Eklund drives a modified Saab 9-3 to his first European Rallycross championship title
Norcross, GA - Swedish rallycross racer Per Eklund has claimed the 1999 European Rallycross championship in a modified Saab 9-3. Eklund secured the title with consistent top results all season: two wins, four second-place finishes and two third- place finishes. This is his first European Rallycross championship title and follows up his second-place finish last year. Eklund also took the Silver in this year's Swedish Rallycross series.
Eklund competed in his first rally race in 1964 in his father's driving school car, three days after receiving his driver's license. He competed in a Saab two-stroke that year and started driving a factory-sponsored Saab in 1970. Throughout the 1970s, Eklund was one of Saab's most successful factory drivers and won the 1976 Swedish Rally in a Saab 96. Eklund also won championships in the Swedish rally and hillclimb series.
The European Rallycross Series consists of nine events with races in France, Portugal, Sweden, Belgium, The Netherlands, Norway and Germany. Racers are allowed to drop their two lowest scores. Eklund wrapped up the title this season in the series' eighth race in Norway.
Eklund and his team will attempt to retain the European championship next season in a new 2000 Saab 9-3.
Final results in 1999 European Rallycross championship series
Place Name Car Points 1 PerEklund, Sweden Saab 9-3T 16 123 2 Kenneth Hansen, Sweden Citroen Xsara VTS 117 3 Ludvig Hunsbedt, Norway Ford EscortT16 103 4 Pavel Koutny, Czech Republic Ford Escort T16 84 5 Michael Jernberg, Sweden Ford Focus T 16 81 6 Eivind Opland, Norway Mitsubishi Car T 16 80 7 Lasse Sallstrom, Sweden Ford EscortT16 80 8 Jos Kuypers, Holland Ford EscortT16 78 9 MarkoJokinen, Finland Citroen ZXT16 58 10 Anna Hane, Sweden Audi S2 Quattro 41 11 Martin Schanche, Norway Opel Astra T 16 38 12 Martin Iversen, Norway Ford EscortT16 12 13 Jen-Luc Pailler, France Citroen Xantia T 16 31 14 Jacques Franssen, Belgium Subaru Impreza 31 15 Jos Sterkens, Belgium Ford MondeoT 16 26