The following update arrived in my inbox tonight from the guys at JL Racing, who continue to show their Saab off in the Canadian Touring Car Championship.
You can check out more from JL Racing at their website, where there’s videos, image galleries and the JL Racing online store.
Saab Development pays off at Mosport
JL Racing’s Saab 9-3 performance development showed significant gains on the weekend with faster laptimes, better handling and “Personal Bests” from the drivers. The team had last been at Mosport race track in May, so everyone was keen to see how much had changed in the last three months. Engine management was enhanced, and the suspension was much stiffer. The team also increased turbo boost by replacing all the intake hoses with metal tubing. Airflow to the intercooler was also enhanced. The AP Racing brakes had settled down and with the right pads, the drivers were always the last to brake in any corner.
On Friday’s practice day, the gains were immediate and obvious. The car handled superbly and all drivers commented on the increased power from the turbo. John Lockhart qualified fifth in class for the Touring Car Championship which was the best qualifying result for the season.
With 45 cars in the race, the team finished with a top ten finish in class, which clearly demonstrated the performance improvement over the season. While many competitors remained at the same speed (or slower) the Saab 9-3 was 2-3 seconds faster per lap. Len Clue went out for the GTB sprints on Saturday afternoon and took a second place trophy.
On Sunday’s Touring car race, Jason Sharpe also finished well with a top ten finish. The weekend was not without drama however, particularly in the sprints where there were many incidents. Len Clue narrowly missed a wayward BMW who lost control through Corner 5. Drama also occurred when the GTB sprints began their pace lap on the second race of the day. The heavens opened and a heavy downpour turned the track into a skating rink within seconds. A small fan had been installed to handle this situation but it was not up to the task of defrosting the windshield. Len Clue drove the race almost blind and still managed to finish in second place. He took a third place podium for the final race of the day and the team are very happy with the results.
With only three race weekends left in the season, the challenge is to continue development and find some extra horsepower from the engine for the final races.