October in Ohio: Center of the Saab Universe

Besides the fanastic work that Saab of North Olmstead is doing with their Snap Up a Saab Campaign, Just Saab recently participated in a local SCCA Autocross in Cincinatti, Ohio. A report from Joey Conley, their sales manager, documented the results.

Many Saabs were on the course from a 2001 9-3 Viggen to a 2011 9-4X Aero. For most it was a first autocross experience. The SCCA created a category for Just Saab. Of course the fastest Saab of the day was a Hirsch equipped 2010 9-5 Aero XWD.

After talking to participants in the autocross, we plan on attending next years event with a larger contingent of Saabs.

That parking lot has never seen so much fun, I’m sure. It’s amazing to me that the capital of Saab promotion and spirit. seems to have moved to the Buckeye State, but I’m beyond impressed. Keep up the great work. Click past the break for all the photos, and a more detailed account from Joey.

An autocross is a course with a series of light turns, straight aways, and hard corners. The driver races the clock. You do not race side by side with other cars. A vehicle starts the course and when they are approximately half way through, the next car begins the course. (The course reminded me a little of the Turbo X  training class driving course). Each competitor has four opportunities to run the course. The best times over those four runs determines the winner.

There were twelve Saabs at the event and eight of them competed on the course. There was a 9-4X Aero, 9-3 XWD sedan, 9-3 Viggen, 9-2 X Aero, 9-5 Aero sedan, 9-3 sport sedan, 9-5 2.3T sedan, and a 9-5 Aero XWD (Hirsch equipped). The fastest times by a Saab were driven by David Moore in his 2010 9-5 Aero XWD. Interestingly the third fastest times were completed in the 9-4X Aero, driven by AJ Murphy, the sales manager at our Cincinnati store. The 9-4X barely fit within maximum height allowed. A few people wondered why a 9-4X until they watched AJ go out and smoke the course.

We have a great customer and Saab enthusiast named John Souhrada. In the past few years he has charted three different road rallys for Just Saab owners. This year he had a different suggestion…AUTOCROSS.  John knew people in the local SCCA and discussed his idea with them. Their annual autocross was scheduled for October 23rd. They established a special class for Saab automobiles that day. Normally different classes are determined by a cars size, horsepower, modifications, etc. In this case all Saabs competed for best times with each other.

Everybody that attended had a really fun time. As importantly we were able to get a positive message out about Saab in the motoring community. With recent negative news, we viewed it as an opportunity to tell non Saab owners that Saab was here to stay, and the 9-5 Aero and 9-4X are great examples of what Saab is capable of producing. Not that the 2001 9-3 Viggen was a slouch. I drove a 9-4X that was stocked with water and snacks. While the different classes of cars competed, a number of people stopped by to look at and sit in the 9-4X. It was great exposure to the right crowd. We received a lot of positive feedback on the 9-4X.

Thanks for all you guys do at SaabsUnited. Together with Victor we all will win this battle.

Keepin’  Calm  and Carrying  On




4 thoughts on “October in Ohio: Center of the Saab Universe”

  1. Great, this is Saab Spirit at its best!
    Wished that more dealers and clubs/communities could be this active.
    Keep up The good work.
    By The way The winner was it a 260 or 330 bhp Hirsch ?
    In autocross most often it s The driver’s skills more than The car that makes The difference.

  2. The Cincy SCCA would love to have all of the SAAB drivers who joined us on Sunday also join us for all of our events next year. The article makes it sound like an annual thing, but last Sunday’s even was actually the 10th and final event of the year. We normally have 8-10 Points events and 1 or 2 “fun” events. But they’re all fun, and even at points events, you’re not obligated to take it seriously.

    So come on out on your own, and run your car in D-Stock or G-Stock–or wherever it may be classed–all season long. Then, if the SCCA sets up another SAAB class for a special event next fall, you can have some thrilling competition amongst yourselves. And on top of that,, you’ll have had a blast at autocross events all season long.

    It was good to see the SAAB group out there. Hopefully we see you all again and again. Keep an eye on the Cincy SCCA’s website for next year’s Solo schedule to be posted. The season should start in early April.

    • The Cincy SCCA group was extremely welcoming and helpful.  From the drivers to the more hands-on folks. No one was made to feel intimidated or unwelcomed. 
      I would highly recommend them or any SCCA local chapter to any level of driver just looking for a day of fun or to test your skills against the clock. It’s not expensive and the more established drivers are happy to go with you during your run(s) to help guide you through the course and give you good pointers to increase your time and efficiency. 
      I actually had a great time working the course. 
      I’ve been around SCCA groups quite a bit growing up and it was great to get that familiar feeling again. 
      The just saab team is actually considering designating a specific car to run on a more frequent basis. 
      I’ll stay in touch with the Cincy SCCA folks about that. 

      And to the comment about driver’s skill being more a critical factor than the car is exactly correct. 
      You don’t need the fastest, most expensive car.
       I will advise: The smaller, the better…generally speaking. 

      Thanks to the Cincy SCCA folks for an incredible day and thanks to all who participated. It was a great group of people. 

      AJ Murphy
      Just Saab of Cincinnati

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