Per Eklund in Finland

This is the second of my Finland updates for this evening. It’s a bit of an historical record, given that it happened late in 2009, but the story and the pics are so good I had to run it for you now.
Again, this was submitted by Marco H and I offer him my thanks for a good Saab tale.

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Finland will host one race in the European Rally Cross Championship this year and the Kouvola rally cross track will be the venue. We got a nice guest racer in the race last fall. I got an excellent chance to see this team perform live thanks to my good friend Mr. Simo R. Lampinen.
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The people in the pictures are Per Eklund, Simo R. Lampinen and myself. The cars are nice “cousins”: Both rare (at the time only 100 units of 9-3X had been built) and both all wheel drives. The licence plate (sticker) on the 9-3X is for transfer use only within Finland.
The ERC Saab is quite heavily modified with fenders, doors and hoods made of Carbon Fiber. The car produces approx. 600 bhp and is of course an AWD vehicle. That weekend in Kouvola they had to take down the launch control to a minimum in order to prevent excess wheel spin. It is probably unnecessary to say that Mr Eklund won the race against the local Rally Cross heroes. The race itself was a kind of scrutineering for the Kouvola track to see if the organisation could handle and ERC event (the other candidates were Norway and Austria). And as stated earlier – it will…
Link to FIA pages
I believe you know Per Eklund is competing in the ERC series with the Saab 9-3. Simo and Per are friends from a long time back.
But did you know that Simo R. Lampinen competed with the Saab factory team in the 60’s and 70’s? He also competed with the Finnish “factory” team as well. Yes, we were manufacturing Saabs in Finland and we had a team here. I believe the cars were at least as fast and reliable as their Swedish “brothers”. I have seen some really nice pics from Simo’s personal files from his competing days with Saab…
Simo R. Lampinen in Wikipedia
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