Dumfries, Scotland – Scott-Eklund Racing will continue its challenge for Global Rallycross Championship (GRC) honours next weekend (Saturday July 14) in the fourth round of the series at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
The privateer Scott-Eklund Racing Saab 9-3s proved more than a match for the manufacturer-backed teams in the latest rounds in LA, with Samuel Hubinette easily winning his heat to earn automatic entry into the final. Although he was taken out in the six-lap final, the American was running third and matching the pace of second-placed Ken Block, and just shy of the lap times of eventual winner, eight-time World Rally Champion Sebastien Loeb.
Scott-Eklund Racing Team Principal Andy Scott will be hoping to put the disappointment of LA behind him as he heads into battle in New Hampshire. The Dumfries fisherman qualified strongly in seventh place, but did not make it through to the final for the first time this season. The British Rallycross Vice-Champion will be looking to redress that after a strong start to his GRC campaign in Charlotte allowed him to blast to LCQ victory, and clinch fourth in the final, after a turbo charger issue had wrecked his qualifying.
A superb race pace for the pair of 600bhp, two litre, 16 valve Saab 9-3s has seen the duo consistently amongst the front runners at Charlotte, Texas and LA, and the fourth round of the six-round series, should be no exception. For Hubinette, who only confirmed his participation in the GRC on the eve of the opening round, the Scott-Eklund Racing Saab 9-3 with Eneos Motor Oil has proved to be the perfect mount for the double Formula Drift Champion. The 2010 X Games bronze medallist is the only driver to have won each of his heats in the opening three events, and qualified for each final – the 41 year-old is determined to add a podium finish to his fifth place in Charlotte.
For the fledging team now based out in Pompano Beach, Florida, the drive to New Hampshire from California has offered its own logistical problems, but with the expertise of Technical Director Per Eklund and the team, both Hubinette’s and the Scott-Trawlers-backed Saab 9-3 of Scott will once again be fully prepared to the highest standard to ensure they are in tip-top condition for the challenges of the next round.
Running alongside the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at the track known as "The Magic Mile", the GRC round at Loudon will feature an asphalt track incorporating a car wash, short lap, and long jump, together with the return of the 70-foot gap jump that debuted in Texas.
The GRC race activity kicks off with practice at 08:30 on Thursday July 12, followed by seeding at 19:00 and the first heats at 20:00 on Friday July 13. Saturday’s heats will take place from 19:00 with the Last Chance Qualifiers and Final following immediately after. (All times are local and remain subject to change).
Sa Andy Scott - Scott-Eklund Racing Team Principal & driver, Car #26:
“I’m looking forward to New Hampshire after a disappointing LA. It’s all too easy to focus on the last event but Charlotte and Texas were great events and we intend to be on the podium next weekend. We have all worked so hard to bring together the Scott-Eklund Racing team and I’m very proud of what the team has achieved during the first six months of the year. The Scott-Eklund Racing Saab 9-3 has proved to be one of the quickest cars on the track and we continue to make positive gains.
“The opening rounds have been a new and an amazing experience for all of the team. For many of us it will be our first time at the track, but we will approach the race like every other round, enthusiastic, determined, and confident of a strong finish as we continue to build on our past results.”
Samuel Hubinette - Scott-Eklund Racing Saab 9-3 with ENEOS Motor Oil, Car #77:
“I’m feeling very optimistic about New Hampshire as we’ve been very strong at the NASCAR tracks so far. We came out of X Games, which was a much smaller course and where we thought we’d have a tough time, in good form as we ran really fast and kept some good momentum in getting into the Final. I got put in the wall but there wasn’t too much damage to the car and now I’m anxious to get the Scott-Eklund Racing Saab 9-3 with Eneos Motor Oil back out on track.
“It will be important to get a good qualification run and get a place in the A final. From experience I’d say it will be all about staying away from trouble. There’s been a lot of bumping and barging so far so I need to stay away from other cars and get it over the finish line. I’m very excited to have more sponsors on board with me, including Mothers, Denso, and Traxxas for X Games, plus of course Magnaflow who have been with me for several years. I’m very proud to have sponsors joining us, mid-season as it were as it shows their belief in me.”
Per Eklund – Scott-Eklund Racing Technical Director:
“We have been through the cars completely since LA and thankfully there has not been much damage. We’ve changed the gearing and the transmission, but nothing is broken. We have been very quick in the opening three rounds, so I think we’ve proved that the Saab 9-3 is fast and reliable.
“We now look forward to the next rounds at New Hampshire, hoping to continue that pace, get both cars in the final and hopefully a podium finish.”