IMPORTANT NEWS: National Electric Vehicle Sweden has agreed to buy the assets of Saab Automobile and the sale is expected to be finalized during the summer.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Saab racing to the clouds part II

A few days ago I posted a video of Per Eklund winning the open division at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in 2000. Today we will look at the 2002 edition of the race. This year Per Eklund returned with a 850 horsepower carbon Saab to win the Unlimited Class Victory in front of Swedish rival Stig Blomqvist.

Here's the press release from back then:

Colorado Springs, Colo. Veteran Swedish rally champion Per Eklund, winner of the prestigious Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in a Garrett-boosted entry in 2000, is back for this year's 80th renewal of America's second-oldest motorsports event in a lighter, more powerful entry.
The 56-year-old Eklund drove a Saab 9-3 Viggen to the Open Class victory at Pikes Peak two years ago, covering the treacherous, 156-turn, 12-mile dirt road course to the top of Colorado's famed Pikes Peak in 11 minutes, 28.58 seconds, which still stands as the Open Class record for the event.
This year, with backing from Swedish car manufacturer Saab, Eklund has built an all-new Saab 9-3 that is almost completely made of carbon fiber, and with the help of associate sponsor Turbo Garrett, has increased engine output in excess of 750 horsepower. He is moving up in class from Pikes Peak Open class to the hotly competitive Unlimited class this year.
Eklund is a six-time Swedish Rallycross champion, most recently in 1998 and 2000. He also won the 1999 European Rallycross Championship, and has won the British Rallycross title five times.
In addition to Eklund, Garrett is also supporting his countryman, Stig Blomquist in a Garrett-boosted Ford RS200 Group B rally car entry at this year's Pikes Peak event. Blomquist is also competing in the Unlimited class.
Qualifying for this year's 80th Pikes Peak International Hill Climb begins Thursday (June 27). The event is set for Saturday (June 29). For the first time, the event is part of the SCCA Pro Rally season schedule, which, as expected, has drawn tremendous support from all the major automakers.

Outside car video:

In-car video part I:

In-car video part II: