Springs International Raceway. Rydquist's year of 2010 was rounded off by taking 7th in class in #74 Team MER/Hankook/AE Performance Mazda MX5 Playboy Cup car as professional co-driver to actor Paul "Fast & Furious" Walker in the 25 Hours of Thunderhill.
In 2011, Rydquist won a 2nd-place finish in a one-off visit to the MotoIQ Pacific Tuner Car Championship, again racing the City Tire Online Nissan 350Z. Rydquist led the majority of the race until an electrical glitch during the closing stages of the race nearly forced a retirement, however when the engine finally restarted, Rydquist set the fastest lap of the race and secured 2nd place.
Rydquist celebrated his 5th start in the legendary 24 Hours of Nurburgring Nordschleife race in 2011, racing for German Steam Racing. The team's race ended early when a co-driver had a collision that rendered the team's Porsche 997 GT3 Cup undriveable. The team swung back in September at the 2011 24 Hours of Barcelona, in which Rydquist finished 2nd in the Porsche class and 8th overall.
Upon his return from Barcelona, Rydquist was drafted by Santa Ana-based Berk Technology to set up and race their BMW 135i in the 2011 Eurotuner GP and the 2011 Super Lap Battle finals. Rydquist won the Eurotuner GP roadcourse shootout and he also won the most competitive class of the Super Lap Battle, in the process setting a new class track record.
In 2012 Rydquist and Berk Technology followed up on their success with a first-time-in-history double win and two new class records in Global Time Attack Limited and Street classes on the same day with the same competition vehicle by simply swapping tires on the Berk Technology BMW 135i.
In 2015, following two years of professional drifting in the USA (below), Rydquist returned to sports car racing with German Mercedes-Benz dealer team Motorsport Sing, piloting their SLK 350R in the VLN series at the Nurburgring. A new collaboration with Utah-based CA Sport (Competition Associates) saw his place 5th in class in the 2015 25 Hours of Thunderhill in the team's Nissan 370Z Nismo.
The 25-hour endurance race sparked new opportunities with the CA Sport racing team and Rydquist went on to race the team's #34 Nissan 370Z Nismo Touring Car in the season opener of the 2016 Pirelli World Challenge at Circuit of the Americas. Rydquist captured 3rd in the first race and claimed the fastest lap awarding him the pole position for race two. Although the second race seemed to offer the possibility of another podium finish for Rydquist the #34 car had to be retired at the halfway mark due to an unexpected oil leak.
In addition to the Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car sprint race at Circuit of the Americas, Rydquist was awarded a full-time ride with California-based Prototype Development Group to race their Factory Five Racing GTM in the 2016 National Auto Sport Association Endurance Racing Championship which the team had won three years in a row. Rydquist qualified on pole position and won the first round, a 3 hour long race in mixed weather conditions at Willow Springs International Raceway and followed up with a flag to flag win from pole position also in the second round at Buttonwillow Raceway. Notably Rydquist drives the 3 hour endurance races solo without a co-driver. Rydquist's championship effort was hampered when the rear axle wheel lugs failed in two consecutive races he was leading big at Willow Spring International Raceway, which dropped Rydquist to 4th and 2nd place finishes respectively. Rydquist finished second in the 2016 overall points standings.
Rydquist capped off 2016 with another drive in the 25 Hours of Thunderhill, with the same team and car he had races in the NASA endurance season. Racing with former top 3 finishers Mike Holland, Beau Borders and Troy Lindstrom, Rydquist and the team's main competitors were Flying Lizards Porsche 997 GT3 RSR and Audi R8 GT3 LMS, as well as a Lamborghini Super Trofeo campaigned by CLP Motorsports. Halfway into the race Rydquist and his teammates were running 3rd in the ES (GT) class, however their chances to take a podium finish were eliminated when the front-splitter failed. Later in the race a rear balljoint failure dropped the team out of contention of even a top 10 finish.
Rydquist's 2017 NASA Western Endurance Racing Championship season started off with a gearbox failure that dropped Rydquist from a one lap lead to an early end of his race, which put an immediate dent in his second NASA endurance title attempt. He followed up with back to back wins in the second and third rounds that both took place at Buttonwillow Raceway.
In 2017 Rydquist also entered the United States Touring Car Championship, extending the successful collaboration with the Prototype Development Group. Rydquist races the team's Factory Five GTM in the Grand Touring category. He took the GT class and overall win at the season opener, a rain race at Laguna Seca. He then went on to claim second place at Auto Club Speedway before winning again in the 3rd round at Sonoma Raceway.
Rydquist became interested in drifting upon moving to California. He practiced with his personal Nissan 350Z before entering the Just Drift series in 2008 with the same car, finishing the season in 8th place. Rydquist earned a sponsorship from City Tire Online and a seat in Formula D, a drifting league recognized as the pinnacle of professional drifting. In 2009 Rydquist entered three FD competition events where he immediately qualified into Top 32 at Long Beach and received one vote for One-More-Time in the Top 32 tandem battle against reigning FD champion Tanner Foust. In Rydquist's second FD event at Road Atlanta, the FD judges requested two tandem battles between Rydquist and drifting veteran Darren MacNamara before deciding which driver to move on to Top 16. By Round 3 in Las Vegas Rydquist the team had improved the car and Rydquist qualified in 7th place with the 2nd highest entry speed of the entire FD field, scoring higher points than no less than four former and current Formula Drift champions Chris Forsberg, Michael Essa, Vaughn Gittin Jr and Tanner Foust.
Rydquist's next opportunity in professional drifting was realized several years later. In 2013 Rydquist entered Formula Drift under his own team name Rydquist Racing with a Nissan 350Z formerly driven by Robbie Nishida. The Nissan 350Z was competitive in 2009 but by 2013 the absence of noticeable performance regulations had seen a tremendous development of the competition vehicles in professional drifting. Supported by Berk Technology Rydquist Racing spent a season on development of the Nissan and by 2014 the car was equipped with a turbocharged Chevy LS2 V8 and now campaigned by professional motorsport shop Road Race Engineering. With the car eventually becoming competitive Rydquist claimed his first professional drifting podium at Round 3 Homestead-Miami Speedway and by doing so he upholds his track record of capturing a podium finish in every class or series of auto racing he has entered, the only exception being the 24 Hours of Nuerburgring.
Rydquist announced on his blog following the 2014 season finale that he would end his Formula Drift campaign to start a new chapter in road racing related projects and to utilize his SAG card to do more stunt driving.
Rydquist is a member of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA) as precision and stunt driver, and has been hired to drive in commercial shoots for multiple car manufacturers as well as magazines in Europe and the US. Rydquists phenomenal car control skills and experience in door-to-door racing makes him a sought after talent for film productions involving sensitive high performance and precision car to car shoots (Ultimate Arm, Russian Arm, Pursuit Systems), as well as helicopter and airplane based shoots where safety and timing at speed is crucial.
Rydquist has engaged in and attended several charities such as Grants Wishes, STOP CANCER and Reach Out World Wide.
Rydquist has been crew on a Swedish club-level sail racing team.
Carl Rydquist grew up in the suburbs of Gothenburg on the Swedish West Coast. Early in his life he played soccer and the electric guitar in various bands, before he decided to pursue an auto racing career.
Rydquist earned a master's degree of Mechanical Engineering from Chalmers University of Technology.
Carl currently resides in Los Angeles, California and enjoys gocarting and sports such as floorball, running, beach-volleyball, golf and downhill skiing in his free time.