Saabs at the 2011 Midnight Sun Rally

I’ve got a swag of photos from the Midnight Sun Rally, held around Västerås last weekend. I don’t have any of the cars on the dirt, though. I only shot video there, which I’ll post very soon. These stills were taken at Rally HQ in Västerås, where the cars would assemble at the end of each day.

I’m not sure if I got everyone, but I got a lot of them! Here’s a selective collection of larger images, with a more complete gallery below. Click to enlarge.

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This blue 99Turbo is the latest car built by the Saabs United Historic Rally Team. It’s a replica of Stig Blomqvist’s 1981 car from the Swedish Rally.

Many of you heard that would-be Saab investor Vladimir Antonov was entered for the race, which would have been the second year in a row for him. This is the team he would have driven in.

The three cars were prepared by Historic Rally Racing Service in a record time of just three months. All three cars feature sports suspension but are running non-turbo, single-carb engines. There’s scope for more performance in them, but for this build (in this timeframe), reliability was the goal. Also, competing in regularity, reliability is more crucial than performance.

The insides of one the cars, complete with chequered flag trim 🙂

Mr Antonov’s place was taken by a friend, Alex Fogilev and the Saab Museum’s Peter Backstrom was drafted in as co-driver.

This Sonett II certainly looked (and sounded) the part. I’ve always wondered why there aren’t more of these in historic rallying, but I guess their relative rarity and fibreglass bodies might have something to do with it. Should still be good for regularity class, though.

Lasse and Sibylla have competed in the last four Midnight Sun rallies. They always compete in period costume. The regularity class is at relatively slow speeds and there is no requirement for racing suits or excessive safety modifications (which is why they can carry suitcases on the roofracks and dolls as passengers in the back seat!). This is the first Midnight Sun they haven’t finished, suffering with a broken driveshaft on the final day.

This early Saab 96 was one of the most immaculate racing vehicles I’ve ever seen. You could eat your dinner off any surface you looked at. Incredible.

Below is a larger gallery, featuring all the photos above and a bunch more (a few non-Saabs, too. How often do you get to see not one, but two Lancia Stratos?)

Click to enlarge.

Coming soon we will have some video of the Saabs in regularity class, plus all the other vehicles (and a few Saabs too) in the full-tilt historic class.

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2 Comments

  1. Really nice pictures!! 
    I think i read somewhere that Saab performance team, should do a show during the midnight sun rally, is this correct? if yes, did you saw the show? do you have any pictures?

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