: Why no SAAB at Le Mans
05-26-2002, 08:10 AM
With Le Mans just a couple of weeks away, I can't stop wondering why SAAB does not enter that race? The have a 2 liter turbo engine, which would be able to enter in the 2L Turbo group.
The recent entry of the MG Team, and a good set of teams that don't compete in F1 but have a good name on the street, makes me feel even more miffed.
I think that with that Talladega endurance stint SAAB can do far worse than putting their name down for say next year.
ANybody else feel the same way? Perhaps a SAAB Sonet Team?
05-26-2002, 08:22 AM
Interesting point. However, Saab's sporting heritage is in rallying, not sports cars. Look at the "brands" that comptete at Les 24 Heures - MG, Bentley, Audi, Porsche etc. All have significant sports car history.
Not that that rules out Saab joining......
I can't stop wondering why SAAB does not enter that race?[/b]Cost?
05-26-2002, 07:59 PM
Thought Audi's history was rallying too.
Rally version of the Audi Quattro Turbo anyone?
05-27-2002, 03:05 AM
True, but I was also thinking of the (pre-war?) Auto Union cars.
06-06-2002, 08:04 AM
I don't think Saab enter because now being owned by GM it will probably be the really bigger names of GM that will compete motorsport wise, not a tiddler like Saab. hence the big Chevrolet teams in the US Indy series, and at this years Le Mans like last year. the only reason GM rally Subaru's is to keep a direct racing image to the car, oh and they're very good at it probably helps too!
06-06-2002, 10:24 AM
I think /john's point about price is probably right. In their final years as an independent marque they didn't have any money, and since then they've had other things to think about.
But probably, most importantly, they've never felt they "had" to. Volvo used competition as a way to relaunch their brand - very successfully, but presumably Saab have never felt the need to. The story might be different now if GM want to build sales quite quickly,
06-06-2002, 05:26 PM
Yeah, I'd like to see more Saabs being raced although I agree with others here that GT prototypes are too costly to develop and don't really relate to the Saab brand that well. Hopefully when Saab get their AWD HOT's bedded in we'll see them enter some works rally cars in the WRC.
Fingers crossed !!!
06-06-2002, 05:33 PM
I'd love to see Saab in WRC as well, but i think that even the 9-3 is too big to be competitive.
Isn't Saab thinking about releasing a 9-2? If so, that might be a good platform to rally off of.
06-06-2002, 06:01 PM
Saabs are competetive in the rallies, it's just they don't enter the WRC specifically, but in one of the smaller rallies the 9-3 driven by Per Eklund came fourth, beating the WRC cars that had entered the rally.
If I remember rightly, it's a modified 9-3 Viggen with 4WD and a gratuitously tuned engine!
and you can read all about Per Eklund, here (http://www.eklund.eds.com/)
06-06-2002, 06:36 PM
That Eklund site looks like it hasn't been updated since 2000. Too bad. And it's desperately in need of a spell check:
"Or as Per expresses it himself: 'One thong is sure, if you drive off the road you will certainly not be blocking the way for the ones behind you.'"
06-07-2002, 03:53 AM
Leave the thongs out of this!
Here's the article about the recent Rally (culled from www.saabcarsonline.com (http://www.saabcarsonline.com)
28 May 2002.
Per Eklund in the ERC
This week-end it was time for the second Rallycross event of the year in ERC (European Rallycross Championship). The race was held at Circuit Automobile de Faleyras in France. Per Eklund finished in fourth place in Division 1 after a spectacular A final. When the start went Kenneth Hansen (Citroen) took the lead, Per Eklund was hit by Jean Luc Pailler in the first corner and in the next it was time for revenge - Eklund sent Pailler for a spin. "When two people quarrelÖĒCzech Pavel Koutny took over the second place to give Hansen quite a good challenge towards the finish line. Larsson and Jos Kuypers also took advantage from the Eklund-Pailler argument. Eklund (the left rear wheel was bent) and Pailler (punctured right rear tyre) made it to the finish line in fourth and fifth place.
After 2 races this season Per Eklund is now third in ERC
1. Kenneth Hansen (S), CitroŽn Xsara WRC
2. Lars Larsson (S), Audi A4 T16 4x4
3. Laurent Fouquet (F), Renault Clio RS
4. Per Eklund (S), Saab 9-3 T16 4x4
5. Jean-Luc Pailler (F), Peugeot 206 WRC
6. Hervť Knapick (F), Peugeot 206 WRC
7. Michel Liger (F), CitroŽn Xsara WRC
8. Laurent Terroitin (F), CitroŽn Xsara WRC
9. Jos Kuypers (NL), Ford Focus WRC
10. Marko Jokinen (FIN), Peugeot 206 WRC
1. Hansen, 40 Points
2. Larsson, 32 Points
3. Eklund, 25 Points
4. Pailler, 23 Points
5. Kuypers, 21 Points