Tag Archives: falkenberg

Porsche 911 ST – Scuderia Falkenbergs blue dream

The blue 1971 Porsche 911 ST ready to enter the pitlane. Photo: Johan Åhlund

Take a look at this very nice 1971 Porsche 911 ST racecar. On the racetrack this is a very agile and competitive car, ready to take on its competition. The photo is taken at the Falkenberg Classics, Sweden’s own little Goodwood Festival of speed.

This car is homage to the very famous Porsche 911 ST, a very rare car. According to Scuderia Falkenberg who owns the car Porsche only built 20 of these fantastic cars and this one is painted in Porsches own pastel blue.

The engine is built by the Swedish Porsche legend Bo Strandell and has been tuned to perfection. And it sounded and worked perfectly under the race. It has the nice original Fuchs wheels and Michelin tires.

Scuderia Falkenbergs little blue dream in game mode in the chicane at Falkenberg racetrack. Photo: Johan Åhlund

Compared to the original Porsche 911, the 911 ST was put on a nasty diet. Thinner gauge steel was used and customers could spec the car with Plexiglas windows and aluminum doors, making it very light. In the back you would find a wonderful 2.3 liter flat six with a triple-choke Weber carburetor delivering 230 horsepower. Not bad considering that the lightest cars only weighed in at just 840 kilos.

The car was also available with a larger 2,5 liter engine, with 270 bhp. Swedish rally legend Björn Waldegård drove a 2,5 liter 911 ST in several rally’s and won the Swedish Rally in 1968. He also won The Monte Carlo Rally in both 1969 and 1970. Very impressive, and with 270 horsepower on just 840 kilos the car is pure dynamite.

Text and Photo : Johan Åhlund
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Saab Sonett II 1967 – Two-stroke heaven

Hans is ready to race. The Saab Sonett II is a very small car and it looks amazing. I took this photo at the line-up at Falkenberg Classic after a brief talk to Hans about his little racer. Photo by Johan Åhlund

Sweden has several classic car events, and the Falkenberg Classics is considered to be Sweden’s own Goodwood Festival of Speed. A couple of hundred classic cars raced each other on the short and fast racetrack. Last year was as usual very sunny and had a lot of spectacular cars, both on track and in the exhibition area.

Saab Sonett II is a rare car, Saab only made 258 in 1967

One of the nicer cars on the grid is driven by Hans Eklund. Hans is very fond of Saab cars, owns several classic models and is an experienced driver who has been racing for more than 25 years. Hans is running a 1967 red Saab Sonett II. It’s a rare car, Saab only made 258 Sonnet’s in 1967.

The Saab Sonett II in full speed at the straight at Falkenberg racetrack. The 850cc roars like crazy and the audience is cheering in the perfect weather. Photo by Johan Åhlund

Under the bonnet sits the legendary great sounding 60 horsepower three cylinder 841 cc Saab two-stroke engine. Famous from the Saab Sport (also known as the Gran Turismo 850 or the 850 Monte Carlo), the sound this little engine makes when driven hard is remarkable.

Ok, let’s be honest, The Saab Sonett II with the two-stroke engine is not a very fast car. However, like many other classic Saabs it is very fun to drive. Weighing in at 780 kilo (fiber-glass body), the 60 horsepower engine resulted in 0-100 km/h in 12,5 seconds. If you went flat-out you might reach 160 km/h, according to the beautiful Saab press-kit. I wonder how fast a Saab Sonett fitted with the engine from a Volvo Amazon 123 GT (1,8 liter, with 115 horsepower) would be.

The Saab Sonett II has a very nice interior. The dashboard is covered in wood veneer and has very stylish dials from VDO. Photo by Johan Åhlund

The Sonett was most expensive Saab that you could buy

Back in 1967 it was rather expensive; it was actually the most expensive Saab that you could buy. Fortunately it was also, by far the most beautiful. It came with bucket seats, leather steering wheel, had a dashboard in mahogany plywood with very nice designed gauges from VDO, and also a built in roll-bar. Remember, Saab is Swedish and has a tradition of building safe cars.

Compared to later Sonnet’s the engine was quite easy to reach with the front hood section hinged forward. You just flipped it up and then you could easily access the little gem.

Hans in gaining speed as he is heading for the long straight at Mantorp Park. The little Saab is chased by a big Chevrolet Camaro, so far its ahead. Photo by Johan Åhlund

At a different race at Mantorp Park there were a lot of other cars at the track and it was a pure joy to see the little Saab Sonett being chased by Chevrolet Camaros, Porsche 912: s and other monsters.

Text and Photo : Johan Åhlund
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At least five teams ready for the STCC in 2017

This is Swedish racing driver Tomas Engström putting the pedal to the metal in a very fast Honda Civic, back in 2012 at Mantorp circuit in Sweden. I’m looking forward seeing at least one Honda on the grid! Photo by Johan Åhlund

The cars will be TCR-cars, and hopefully it will be more cars on the grid than before. Last year was not the finest moment in Swedish racing history. Don’t get me wrong, the racing was great, the drivers phenomenal, and we have some great tracks here. But we need larger grids, and cheaper cars that do not cost an arm and a leg to run. Last year there were way too few cars competing. At Falkenberg racetrack I watched a race with just five cars finishing (ok there was some carnage, but what the heck). That has got to change; otherwise the audience will stay at home.

The former STCC cars were extremely expensive, it’s very important that the new cars will be cheaper to run and maintain. If there are less cars racing next year, the sport will lose its attraction to many fans. Fortunately the former STCC-cars will race in the GT-series.

SEAT Leon TCR during the first shakedown. It sounded fantastic and looked quite fast. Photo : Johan Åhlund

Lets hope for several new teams in the STCC this year

In May, I visited the Mantorp Park circuit at a sports car event and watched the testing of the new Seat Leon TCR-car. Man, it did sound awesome. And it seems to behave very well on the soaked track. I was actually surprised by the performance and sound, it did look fast and I imagined in my mind a starting grid with a bunch of other cars like it. That would be great to watch.

This is the new Volkswagen Golf TCR, a car that will be driven by at least two teams in the STCC next year. Photo: Lestrup Racing Team.

When im writing this, only five teams are presented for 2017. That is alarmingly few. However, STCC driver Markus Annervi just signed on to run a Honda Civic TCR, and Greger Petersson, head at Sportpromotion just said to STCC.se that he has two more JAS-built Honda Civics available for other drivers to rent. PWR Racing Team will run at least two Seat Leon cars. LMS Racing will enter with the Audi RS3 TCR, and Fredrik Lestrup at Lestrup Racing Team and Experion Racing Team will race join the others in the very popular VW Golf TCR.

It sure will be exciting to see how many cars will be joining the grid on Ring Knutstorp the fourth of May. Hopefully the grid will hold at least 12 cars, that would be great. More info as always on STCC.SE.

Text and Photo : Johan Åhlund
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