Per Eklund was
allready the 1999 European Champion before start of the last race of the season
in Buxtehude, Germany. Per was ready to end the season with another top result.
The weekend started out very well, with Eklund in his SAAB 9-3 fastest in the
1. Per Eklund SAAB 9-3 40.11
1. Ludvig Hunsbedt 2.38,28
1. Kenneth Hansen 2.36,40
1. Kenneth Hansen 2.34,92
SM title to Hansen. Per ran a great race in this the SM finals in Götene. Since the SM points are worth double Per was not mathematically eliminated from the title race. Hansen was leading the series by 10 points going in to the final series race. In order for Per to take home the title he had to win and Hansen had to take third or less.
Both competitions knew this and were loaded for the race. In the first qualifying heat Per misted a shift off the line and had to battle back to a third place finish behind Hansen and Larsson. Later in the Depot Per trimmed his car and came out in both the second and third heats with a vengeance and won both quals easily.
Giving him the second place in the start grid in the A finals behind Jernberg. Hansen who had a bad second and third heat was fifth in the grid. Finals: Per won the start with Hansen tight behind. Hansen and Per soon left the rest of the grid long behind as both drivers fought for position.
Both drivers drove a flawless race and both Per and Hansen were tight through all four laps. Hansen could not pass and settled for a second place finish at his home track. The SM series went to Hansen with Per taking Silver for the second year in a row. With one race left in the EM series Per has already clinched the EM title.
After a fantastic weekend in Norway Per Eklund has secured the European championship title with still one more event to go. This year has Per shown fantastic results in all events. Two wins, four second places and two third are the result of good driving and a reliable car.
Per has been close to the title before but never quite managed to go the distance. Big crash and restart in the A-final Per had pole position in the final. Ludvig Hunsbedt, Kenneth Hansen, Pavel Koutney, Michael Jernberg and Martin Iversen followed on the grid.
Eklund stalled the engine in the start but managed to recover just before main title competitor Kennet Hansen and Michael Jernberg. Ludvig Hunsbedt won the start but Eklund set of in a tremendous fight, knowing that he could secure the title only by winning. After the first lap was Eklund very close when Hunsbedt suddenly developed transmission problems with his car.
Hunsbedt tried to steer out of the track, but Eklund had no chance to avoid hitting. Hunsbedt. Per then went into a spin over to the left side of the track. Michael Jernberg also crashed into Hunsbedt and pushed him so that he slid over to the right side of the track, where Kenneth Hansen was.
Hansen also crashed in to Ludvig's car and all three cars were totally destroyed. Eklund came out well a head of the rest of the guys when the race was red flagged and stopped because of the heavy accident. Kenneth was picked up by the ambulance and he complained about neck pain. He was brought to the hospital but, returned to the track later on without problems.
In the restart Eklund was first followed by Martin Iversen and Pavel Koutney. The Checz driver had transmission problems so Eklund could drive to take an easy victory in front of Iversen. Next weekend there will be the final round of the Swedish championship where Eklund has an outside chance to take home the SM. title.
Third in the official time practise
Ludvig Hunsbedt 39,59
fastest in the first heats Hunsbeth won the start ahead of Per who had a bad start.
Per managed to make up time and passed Sällstrom in the second corner. Per went
on to take second place..
1. Ludvig Hunsbedt 2.36,86
Third fastest in second heats Per had a wheelspin and as a result had a bad start. Schanche was fastest followed by Sällström. Per drove hard and was able to overtake Schanche and Sällström in the first lap.
Ludvig Hunsbedt 2.36,43
in the third heats A perfect start for Per. Per battled Hansen for the lead and
Hunsbeth who almost overtook him. Per had to back off after the first lap as Hansen
hit him from behind.and he almost went into a spin. Per managed to hold control
of his vehicle. Towards the end of the race Per missed a shift and Hansen caught
up hitting him again from behind, Per kept cool and in control wining the heat.
Per second in the A finals. Hunsbedt had pole position on the grid followed by Eklund, Koutney, Hansen, Sällström and B-final winner Hunsbeth won followed by Per in second place and Hansen in third. Per managed a second place finish thus extending his lead in the EM championships. with two more races left Per has extended his lead to 14 points.
Per had a disappointing sixth place finish in the A finals. A false start and a drive shaft problem caused this to be be worse finish in the SM series this year for Per. All is not lost as there is one more race in the series. The SM finals are worth twice as much in the point standing which means that Per can still take home SM gold. Per is also leading the European championships by a healthy 12 point margin.
In today's A-final in Maasmechelen (Belgium) Kenneth Hansen ran to victory in his Citroën Xsara and thus closed in on Per in the European championships. The Belgian driver Jaques Fransen in a Subaru Impreza came in as a totally unexpected but very happy third place finish. Per Eklund is still leading the championship with a healthy 12 point lead followed by Hansen and Eivind Opland. Time practiceThe Norwegians who have had little success so far in the championship were the fastest in practice. Ludvig Hunsbedt was fastest followed by Martin Schanche who made his best drive so far with the new Opel Astra. Kenneth Hansen was third and Per Eklund fourth.
Ludvig Hunsbedt . 39.04
Heavy rainfall complicated the first heatsRain started to fall just after the opening heats and made it impossible for the rest of the drivers to set any fast times. The Belgian driver, Jaques Fransen, was fastest for the first time ever followed by country man Jos Sterkens. All of the top drivers were set very slow times. Per Eklund was in 16:th place. Per did not have time enough to change over to rain tires so he had to run on dry on slicks.
Per was fastest from the start followed by Martin Schanche. The race to the first corner was was hard between Per, Jernberg and Sällström. Per managed to keep the lead all the way to the fininsh in front of Schanche. The SAAB was not handling well, after the heat Per noticed a gearbox failure with all the limited slips blocked. The problem was easily fixed before next heat.
Jaques Fransen 3,06.71
Third in the second heatsPer Eklund won the start and he drove flat out to try to set a fast time. The track was drying and became faster and faster. As the last heats where run, the track was even quicker and Per's time earned him a third place.
1. Kenneth Hansen
Third in the third heatsPer once again took the lead in the start but Schanche and Sällström really tried hard to make up time. Too hard infact since Schanche ended up outside the track and had to be towed back to the paddock. Per tried his best to set a fast time driving faster and faster with each passing lap. His time was also this time good enough for third place.
Kenneth Hansen 2,41.88
Times from qualifying gave Hansen the pole position followed by Kuijpers, Eklund, Franssen, Koutney and B-final winner Eivind Opland. Runner up in the A-final Hansen, Kuijpers and Eklund made an even start all trying to win the first corner. Hansen won the fight ad was followed by Eklund ( five meters behind). While the other drivers fought hard but were well behind Eklund and Hansen. They pulled away with the same gap between them. This was the ninth podium finish for Per this season of nine attempts. Per's SAAB 93 has turned out to be very fast and reliable this year.
standings in the European championship 1999
After a fantastic weekend when Per Eklund was fastest in practise and qualifying he finished third in the A-final.
First heats Misstakes made by the organisers put Per in the first heat instead of the last. Therefor he had to run on a watered and slower track. Per was winnig the start and he then was drove to set the fastest time in the first heats despiteof the watered track. Per won his heat in front of Lasse Sällström.
Second heats Kenneth Hansen took the inside line into the first corner and squeezed his way by to pass Eklund. Per noticed that he was driving faster then Kenneth and went of for the alternative track during the the first lap. He then could improve the speed in order to be able to overtake Kenneth when he had to drive the alternative track in the last lap. Eklund once again set the fastest time of the heats wich with two winns secured the pole position in the A-final. Per therefor did not race the third heats.
A-final Results from qualifying gave a grid with Per Eklund in pole position. Kenneth Hansen and Michael Jernberg completed the first row along side Per. In the second row was Lasse Sällström , Lasse Larsson and Anna Hane. Jernberg in his Ford Focus made a fantastic start and he also had the best line into the first corner. Pers SAAB and Kenneths Citroën were nse to nose into the first corner but Hansen had the inside line.
Jernberg lead followed by Hansen and Eklund. Hansen tried to overtake Jernberg during the first lap. Jernberg drifted wide over the jump, Kenneth was drove on the inside of the jump. When Jernberg was turned in to the righthand corner Hansen was hit him with full speed, driving on the outside of the track to overtake Jernberg.
Eklund was also just on the bumper of Jernberg so when the Ford drifted wide during the crash with Hansen could Eklund find a gap to take second position. This big battle costed a lot of time and Sällström who took the alternative track at the first lap made gains so much so that he could overtake Eklund when he took the alternative track.
Hansen finished first, followed by Sällström, Eklund, Jernberg, Larsson and Hane. After the race the stewards decided to claim Hansen not guilty of overtaking outside the track because he was pushed there (strange because Jernberg was acctually in front of Hansen). Hansen is now leading the Swedish championship after three rounds followed by Per Eklund.
The lead is increasing! Per finnished second in Finland but is was another very successful weekend for Per Eklund. During the fifth round of the european championship Eivind Opland took his first ever div 1 victory followed by Per and Lasse Sällström. Per's main contender in the championship, Kenneth Hansen, finnished in fifth place. This means that Pers lead has extended to 15p. Martin Schanche blew his engine in the B-final and Michael Jernberg had some technical problems so he did not make it to the finals.
Fastest in first heats Kenneth Hansen jump-started and had a gearbox breakage in the first start. In the restart Per had an excellent start. He hade excelant time earning the fastest time of the first heats. Pavel Koutney had to retire during the heat.
1. Per Eklund
Michael Jernberg had differential problems with his Ford Focus WRC. Third in the second heats Hunsbeth was fastest in the start followed by Eklund. Hunsbeth set the second fastest time of the round just after Kenneth Hansen who was fastest.
Kenneth Hansen 2.14.67
Fastest in the third heats Per won the start and he could hunt for the best time followed by Jokinen and Hunsbedt.
Per Eklund 2.1765.
Times from the qualifying brought Per to pole position in the A-final. Second in very dusty konditions The grid was lined up with Eklund on pole, followed by Opland, Hansen, Sällström, Jokinen and Hunsbedt. There were two jumpstarts before there was a clean start on the third attempt. Opland made a very quick start and reached the first corner as a leader.
Per was pushed from behind so that he allmost went backwards in to the second corner. Kenneth Hansen sneeked through in to second place followed by Per. Then Eklund started the big hunt and managed to overtake the Citroën on the start straight. Then had Kenneth a flat tire and finnished fifth in the final.
Per extended the lead in the champonship Per Eklund managed to finish third in the fourth event of the European championship held in Sweden. Per had the best result amung his main competitors in the championship series. Henow leads the pack by 10 points ahead of Kenneth Hansen. Hansen had a tough weekend and ended up crashing during the qualifying and had a flat tire in the finals. Per has finished in the money in each of the championship seris races this year.
Third in time practise Ludvig Hunsbedt from Norway set the fastest time during time practise followed with by 0.5 sec by Kenneth Hansen and Per Eklund. Third in the first heat Eklund was raced with Eivind Opland, Michael Jernberg and Ludvig Hunsbedt. Hunsbedt had an excellent start and he was first out from the grid followed by Per, Jernberg and Opland. Times from the first heats gave Lasse Sällström the first position. Martin Schanche is now starting to improve his times with the new Opel Astra.
Lasse Sällström 2.21.07
Fourth in the second heat Martin Schanche made a fantastic start but he had a spin in the first corner. Lasse Sällström (who this weekend had his best performance ever in div 1) took the lead followed by Eklund. Per tried all possible lines through the cornersin repeted attempts to over take Sällström, but did so without success. Husbedt set the fastest time followed by Jernberg, Sällström and Eklund. Kenneth Hansen crashed into the sand when trying to overtake the Norwegian Eivind Opland.
Second in the third heats Eklund made a great start and he was first out from
the grid followed by Kotney and Hunsbedt. Per then could concentrate on driving
for a fast time. Sällström was fastest followed by Eklund and Jernberg. Hansens
mechanichs managed to rebuild his damaged car to come out in the third heats but
Kenneth did not succed in setting a fast time. Sällströms times from qualifying
gave him his first pole position in the A-final followed by Hunsbedt, Eklund,
Jernberg, Iversen and B-final winner Opland. Hansen and Schanche never made it
to the A-final.
1. Lasse Sällström 2.17.71
Third in the A-final A very tight start where Hunsbedt was first out from the grid followed by Jernberg, Eklund, Sällström, Iversen and Opland. Eklund fought during all three laps to find a place to overtake Jernberg. Hunsbedt won his first event for the season followed by Jernberg and Eklund. The result gave Per an extende lead in the championship where he now enjoys a healthy 10 point lead in front of Kenneth Hansen. Next event will be next weekend in Finland.
from the Swedish event
standing in the European championship
Podium in Knutstorp This past weekend was the second round of the Swedish Championship held at Knutstorp Ring in the south of Sweden.. Per had problems all weekend with a misfiring engine. The team worked day and night to change everything that could have possibly been the cause the problem but did so without success. In spite of the problems Per Eklund managed a finish third finish behind Kenneth Hansen and Dan Andersson. Per is still leading the Championship in front of Kenneth.
Overall standings after two events
Eklund SAAB 25p
Despite of an engine without compression managed Per to finish third in the second round of the European championship. A victory at home for Frenchman Jean-Luc Paillerin in front of Kenneth Hansen and Per Eklund The Norwegian, Schanche is still suffering from mechanical problems in his new vehicle. In the first heat Michael Jernberg took the earlty lead followed by Eklund, Jean-Luc Pailler and Michel Liger. Per tried to pass Jernberg during three laps without success.
from first heat:
In the second heat Jos Kuypers was fastest out of the start followed by Per and Gilles Stiecenhart. After one lap Per overtook Kuypers and kept the lead into the finish.
from second heat:
Third heat Pailler won the start leading Eklund and Hansen. Kenneth gave up after
a lap and Per could not manage to get by the French Citroën. Per's car was faster
and he tried to pass in every corner . Times from qualifying brought Per to a
second place on the grid for the finals.
Times from third heat:
Despite of a broken engine, Per was third in the finals. The line up for the finals was as follows: Hansen in pole position followed by Eklund, Pailler, Jernberg, Kuypers and Liger. In the first start attempt Per the jumped the start. In the second start Pailler made a rocket start from behind, reaching the first corner in front of Hansen and Eklund. After the first lap.
Per noticed that his engine did not work on low revs. It turned out to be an engine break down with bended valves and no compression set. Despite this Per managed to stay in third position and therefor he is still in top of the championship. The team now must change engines before the Portuguese round next weekend.
Results from France:
standings in the championship
The official time practice was held in difficult conditions with the weather changing all the time from rain to dry. The Swedish SAAB team were working hard with the car testing different setups with tires and limited slips. The car (as usual) was trouble free and Per managed to finish as runner up just 0.12 sec after Citroëns Kenneth Hansen.
The first six drivers were all within 0.6 sec in practice tells us that tomorrow's race will be very close and exciting. The Norwegian Martin Schanche who showed off for the first time his new Opel Astra. He had mechanical problems all day and finished 15:th overall. Results from the official time practice:
Kenneth Hansen Sweden Citroën 38.21
The opening heats start tomorrow at 10.00. Per start in pole position beside Jean-Luc Pailler, Michael Jernberg and Michel Liger . The Finals will starts Sunday at 16.00.
Victory in Czech Republic! A fantastic start of the season for Per Eklund. Per earned a 20 healthy points in the opening round of the 1999 European Rallycross championship. Third in the second heat Per was first out of the grid in his heat, but then stalled his engine. He caught up the leaders and overtook them before the finish line. Pavel Koutney was once again fastest on his home circuit followed by Kenneth Hansen and Per Eklund.
1. Pavel Koutney 2.42,67
Runner up in the third heat Per won his heat easy after taking the lead from the starting grid and set the pace until the finish line. Kenneth Hansen was fastest in the round followed by Eklund and Jernberg. The position gave Per third place on the grid to the A-final.
Kenneth Hansen 2.41,2
On the last lap Hansen suddenly developed problems and Per took an easy victory finishing in front of Czech driver Pavel Koutney and Swedish Michael Jernberg. After a weekend without any problems Per Eklund and the Team can now prepare themselves for the next race.
Per Eklund Sweden Saab 9-3 20p
Rain and difficult conditions Heavy rainfall and extremely difficult but Per was the Fastest in the free practice The Saab 9-3 was running perfect and Per managed to set the fastest time during the first free practice session. The time for Per 44.19 with Ludvig Hunsbedt on second place with 44.65. In the second session Eklund had some engine problems.
in the official time practice
Many drivers crashed out When the first heat started, heavy rain fall began. Per was running in the same heat as Sällström , Koutny and Jernberg. Per's Saab 9-3 was fastest out of the start, reaching the first bend in front of Koutny. The Ford driver pushed Eklund from behind and passed on the inside. Eklund got mud all over the windscreen and could not see anything, but managed to clear the screen after half a lap.
Jernberg crashed the Ford Focus in the slippery conditions. Koutny won the heat ahead of Eklund. Also, Ludvig Hunsbedt and Eivind Opland crashed in the heavy rain causing substantial damage to their cars. Opland and Jernberg can probably fix their cars for tomorrow's race, but Hunsbedt had to retire and go home.
from the first heats
Saturday After a long winter and a lot of work on our car, we arrived in Tomelilla for the first race of the 1999-racing season. The competition this year will be harder this year because there are a lot of new drivers to contend with. We have a real fight in front of us to reach the A finals. They’re have been some rule changes to make Rally cross more exciting for the spectators and TV. Today was only practice and I tried out different tires and changed the suspension a little to improve the car’s performance.
was third in the time practice runs and as you can see the times are very close:
Sunday Free practice: We did not make any changes to the car since everything is works as expected. Warm-up: Our warm up trial showed that it will be a hard fight to get into the A finals. Three cars had nearly the same time with only a 0.10-second difference. Heat 1: I started with Jernberg and Larsson. I did not have a good start and I started to drift (with a little help that is to say) in the first corner bur I managed to be first after that turn. Lateron in the race, I developed a water line problem and was forced to slow down since the engine was running at 100 deg.
I was second after Larsson and I went straight into the B finals. B finals: I had a great start and was first into the first corner. I felt that my car was still 100% ok after the problem That I had during the first race. I led the whole race and giving me a good advantage before having to take the outside, This is a new rule change. The track is constructed in such a way that one corner is constructed two ways and all competitors must take the outside corner once during the race. I earned the second position in the A finals.
1. Per Eklund
Finals In the finals, three cars reached the first corner at the same time; Hansen’s Jernberg’s and Mine. Jernbergs car slid sideways in front of my car and then touched Hansens. This resulted in a big “bang” and they both went out of the circuit. The red flag was brought out and the race was stopped and a restart was called for. At the restart only three cars were able to take part since Hansen and Jernberg’s cars were too badly damaged to continue.
I immediately took the lead and held it until the finish. Winning the final and taking home fifteen points towards the Swedish national title. This was a tremendous of the new racing season. This win is just what I need to be 100% for the first round of the European Championships in the Check republic.
Eklund 15 points
Eklund usually has good results at premier tournaments . The track in Tomelilla is among Per’s favorites and he usually always does very well at this bumpy track. The car is functioning better than expected and Per is confident that this will be a winning start. Per has had a fantastic success in the Swedish nationals (SM) during recent years winning SM-gold in 96 and 97 well as silver last year.
This year will Rallycross car be allowed to use “slicks” (Tires with out treads). During the last two years Rallycross teams were forced to use treaded tires. Better Competition: The biggest threat in the Swedish national (SM) series comes from Citroën’s Kenneth Hansen who has not won a SM title in many years. Last years champion Michael Jernberg has built a new Ford Focus and while he can’t be counted out, he is sure to have growing pins this year.
Austria cancelled: EM-premier is to be held in the Check republic May 8th-9th.
Per was very happy, with his new car after a thorough day of testing in Skåne. The car has performed better than it did at last year at the Tomelilla track and the new motor is running very well. Engine: A new engine has been developed for this season's Competition car. Last years 2.3-liter engine will be replaced with a 2.0-liter power house. Last years car was very heavy, but this years liter body in combination with a lighter engine will Improve performance significantly.
Per won the 1997 Swedish National title in a 2.0-liter motor under the hood of his SAAB 900. He is very familiar with this engine and with the help of his friends at Trollspeed in Trollhättan, he has been able to trim up the engine to such an extent that it even out performs last year's 2.3-liter. Transmission: The reduced registrar of this year's 2.0-liter motor will allow per to use a six gear transmission another improvement over last year's 4 gear model. Other improvements: Per has worked hard to improve other aspects of his vehicle some of which include: A new front wheel geometry; a smaller wing, improved steering and suspension