Saab tarmac win in South Africa


As covered last Saturday, Michele Lupini drove his Saab 9-3R in the Total SCC Pretoria All-Tar Rally…….and kicked everone’s backside.

Not a bad effort seeing he only found out about the race last Wednesday and a mixup meant that his service crew didn’t have any tools!!!

Note to Swede Team Motor – please be more organised than these guys for the final round this weekend!

From Wheels24:

Michele Lupini and Jesse Adams steered their Saab 9-3R to Tarmac Category and class victory, as well as taking the overall fastest top speed award by some considerable margin…..

…..”We had a brilliant day’s rallying,” Cars in Action magazine Publisher Lupini reflected. “To be honest we were not really very well prepared this year as we only found out about the Total All Tar Rally happening when I read about it in the ‘papers’ on Wednesday!”

“And then we only had a single set of used tyres and one spare available and somehow our hastily patched together service crew managed not to bring any tools along after a misunderstanding, so the event had every possibility of turning into a proper balls-up. “But the Saab ran like a train and all we had to borrow was a funnel, a wheel spanner and pressure gauge.”

“We took a conservative approach as we’d had some drive-train problems with the car recently and we came here to finish, although when we started to go quicker later on, the tyres were finished after Stage 3 where the Saab had stormed to its 197km/h Best Top Speed Award – 15km/h faster than the second quickest Subaru.”

“It was a touch disconcerting to hear bits of rubber coming off at 200km/h,” Lupini admitted. “And that had us choosing the least buggered rubber for the front and rotating wheels to suit the way the last two stages went in order to get to the finish.”

“At the start of the last stage, we had all four wheels on canvas and the car handling quite loosely but we got through on them and still managed the third quickset time there – it was challenging but a hell of a lot of fun – especially when we still wound up winning…..”

…..Overall victory went to Charl Wilken and Greg Godrich in their Auto Pedigree Castrol Toyota Run-X from Johan van der Merwe and Elvine Coetzee’s Toyota Tazz and dos Santos brothers Dario and Paul’s Subaru Impreza.

“We’re delighted with the result,” Lupini concluded. “Our Sandton Saab 9-3R is basically a hot street car competing against some of the best rally and race machinery out there in conditions that are supposed to far better suit them, yet it continues to be a significant thorn in their side.”That’s what makes our success with the Saab so satisfying.”


  1. This is fantastic. Grass-roots motorsport at its best. Congratulations and thanks for the most inspiring Saab story in a while.

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