JL Racing – in front of 30,000 people!

JL Racing took part in the latest round of the Touring Car GT Series, which was held as part of one of the biggest weekends on Canada’s racing calendar – the Toronto Grand Prix meet.

Following is a report from Phil Reilly at JL Racing. There’s more info including pics and a video blog entry over at the JL Racing site.



In the premier event of the season, JL Racing had two strong finishes in the Toronto Grand Prix.

JL Racing TorontoTens of thousands of race fans were in attendance on both Saturday and Sunday and saw a Saab 9-3 racing around the Canadian National Exhibition grounds for the first time in history. The concrete walls and bumpy street circuit with changing weather conditions also added some new challenges to the weekend. The team had the car on the dyno that week and one of Canada’s top tuners programmed the NIRA engine management system to produce an excellent straight torque curve across the rev range. The aero had also been tweaked with stronger bracing and new lexan windows to improve air flow, so the team was well prepared.

In the first race of the weekend with over 50 cars on the grid, John Lockhart drove a flawless race to take a sixth position in class. The Saab 9-3 performs very well on these tight and twisty tracks and although John Lockhart started in position 32 overall, the strong turbo torque allowed him to pass car after car and he finished 14th overall (sixth in class).

JL Racing 2In the second race on Sunday, weather conditions were very tricky. Rain had occurred throughout the day and the earlier Champ Car race had only six cars finishing the race. The team were in a quandary with their tire choice and at the last minute, opted for the regular dry racing tires. It proved to be the right decision. Jason Sharpe had a wild start to the race as he was rammed three times from behind on the first corner and pushed against the tire wall. He quickly regained the race and with the correct tires, methodically began picking off the cars in front. Again, the Saab 9-3’s handling was well suited to the track and combined with Jason Sharpe’s driving strategies, he was able to gain over seven positions. The team finished sixth in class again and moved up the standings, demonstrating once more, the exceptional performance qualities of the 9-3 in race competition.


  1. We went to the Toronto Grand Prix yesterday and cheered for the JL Racing team. Well done, guys!

    But Phil, as we already discussed over lunch, please paint the lower lip to match the rest colour. 🙂

  2. Love these reports! Keep them coming, please. I think motor sport can be a very good marketing tool for SAAB.

    Does JL Racing get official SAAB factory support? If so, I’m sure they can’t wait to receive a “black turbo” next year!

  3. 1985 Gripen, they do have official support from Saab Canada – we basically have to thank Magnus Hansen (Brand Manager for Saab Canada) who has made all this possible.

    Now all they ought to do is supply the JP guys with a couple of Black Turbos to suck the doors out of those Bimzos.

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