Saab Rally Driver Profile – Per Eklund

Posted on 28. May, 2007 by in 1960-1969, 1970-1979, 1980-1989, 1990-1999, 2000-2009, 9-3, 9-3 SS, 900, 96, 99, Personalities, Sweden

per.jpg

Photo Credit: Per Eklund Racing

Per Eklund, a legendary Saab rally driver and native to Sweden, continues to expand on his long history of rally driving behind the wheel of the SAAB 96 V4 in the early days to a Saab 9-3 Sport Sedan today.

I have included a well written bibliography of Per Eklunds rally history referenced from his website as well as a historical rally history timeline that will act as an evolving work in progress as Per Eklund’s history continues to be written.

Per Eklund
How it all started.

Per Eklund began competing in local rally tournaments three weeks after his 18th birthday for it was only then when he could get a drivers license. Before his eighteenth birthday he rode as a co-driver/navigator for his father Torsten and his brother Lars. Those first years Per competed in cars that he found and could afford. His very first competition car was a Volvo PV 544, it was his fathers driving school car.

The first car which he owned himself was a used 1955 Volkswagen. His second car was a Saab 93 with a two stroke motor. In 1967 he bought a new Saab V4, with which he competed in the district Championship in rally. Up until 1968 Per belonged to a small but promising group of young drivers who got to purchase race cars direct from the Saab factory in Trollhättan. He won his first big race in a Saab 96 V4, during the 1969 season (Norska Vinterrallyt).

The year following he received additional support from Saab and was included in the Saab Factory team until 1979. Among Per’s victories during these years some of the greater placements were first place in the World Championships race in the Swedish Rally (Svenska Rallyt) in 1976, another two wins in Norway (Vinterrallyt 1971 and Firestone 1972) as well as victories in the Dutch Texaco Rally 1972. During his days with Saab Per Eklund also made some good placements in the World Championships races in Finland (Tusen Sjöars Rally), Austrian Alp rally and Great Britain RAC-rally.

At the same time that he drove Rally Per also began to drive Rallycross on both national and international levels. His Rallycross career thus began even as the sport was introduced in 1971. Per had already tried Rallycross in 1969 in a Dutch competition where he drove a specially tuned Saab (this car had belonged to Pat Moss-Erik Carlsson). Per also won the very first Swedish Rallycross tournament 1971 in Hedemora.

He and his teammate Stig Blomqvist were during the following year a main attraction in the Dutch TV-broadcasted Championships as well as in the European Championships in Rallycross. When Saab stopped their participation in the World Championships in rally, Per Eklund was immediately offered a place on many of Europe’s rally teams. His first assignment was to develop and compete in a Fiat Ritmo for the Italian carproducer. Per had similar assignments with Volkswagen, which launched Golf GTI at that time. British Triumph as well as Japanese Datsun/Nissan and Toyota also became one of Per’s employers during the 1970’s and 1980’s.

Source: Per Eklund Racing

Per Eklund – Lifetime Highlights
Year Rally Finish Car Co-driver
1968 Swedish Rally 8th Saab 96 V4 ?
1969 Norska Vinterrallyt 1st Saab 96 V4 ?
1970 International Swedish Rally out (Engine) Saab 96 V4 Birger Pettersson
1971 International Swedish Rally out (Conn. Rod) Saab 96 V4 Rolf Carlsson
  Norska Vinterrallyt 1st Saab 96 V4 ?
  1000 Lakes 7th Saab 96 V4 Sölve Andreasson
  RAC Rally 7th Saab 96 V4 Sölve Andreasson
1972 International Swedish Rally 8th Saab 96 V4 Bo Reinicke
  Acropolis Rally out (gearbox) Saab 96 V4 Sölve Andreasson
  Firestone Rally (E), 1st Saab 96 V4 ?
  Dutch Texaco Rally 1st Saab 96 V4 ?
  1000 Lakes Rally 5th Saab 96 V4 Sölve Andreasson
  Rally of Sweden 8th Saab 96 V4 ?
  Daily Mirror RAC Rally Accident Saab 96 V4 Bo Reinicke
1973 Swedish Rally 2nd Saab 96 V4 Björn Cederberg
  1000 Lakes Rally out (driveshaft) Saab 96 V4 Björn Cederberg
  1000 Lakes Rally out (driveshaft) Saab 96 V4 Björn Cederberg
  European Championship 7th Saab 96 V4 N/A
1974 ? out (accident) Saab 96 V4 Björn Cederberg
  ? out (differential) Saab 96 V4 Björn Cederberg
  European Championship 4th Saab 96 V4 N/A
1975 Swedish Championship 4th Saab 96 V4 Björn Cederberg
  Finland Championship 4th Saab 96 V4 Björn Cederberg
  Great Britain Championship out (engine) Saab 96 V4 Björn Cederberg
  European Championship 16th Saab 96 V4 N/A
1976 Swedish Rally 1st Saab 96 V4 Björn Cederberg
  1000 Lakes Rally out (piston) Saab 96 V4 Björn Cederberg
  RAC Rally out (gearbox) Saab 96 V4 Björn Cederberg
  European Championship 10th Saab 96 V4 N/A
1977 Swedish Championship out (piston) Saab 99 EMS Björn Cederberg
  Finland Championship out (differential) Saab 99 EMS Björn Cederberg
  Great Britain Championship 9th Saab 99 EMS Björn Cederberg
  Malar Rally ? ? Björn Cederberg
  European Championship 24th Saab 96 V4 N/A
1978 Swedish Championship out (engine) Saab 99 EMS Björn Cederberg
  Ornsholden Rally 3rd Saab 99 EMS Björn Cederberg
  SmÃ¥land Rally 1st Saab 99 EMS Björn Cederberg
  Great Britain Championship out (driveshaft) Saab 99 Turbo Björn Cederberg
  Karlskrona Pokalen 1st Saab 99 EMS Björn Cederberg
1979 Swedish Championship out (engine) Saab 99 Turbo Hans Sylvan
1982 Swedish Championship 4th Saab 99 Turbo Ragnar Spjuth
1983 International Swedish Rally out (engine) Saab 99 Turbo Ragnar Spjuth
1997 Network Q RAC Rally out (suspension) Saab 900 Turbo Johnny Johansson
  FIA European Championship / Austria 3rd Saab 900 Turbo N/A
  FIA European Championship / France 6th Saab 900 Turbo N/A
  FIA European Championship / Portugal 6th Saab 900 Turbo N/A
  FIA European Championship / England 3rd Saab 900 Turbo N/A
  FIA European Championship / Sweden 4th Saab 900 Turbo N/A
  FIA European Championship / Finland 9th Saab 900 Turbo N/A
  FIA European Championship / Belgium 5th Saab 900 Turbo N/A
  FIA European Championship / Norway 4th Saab 900 Turbo N/A
  FIA European Championship / Czech Rep. 2nd Saab 900 Turbo N/A
  FIA European Championship / Germany 5th Saab 900 Turbo N/A
  EuroCircuit, Valkendswaard / Netherlands 2nd Saab 900 Turbo N/A
1998 FIA European Championship / Austria 2nd Saab 9-3 Turbo N/A
  FIA European Championship / Portugal 1st Saab 9-3 Turbo N/A
  FIA European Championship / France 6th Saab 9-3 Turbo N/A
  FIA European Championship / Sweden 4th Saab 9-3 Turbo N/A
  FIA European Championship / Great Britain 1st Saab 9-3 Turbo N/A
  FIA European Championship / Finland 3rd Saab 9-3 Turbo N/A
  FIA European Championship / Belgium 8th Saab 9-3 Turbo N/A
  FIA European Championship / Norway 2md Saab 9-3 Turbo N/A
  FIA European Championship / Germany 3rd Saab 9-3 Turbo N/A
  FIA European Championship / Czech Rep. 3rd Saab 9-3 Turbo N/A
  Swedish Championship 4th Saab 9-3 Turbo N/A
  Swedish Championship / Tornelilla 4th Saab 9-3 Turbo N/A
  Swedish Championship / Höljes 2nd Saab 9-3 Turbo N/A
  Swedish Championship / PiteÃ¥ 2nd Saab 9-3 Turbo N/A
  Swedish Championship / Älvsbyn 6th Saab 9-3 Turbo N/A
  Swedish Championship / Götene 3rd Saab 9-3 Turbo N/A
  EuroCircuit, Valkenswaard / Netherlands 1st Saab 9-3 Turbo N/A
1999 Swedish Championship 2nd Saab 9-3 Turbo N/A
  Swedish Championship / Tornelilla 1st Saab 9-3 Turbo N/A
  Swedish Championship / Hyllinge 3rd Saab 9-3 Turbo N/A
  Swedish Championship / Strängnäs 3rd Saab 9-3 Turbo N/A
  Swedish Championship / Haninge 5th Saab 9-3 Turbo N/A
  Swedish Championship / Götene 1st Saab 9-3 Turbo N/A
  FIA European Championship / Czech Rep. 1st Saab 9-3 Turbo N/A
  FIA European Championship / France 3rd Saab 9-3 Turbo N/A
  FIA European Championship / Portugal 2nd Saab 9-3 Turbo N/A
  FIA European Championship / Sweden 3rd Saab 9-3 Turbo N/A
  FIA European Championship / Finland 2nd Saab 9-3 Turbo N/A
  FIA European Championship / Belgium 2nd Saab 9-3 Turbo N/A
  FIA European Championship / Netherlands 2nd Saab 9-3 Turbo N/A
  FIA European Championship / Norway 1st Saab 9-3 Turbo N/A
  FIA European Championship / Germany 1st Saab 9-3 Turbo N/A
2000 International Pikes Peak Hillclimb 1st Saab 9-3 Viggen N/A
  FIA European Championship / Portugal 1st Saab 9-3 Viggen N/A
  FIA European Championship / France 3rd Saab 9-3 Viggen N/A
  FIA European Championship / Czech Rep. 1st Saab 9-3 Viggen N/A
  FIA European Championship / Sweden ? Saab 9-3 Viggen N/A
  FIA European Championship / Belgium 3rd Saab 9-3 Viggen N/A
  FIA European Championship / Netherlands 3rd Saab 9-3 Viggen N/A
  FIA European Championship / Norway 7th Saab 9-3 Viggen N/A
  FIA European Championship / Poland Excl. Saab 9-3 Viggen N/A
  FIA European Championship / Germany 2nd Saab 9-3 Viggen N/A
&nbsp Swedish Championship / Tornelilla 1st Saab 9-3 Viggen N/A
&nbsp Swedish Championship / Strängnäs 2nd Saab 9-3 Viggen N/A
&nbsp Swedish Championship / Arvika 3rd Saab 9-3 Viggen N/A
&nbsp Swedish Championship / Götene 3rd Saab 9-3 Viggen N/A
2001 Swedish Championship / Strängnäs 2nd Saab 9-3 Viggen N/A
  Swedish Championship / Arvika 2nd Saab 9-3 Viggen N/A
  Swedish Championship / Flisa 2nd Saab 9-3 Viggen N/A
  Swedish Championship / Sandviken 2nd Saab 9-3 Viggen N/A
  Swedish Championship / Götene 5th Saab 9-3 Viggen N/A
  International Pikes Peak Hillclimb 1st Saab 9-3 Viggen N/A
  FIA European Championship / Portugal 3rd Saab 9-3 Viggen N/A
  FIA European Championship / France 11th Saab 9-3 Viggen N/A
  FIA European Championship / Czech Rep. 2nd Saab 9-3 Viggen N/A
  FIA European Championship / Sweden ? Saab 9-3 Viggen N/A
  FIA European Championship / Belgium 4th Saab 9-3 Viggen N/A
  FIA European Championship / Netherlands 9th Saab 9-3 Viggen N/A
  FIA European Championship / Norway 6th Saab 9-3 Viggen N/A
  FIA European Championship / Poland 2nd Saab 9-3 Viggen N/A
  FIA European Championship / Germany 1st Saab 9-3 Viggen N/A
2002 Swedish Championship / Arvika 7th Saab 9-3 Viggen N/A
  Swedish Championship / Kalix ? Saab 9-3 Viggen N/A
  Swedish Championship / Sandviken 2nd Saab 9-3 Viggen N/A
  Swedish Championship / Götene 2nd Saab 9-3 Viggen N/A
  FIA European Championship 2nd Saab 9-3 Viggen N/A
  International Pikes Peak Hillclimb ? Saab 9-3 Viggen N/A
  FIA European Championship / Portugal 5th Saab 9-3 Viggen N/A
  FIA European Championship / France 4th Saab 9-3 Viggen N/A
  FIA European Championship / Austria 1st Saab 9-3 Viggen N/A
  FIA European Championship / Czech Rep. 4th Saab 9-3 Viggen N/A
  FIA European Championship / Sweden 4th Saab 9-3 Viggen N/A
  FIA European Championship / Belgium 1st Saab 9-3 Viggen N/A
  FIA European Championship / Netherlands 7th Saab 9-3 Viggen N/A
  FIA European Championship / Norway 3rd Saab 9-3 Viggen N/A
  FIA European Championship / Poland 5th Saab 9-3 Viggen N/A
  FIA European Championship / Germany 1st Saab 9-3 Viggen N/A
  British Grand Prix 2nd Saab 9-3 Viggen N/A
2003 Swedish Championship 3rd Saab 9-3 Viggen N/A
  FIA European Championship 2nd Saab 9-3 Viggen N/A
2004 Swedish Championship 1st Saab 9-3 Viggen N/A
  FIA European Championship 5th Saab 9-3 Viggen N/A
2005 Swedish Championship 2nd Saab 9-3 SS N/A
  FIA European Championship 6th Saab 9-3 SS N/A
2006 Swedish Championship 2nd Saab 9-3 SS N/A
  FIA European Championship 9th Saab 9-3 SS N/A

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Saab History » Per Eklund Finishes 9th, Again With BioPower Saab 9-3 - July 6, 2008

    […] Saab Enthusiast, Mike Jager has recently reported on the status of legendary Saab rally driver, Per Eklund […]

Leave a Reply



Production Concept