I reported last Friday that Swede Team Motor was due to debut its 9-3 Sport Sedan with a new e85 V6 engine. Unfortunately I had to update that post on Saturday morning with the news that the debut had been delayed. Bummer.
But STM still managed to get a car in the weekend’s competition at Sturup Raceway, racing their diesel-powered 9-3SS all the way to the top of the national championship table for endurance racing!!
image: STM / J.Stellemark
Here’s the weekend report I received from race controller, Anders:
To start with, the E85 V6 engined car was not finished in time for the race. It has to wait until next race in June. As always in Motorsport time and money does never seem to be plentiful enough…
On Saturday there was a 3 hour race. With new front suspension, brakes and bearings we were hoping for a weekend without any repairs needed on the dieselcar. We had modified the front wheelhouse plastic liner to get more air to the brakes. This showed to be a good modification as the brakes were back to the performance/endurance of last year. We have a very fast competitor in our class, a Honda Civic Type R. The Honda was too fast for us on Saturday, we finished 4th over all and second in our class. There was an Opel Tigra that won in total, followed by the Honda and in third a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
On Sunday it was an 8(!) hour race and we finished third over all and, again, second in our class. The Porsche won on Sunday, followed by a Citroen Xsara converted to E85 (there really is a ‘hype’ for E85 in Sweden right now) with our diesel in third. This engine is really great, it has now covered more than 6 race weekends (between 9 and 12 hours of racing each time) without even tearing the engine apart. It is just running and running…
There were a few mishappenings during the Sunday race, we spilled a few drops of diesel when we re-fueled. The ‘cost’ is 1 minute in the pit lane… There is a max speed limit of 60 km/h whenever there is a safety car on the track, we were caught speeding at one occasion; and another minute in the pits. We had a flat tyre and had to do a un-scheduled pit stop. But as a summary, another very successful weekend for the diesel. And we are leading the national championship for endurance racing!
That’s sensational stuff. The diesel is proving itself to be a very consistent and reliable performer and personally, I can’t wait for the June meeting (16th – 18th) when they return to Mantorp Park and debut the e85 V6.
I know Saab of Sweden give these guys a lot of support and kudos to them for doing so. I hope they’re also using the team’s success as a marketing tool as STM are carrying the brand name proudly and succeeding in the process.