SAABs in Motorsport 2014

ramona_karlsson_pär_eklund_rallycrossVM_2014
Photo: Team Per Eklund Motorsport

In the last two weeks, agreements have become clear that means we will see SAABs in two different motorsport championships.

The first announcement came early in April, then it become clear that the Swedish driver Ramona Karlsson will be driving for Team Per Eklund Motorsport in this years FIA World Rallycross Champrionship (World RX). THis is the first female driver in the Supercar class, and at this moment it’s decided that she will drive 7 of 12 rounds. She will of course be at the start line in Höljes (Sweden) the first weekend in July, and the work is in progress for that she maybe can drive more then the 7 rounds that already decided. Henning Solberg from Norway is the secound driver in Team Per Eklund Motorsport.

The Supercar class is the most extreme class in Rallycross, cars have a 1.6- or a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine with around 600hp. All engines that the original vehicle manufacturer has delivered in the actual model can be used as a base for building a supercar-engine, there is no standard engine in this class that everyone has to use. The car goes from 0-100 in around 2 seconds, and of course they have all-wheel drive and a sequential manual gearbox. Every car in the 2.0-litre class have to at least weight 1320kg including the driver.

Daniel Haglöf, STCC Göteborg 20130629
Photo: PWR Racing Team

This week it also become clear that NEVS initiates collaboration with PWR Racing Team in the STCC (Swedish Touring Car Championship). In a press release the team manager at PWR, Daniel Haglöf, says “- I am absolutely delighted that we have been chosen to run the 9-3 and represent Nevs in STCC. We both have a vision for collaboration and a shared vision of what we expect in the season.” The other owner of PWR Racing Team, Peter “Poker” Wallenberg jr, is also enthusiastic about this; “- Both Nevs and PWR are young company and we now want to help each other grow.”

Presentation of who’s going to drive the cars will be later in April.
“- It is an interesting driver line-up, this much I can say, and one of the reasons why we want to be involved in this venture, says Jonas Hernqvist, sales and marketing director at NEVS.”

 

 

Personally I think it’s exciting that NEVS choose to corporate with a motorsport team, but probably we can’t expect it to be like the time with the factory-team (where Per Eklund had great success in the 70’s), but a cooperation is good, and obviously a great way for NEVS to show up.

Per Eklund demostrates ESP

Per Eklund knows what you’re thinking. He has ESP.

And in this video he’ll show you how it works. This was shot by the good people over at Autowereld whilst they were partaking of the Saab Arctic Adventure.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Zqm4tinJbU

Hat tip to Sofie from Saab for the video, via Twitter.

Hat tip to Richo for the ESP joke, back in 2007/8. Still no better.

Saab Sport Video: Masters at the wheel

Mellde, Molander, Carlsson, Moss, Skogh, Blomqvist, Eklund, Lampinen. Monte Carlo, RAC, Swedish Rally, Finnish Rally, Liege-Sofia-Liege, Midnight Sun – even a stint in Australia! Swedes, Finns and the odd bit of English. Two strokers, formula juniors, V4s and 99s. Snow and Safari.

The Saab Club Nederland YouTube channel has just blessed the rest of us with this fantastic video from the Saab Rally Department, documenting Saab’s rally history through the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s.

It’s absolutely brilliant. If you can’t watch them now, bookmark them and come back.

Kudos to the SCN guys. An outstanding catch.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKxRiP2RLQs

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEjYkweyCPE

Friday Morning Snippets

Saab GB are printing their own money…..

Saab GB promotion

It’s been sent out to existing Saab customers as an incentive to come in and take delivery prior to December 31st (thus beating the VAT rise).

I think it’s brown because it’s a subliminal message – you want the Java. You need the Java….

——

Bard Eker (one of the partners in the Koenigsegg Group) recently said that he’s launching a slow but hostile takeover of Saab, even if he has to buy it one car at a time.

I shot him an email to check the context and he said “We have started the process. Cvk purchased his second Saab…. – and I am still fully occupied with [teaching] my little 1.5 yr daughter how to drive her first – of many to come – Saab.”

Can we look forward to young Ms Eker taking a seat on the board some time soon?

🙂

——

Arild loves the Head Up Display. In fact, as I did on my own test drive of the Saab 9-5, he’s finding it indispensable.

Pierre doesn’t love the wood interior.

——

And finally….

Saab rally legend Per Eklund was interviewed at Rally America last weekend, where he was keeping an eagle eye on (winning) protege, Toomas Haikkinen

Click here for the video.

Toomas Heikkinen is kicking rallycross butt – in Per Eklund’s Saab!

From the Rally America Rallycross event at the weekend…..

Toomas HeikkinenToomas Heikkinen wins the fourth and final Round of the 2010 RallyCar U.S. Rallycross Championship in the Per Eklund Motorsport-supported 2010 SAAB 93 ASS. The 19-year-old Finnish prodigy had an impressive showing in his U.S. debut after placing 2nd overall on Saturday and winning Sunday’s AWD A Main final outright with a time of 3 minutes 15.5 seconds.

Following the young Finn was Ford Fiesta driver Tanner Foust, the only American to stand on the All-Wheel-Drive podiums this weekend. Foust, who dominated the first two Rounds of the new U.S. Series, turned in a time of 3 minutes 17.2 seconds on the A Main and was amongst the fastest in Heats 1 and 2. Citroen driver Liam Doran overcame mechanical issues he faced on Saturday’s event to place the fastest Qualifying and Heat times on Sunday, eventually taking 3rd place with a time of 3 minutes 19.2 seconds in the A Main.

Toomas has already had some great success in his native Finland driving Eklund’s car after starting out in Eklund’s old rallycross car earlier this year.

I think we better enjoy scenes like this while we can. I don’t think it’ll be too long before some more cashed up teams start making offers to the young flying Finn.

Congratulations to Toomas!

And thanks to Pascal for the tip!

Per Eklund driving US rallycross event in November

Per Eklund is still driving competitively after all these years, though he’s also turning his hand to mentoring younger drivers as well, which I personally think is the greatest gift he can give.

When you’re born to drive, though, there’s nothing quite like some time behind the wheel and Eklund is going to spend some time behind the wheel of his Saab 9-3 at a rallycross event in New Jersey, in November.

From the Rally America website:

After only two events, the best rallycross drivers in the world have found it necessary to be in the third and final round of the 2010 U.S. Rallycross Championships November 6 & 7 at the New Jersey Motorsports Park…..

….Joining Isachsen and Holte is Per Eklund of Sweden in a SAAB 9-3 ASS T16 4×4 who was 22nd in the ERC championship after running less than half of the events. He’s another looking for some redemption from the U.S. Rallycross Championship….

…..Sweden’s Per Eklund is a highly seasoned rally driver, in a brand new Saab 90. Originally a Saab factory driver in the 1970s, Eklund continued competing in a private rally team for 20 more years before switching to Rallycross and winning the 1999 ERC Championship and 2004 Swedish Rallycross Championship.

And a good bit for people thinking of getting along to have a look….

You can see all the Rallycross action for just $20 a car! Load your car up with as many people as you want! It’s our thanks to you for a great year! Download your coupon here: (right click, save as)

It looks like it’s going to be a cracker of an event. Some huge US and international names aside from Eklund will be there as well, such as Travis Pastrana, Tanner Foust and Rhys Millen.

Get on the boat, people!

Thanks to Pascal and Paul for the tip….

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