Saab Historic Rally Team racing in RAC Rally this weekend

No, it’s not that RAC Rally. It’s the Roger Albert Clark Rally, which is one of the bigger events on the historic rallying calendar in England.

And no, it’s not the Saab Historic Rally Team that I’m used to covering on these pages. That’s the Saabs United Historic Rally Team, which is headed up by some Swedes and which ran in the Rally to the Midnight Sun in Sweden earlier this year. This team is headed up by some Brits and they’re running several cars in the Roger Albert Clark Rally, starting this weekend in Pickering.

As you’ll see below, it’d be well worth getting to the start, too, as Erik Carlsson and one of his co-drivers, Stuart Turner, will be present to wave them off.

Spectator information for the Roger Albert Clark rally is here.

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The organisers of the Roger Albert Clark Rally are pleased to welcome the Saab Historic Rally Team to this year’s event. The brainchild of Roger Albert veteran Jim Valentine, the Saab Historic Team was put together at a time when the future of car maker Saab was uncertain and Jim was concerned that the 50th anniversary of Saab’s historic win on the RAC in 1960 might pass unnoticed. Thanks to Jim and his team we are delighted to be able to announce that the crew of that car, Erik Carlsson and Stuart Turner will flag the competing cars away from the Pickering start on Friday 26th November.

1960 was not just a special year for Saab but a year which heralded a seismic shift in rallying in the UK. Under Jack Kemsley’s stewardship, the RAC introduced the concept of a ‘special stage’ on forestry land for the first time. So Erik and Stuart do not just represent the history of Saab in rallying but the birth of stage rallying itself and these men both went on to dominate the sport, Erik as a driver and Stuart as a team manager for BMC and Ford

As well as the strongly supported team of competing Saabs, Jim Valentine has organised for a rather special service ‘barge’ to backup the team. Jim has arranged for a Scania 3 Series Streamline pulling a drawbar trailer to follow the rally. Their truck may also qualify for historic status being from a model range dating back to the seventies when Saab and Scania were still in the same industrial group.

Jim hopes that Saab fans will come to watch the start and follow the progress of the Saab team throughout the rally. “The Roger Albert Clark Rally is the best rally in the UK for historics and it has a superb atmosphere. I think this year’s event is going to be fantastic and look forward to meeting you there” he says.

On view at Pickering as a backdrop to events will be the rarely seen Saab Museum copy of the 1960 RAC winner, which will be displayed at event start alongside the modern Saab Carlsson 9-3 limited edition. Just 96 of these special edition cars will be available from just 50 Saab dealers across the UK.

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A little history on the Roger Albert Clark Rally for those who – like me – don’t know much about it….. This comes from a mate in England, Alistair P:

This rally is in honour of the late Roger Clark, a famous English rally driver from the late 60s & 70s. In fact one of the earliest Saabing memories I have is of my folks and I going to see Roger, Erik and Stig being interviewed on stage at some hotel in the North West of England prior to the “proper” RAC rally, in the late 70s. The guys who run the modern rally do so to pay homage to the old Lombard RAC Rally which was a much tougher even than the modern WRC “Rally GB”, and clearly take advantage of Roger’s initials!

Thanks to Alistair for the background, and the tip!

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