A 2000 Saab 9-3 Viggen 5-door will compete in the One Lap of America rally—North America's longest non-stop over-the-road rally competition. The 9-3 Viggen's turbocharged performance and sport-tuned chassis will be rigorously tested over the seven-day, non-stop event covering 4,200-miles and eight race tracks.
Norcross, Ga.- Saab Cars USA, Inc. has entered a Saab 9-3 Viggen 5-door in this year's One Lap of AmericaTM contest. The competition begins in South Haven, Mich. on Sunday, May 7, and covers 4,200-miles and eight closed-course competitions in just seven days. The 9-3 Viggen will be piloted by Vince Bodiford, a returning One Lap champion, and Dave Young—both of Sydney, Neb., and hosts of "The Weekend Drive" radio show and web site.
The Saab 9-3 Viggen is a perfect competitor for both long-distance touring and high-speed driving. Its high-output turbo engine—with 230 horsepower and 258 Ib.-ft. of torque—and performance-tuned chassis make it ideal for on-track challenges, while the car's versatile and spacious interior and luxurious appointments guarantee the team's comfort while on the road 24 hours a day. The crew will definitely make use of the split fold-down rear seat, which provides plenty of room to stretch out and sleep. In addition, the Saab Ecopower 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine offers 29 mpg (EPA fuel economy rating) for highway driving—ensuring a long driving range between fill-ups. The vehicle will also be equipped with the OnStar telematics system—providing additional safety precautions and navigation assistance.
"The One Lap race is basically an entire racing season compressed into one week," says Team Captain and Driver, Bodiford, who won the race in 1994 with racer Price Cobb. "It's a test of driver and car endurance, period. We are anxious to get started and demonstrate the 9-3 Viggen's capabilities."
The Saab driving team is outfitted by Cabela's—the World's Foremost Outfitter of hunting, fishing and outdoor gear—who provided sport luggage, communications equipment, an e-map for time-distance calculations and a nightvision scope for additional safety during night driving. Despite the One Lap of America's "Cannonball" driving heritage, the race is actually a legal-speed-limit endurance contest on public highways. Speed competitions involve hot laps against the clock at eight closed-course race tracks. The 17th annual One Lap of America competition is co-sponsored by Car & Driver magazine and Michelin tires. There will be only one overnight stay during the week. The One Lap route features time-trial events at the following race circuits:
5/7, 7:00 a.m.: GingerMan Raceway, South Haven, Ml
5/7, 5:30 p.m.: Michigan International Raceway, Brooklyn, Ml
5/8,10:00 a.m.: Road Atlanta, Braselton, GA
5/9, 9 00 a.m.: Sebring International Raceway, Sebring, FL
5/10, 8 00 a.m.: Virginia International Raceway, Alton, VA
5/11, 8 00 a.m.: Lime Rock Park, Lime Rock, CT
5/12, 8 00 a.m.: Nelson Ledges, Warren, OH
5/13, 8 00 a.m.: GingerMan Raceway, South Haven, Ml