Well, at least in the Swedish Racing Elite League. Says Jan "Flash" Nilsson, driver and Managing Director of Flash Engineering, "I have longed for 40 years to see the fight between Saab and Volvo on the race tracks. It becomes reality this summer and my biggest dream is to get all Saab fans to the TTA races to cheer us on."
In addition to the Volvo Polestar S60 TTA sedan, the Saab 9-3 fielded by Flash Engineering and Team Tidö will go up against efforts from BMW and Citroën. And, intriguingly, the team will have the support of what's left of the Saab company in Sweden – Flash will be sponsored in part by Saab Parts, the organization created to handle Saab repairs now that the automaker is in receivership, along with the Saab Dealer Organization.
Check out the complete press release below, which is chock full of historically significant Saab cars and drivers, along with the high-res gallery of the racing Saab 9-3 above.
Saab is going to live on despite the recent receivership with four newly developed Saab 9-3 in the TTA – Racing Elite League in 2012.
Flash Engineering and Team Tidö launches a tribute to Saab's journey during the years in the form of Tribute2Saab in this year's Swedish Racing Elite League.
Jan "Flash" Nilsson, Mattias Andersson, Linus Ohlsson and a yet to be revealed driver is going to represent Saab on the Swedish tracks and take on the fight with Volvo, BMW and Citroën in the Racing Elite League.
"I have longed for 40 years to see the fight between Saab and Volvo on the race tracks. It becomes reality this summer and my biggest dream is to get all Saab fans to the TTA races to cheer us on," said Jan "Flash" Nilsson, driver and Managing Director of Flash Engineering.
"I had a real 'wow-feeling' when I saw the Saab in TTA-design for the first time. It is going to be great fun racing with a Swedish car and most of all to pick up the classic Saab versus Volvo fight that has been going on since I was a child. I am for sure looking forward to the coming season," said Mattias Andersson, former IRL and CART driver.
"It is going to be great to race with Saab, a car that always has been special for me. It is a really strong feeling to step up to the Racing Elite League with Team Tidö and Flash Engineering this year and I am going to do my utmost to deliver top results," said Linus Ohlsson, third in the Carrera Cup Scandinavia 2011.
"You don't have to be much of a patriot to suffer with Saab and their employees. I have had the fortune to meet many of Saab's motorsport drivers during my few years within the sport such as Stig Blomqvist and more. That is why it is going to be extra fun to race a Saab in TTA. Saab has lead much of the development for the cars of the world and now Team Tidö and Flash Engineering wants to lead the development within Swedish motorsport with TTA," said David von Schinkel, Managing Director of Team Tidö.
"I am very proud to have been a part of Saab. I think that the initiative of Flash Engineering to honor Saab is amazing and you understand that there is so much feelings surrounding Saab with the Swedish people," said Jan-Åke Jonsson, Managing Director for Saab Aotomobile AB from 2005 to 2011.
Parts of Saab that still live on is going to be involved in Flash Engineering and Team Tidö's programme and Saab Parts is going to support the team.
"We think that this is an amazing effort and it is great that Flash Engineering and Team Tidö is lifting Saab as a car with this tribute. It does also give us a great opportunity to show that we are still alive, taking care of Saab cars at 160 authorized workshops around Sweden," said Thomas Sundström, director of Saab Parts Sweden.
The Saab Dealer Organisation is also supporting Flash Engineering and Team Tidö's efforts in the Racing Elite League 2012.
"We have done an amazing journey with Saab throughout the years and it is going to be great fun to watch the success of Flash Engineering and Team Tidö on the racing tracks this year in the TTA and we are going to follow it closely," said Peter Hallberg, Managing Director of Saab Dealer Organisation.
"We at Björkmans Bil in Västerås are very positive towards this programme and we are looking forward to take customers out to the races. It is going to be an exciting project and it is going to be great fun to follow Flash Engineering and Team Tidö on the tracks this year, especially by having Team Tidö as a team close to our facilities," said Anders Björkman, Managing Director of Björkmans Bil in Västerås.
Saab Motorsport History
1962 – First Monte Carlo victory – Erik Carlsson – Saab 96
1973 – First WRC victory – Stig Blomqvist – Saab 96 V4
1979 – First WRC turbo victory – Stig Blomqvist – Saab 99 Turbo
1984 – First Rally cross European Title – Anders Norstedt – Saab 900
1997 – First Rally cross Swedish Title – Per Eklund – Saab 900
2000 – First Pikes Peak victory – Per Eklund – Saab 9-3
Saab's motorsport history is extensive and started with the very first models in the fifties. Erik "Carlsson On the Roof" was one of the first drivers scoring international success with Saab, claiming, among other things, two victories in the Monte Carlo Rally.
"It brings warmth to my heart that Saab is going to live on the racing tracks this year. I have got so many great memories with Saab. I am really glad to see that there are people still burning with love for dear Saab, especially as Saab is and has been such a big thing for the Swedish people," said Erik Carlsson "On the Roof".
Three other big Saab names that have scored success with the Swedish brand is Stig Blomqvist, Per Eklund and Åke "Bryggarn" Andersson.
"Without Saab and their help, I would not have been where I am in motorsport today. Saab has been leading the development of technology in cars and the things happening now is really sad. That is why it is great that Flash Engineering and Team Tidö celebrates Saab. Who knows, perhaps my son Tom Blomqvist (part of McLaren's junior programme) can drive Saab one day as well," said Stig Blomqvist, WRC champion of 1984.
"Saab is dear to me. I am right now working on the completion of two Saab cars to compete with in the USA, so Saab is very much alive for me. It makes me happy to hear about Flash Engineering and Team Tidö doing something this radical when the news about Saab is mostly negative. Good luck with TTA," said Per Eklund, European Rally Cross champion of 1999.
"Saab has meant a lot for me and my career. I am really glad that they are putting the spotlight on Saab through Tribute2Saab. Thanks to my cooperation with Team Tidö within historical racing, I have been able to follow this project up close and it is impressive to say the least. It is also great that Jan "Flash" Nilsson is helping a junior programme, that is really needed. It is going to be interesting to follow TTA," said Åke "Bryggarn" Andersson, winner of the 1966 WRC of Sweden.
Flash Engineering and Team Tidö is going to test the Saab for the first time at a secret location next week, visit www.flashengineering.se for more information!