Media Release: Scott-Eklund Racing Nets Double Top Five Finish On GRC Debut
Charlotte Motor Speedway, North Carolina – Sunday, May 27, 2012: Scott-Eklund Racing laid down the gauntlet to the Global Rallycross Championship manufacturer-backed teams with an outstanding debut performance on Saturday, May 26, at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Andy Scott and Samuel Hübinette were turn perfect in the Scott-Eklund Racing Saab 9-3s, both netting heat race wins to qualify for the round one final showdown where the respective Scott-Trawlers-backed and ENEOS Motor Oil-supported entries delivered fourth and fifth place finishes.
The double top-five result is no mean feat for the Scottish team established barely five months ago, born out of Andy Scott’s dream to race in the USA, while the front-running Saab 9-3s have been prepared from the ground-up by Saab and rallycross legend Per Eklund’s crew.
Heading into the team’s all-important Stateside debut, Team Principal and driver Scott faced a tough challenge from the back of the 17-car field after a turbo charger issue in qualifying prevented him from recording a flying lap time. Unfazed, the Dumfries (Scotland) fisherman reeled-in the opposition by finishing fourth and third in his respective heats, each time the first car into turn one with his lightening starts, before taking his first victory on US soil in the Last Chance Qualifier.
In only his second track outing in the Scott-Eklund Racing Saab 9-3 with ENEOS Motor Oil, Hübinette built on his eighth-place qualifying form to climb the pack and take second in his first heat. The 40 year-old Californian, X Games bronze medallist then sealed the team’s first ever heat race win to automatically qualify for the final.
Reigning MSA British Rallycross Vice-Champion Scott sealed another storming start to take the joker on the opening lap while Hübinette headed for the long-lap behind Tanner Foust and Travis Pastrana, leaving Hübinette third and Scott fifth at the end of lap one.
With the Scott-Eklund Racing duo so evenly matched, the pair battled one place apart for much of the intensive eight-lap duel until fourth-placed Stephan Verdier in the Motorcity Disney XD Hyundai Veloster tipped Hübinette in to a spin on the in-field section to take third and Scott followed suit.
Hübinette, however, swiftly recovered to hotly pursue his teammate and take the chequered flag across the famed Charlotte Motor Speedway finish line, sealing an unbelievably impressive result for the brand new privateer team.
One thing is for sure. Scott-Eklund Racing was completely unknown ahead of the opening GRC round, but with the drivers’ tenacious sideways car control around the .77-mile custom-built track and the Saab 9-3’s awesome air achieved over the table-top jump, the team heads into the rest of the season with a rapidly building fan base on both sides of the pond.
With an amazing opening GRC round complete, Scott-Eklund Racing heads back to its new US base at Pompano Beach, Florida, before setting off to support the Firestone 550 IZOD IndyCar weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, on Saturday June 9. Visit www.texasmotorspeedway.com for ticketing information.
Andy Scott - Scott-Eklund Racing Team Principal & driver, Car #26:
“What a fantastic weekend. To come from having no qualifying position to go into the Last Chance Qualifier and winning that, start at the back of the grid and finish fourth; I think it’s probably the best racing weekend of my life.
“The team did a great job to fix the turbo issue and the car was fantastic off the line, except for the final when I couldn’t see the lights. Being a privateer team and taking fourth and fifth is probably the best part of the weekend. Pulling off what we have is unbelievable and we’ve been swamped with people supporting us.
“I came here looking for a top five position, so I pretty much got what I hoped for. To finish the race with two top five finishes and two race wins is a great performance from a small privateer team. Looking ahead to Texas, without doubt, the aim will be a podium finish.”
Samuel Hübinette - Scott-Eklund Racing Saab 9-3 with ENEOS Motor Oil, Car #77:
“What a fantastic day. I can’t say it enough, getting this deal together so late was probably a record at this level of motorsport. I drove the car for the first time in qualifying on Friday and today I was battling for third place in the final. I’m very happy with all the help I’ve had from Scott-Eklund Racing, ASD and ENEOS Motor Oil. I think we shocked a lot of people, we had a lot of big names here tonight and it’s great to have my achievement noted.
“I’ve had a blast racing a full-blown rallycross car for the first time. These cars are amazing. The launch control experience going 0-60 in around two seconds is a kick. I had a great battle in the final, got up to third, a lot of guys made mistakes. I had a battle with Travis [Pastrana] in the first corner and that went OK, but then on the last lap I was about to go into the corner and I got taken out by Stephan Verdier. Looking strong for a podium finish then getting taken out of it, well that sucks. But, overall fifth place in my first GRC race with a new team is pretty good.”
Per Eklund – Scott-Eklund Racing Technical Director:
“I am very, very happy. I know of the quality here, the names that are competing – all the big manufacturer teams and we are a small privateer team. Andy has done a fantastic job; I think everyone knows us now.
“We know the game now, I’ve been here before so we know what we’re doing - I have learnt some things over the past 49 years. I know Andy’s quality, too. He’s tough and he knows exactly what he’s doing and was very strong. I was very impressed with Samuel too; he was on for an easy third in the final until he was pushed off. Everybody knows who we are now.”
Scott-Eklund Racing Press Office:
Emma Spearing: +44 (0)7736 341828 | email@example.com
Cathy Metcalfe: +44 (0)7802 332398 | firstname.lastname@example.org