It’s easy to forget that Saab had some high-level participation in motorsport until quite recently. Per Eklund won Pikes Peak only 5 years ago, and a year before that, Saab 9-3s were being used by the world’s best drivers as part of the Race of Champions.
The ROC is an event that draws together drivers from various disciplines and eras and tries figure out who’s the best of the best. The world’s premiere track and offroad drivers compete on parallel curcuits using the same cars until the best in each discipline is decided. Then they race off against each other.
In 2001, Saab 9-3s were used during one of the rally stages. Drivers included Marcus Gronholm, Fernando Alonso, Valentino Rossi, Johnny Herbert, Robby Gordon and Australia’s own Troy Bayliss. And in a special reunion, Stig Blomqvist and Per Eklund both drove in the legend’s section.
I got a CD of photos in today from the 2001 event and instead of chewing up my own bandwidth I thought I’d throw them all into a slideshow and use Google’s bandwidth instead.
They really do need to get back into this stuff in a big way. On a big stage. Really.