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Rallying Legend Stig Blomqvist’s Triumphant Return at the Historic Rally Festival: From Saab Success to Group B Glory

Rallying Legend Stig Blomqvist: From Saab to Group B Glory and Beyond

Stig Blomqvist: Conquering the Swedish Rally in 1979 with Saab

In a thrilling announcement for motorsport enthusiasts and rally fans around the world, Stig Blomqvist, the legendary rally driver, is set to make a triumphant return to the rallying stage at the upcoming Historic Rally Festival. The event promises to be an exhilarating showcase of rally history, and Blomqvist’s participation adds a remarkable touch of nostalgia and excitement, harking back to his earlier successes behind the wheel of Saab automobiles.

Stig Blomqvist: A Rallying Icon with Saab

Before conquering the high-octane world of Group B rallying, Stig Blomqvist had already made a significant mark in the rallying scene. His journey to stardom began in the early ’70s when he burst onto the scene driving a Saab 96 V4. In his debut year in 1971, he displayed his exceptional talent by winning a staggering nine out of the eleven events he entered, foreshadowing his future as a rally legend.

Saab 96 Rally Stig Blomqvist
Saab 96 Rally Stig Blomqvist

Blomqvist’s association with Saab was a significant chapter in his career. He showcased his prowess by piloting Saab cars to victory, earning him a reputation as a skilled and determined driver. The Saab 96 V4 became an iconic car, and Blomqvist’s success with it set the stage for his later triumphs in rallying.

Group B Glory with Audi: A Career Defining Era

However, it was during the Group B era of the World Rally Championship (WRC) that Stig Blomqvist truly made a name for himself. The Group B era, notorious for its incredibly powerful and fast cars, was the perfect stage for Blomqvist’s skills and fearlessness. He became an integral part of the Audi factory team and piloted the iconic Audi Quattro, an all-wheel-drive powerhouse, to great success.

In 1984, Stig Blomqvist achieved the pinnacle of his career by clinching the World Rally Championship drivers’ title, firmly establishing himself as one of the finest rally drivers in history. His remarkable consistency and unmatched driving prowess allowed him to finish as the runner-up in the championship the following year, in 1985.

Bjorn Borg & Stig Blomqvist in Saab 900 Turbo
Bjorn Borg & Stig Blomqvist in Saab 900 Turbo

Blomqvist’s dominance extended to his home event, the Swedish Rally, where he stood atop the podium an incredible seven times, earning the adoration of his compatriots and rally fans worldwide. Beyond the WRC, he claimed the British Rally Championship in 1983 and secured the Swedish Rally Championship title on multiple occasions.

One of the most iconic moments in Stig Blomqvist’s career occurred at the Race of Champions, where he claimed the coveted title of “Champion of Champions” not once but twice, in 1989 and 1990, further solidifying his status as a true rallying icon.

The Audi Quattro A2: A Rallying Legend Reborn

At the heart of Stig Blomqvist’s return to rallying action is the meticulously restored Audi Quattro A2, a car that symbolizes the golden era of Group B rallying. This particular Audi A2 Quattro has been rebuilt by Hansport to exact A2 works specification, utilizing original works parts to ensure its authenticity. The car’s restoration is a labor of love, and it stands as a tribute to the glorious days of rally racing.

Originally constructed to Group 4 specification by Schmidt Motorsport, the Audi A2 Quattro has a storied history, having been campaigned by privateer driver Haile Aguilar in the Middle East Rally Championship. It’s a testament to the enduring legacy of Group B rally cars that continues to captivate fans and drivers alike.

Blomqvist in the Saab 99 Turbo (Hunsrück-Rallye 1980)
Blomqvist in the Saab 99 Turbo (Hunsrück-Rallye 1980)

Adding an intriguing twist to the story, Hansport CEO John Hanlon, who played a pivotal role in the car’s restoration, will serve as the co-driver alongside Stig Blomqvist during the event. This partnership between a seasoned rally legend and a dedicated restorer promises to create an unforgettable spectacle on the stages.

The Historic Rally Festival: A Celebration of Rallying History

The Historic Rally Festival is a highly anticipated two-day motorsport extravaganza set to take place in 2023. The event has received critical acclaim and recognition, making it a must-attend for rally enthusiasts and families alike. Motorsport UK has granted the festival official permission, ensuring a high standard of competition and safety.

This year’s festival promises to be an exceptional experience, featuring up to 60 specially selected cars that will tackle famous stages, all while creating a vibrant festival atmosphere that caters to the entire family. The event will be spread across two iconic venues: Hatton Grange and Weston Park.

The festival kicks off on Saturday, September 30th, at Hatton Grange, the historic family home of the Kenyon-Slaney family. The ceremonial start and the first four stages will set the stage for an action-packed weekend. Afterward, the cars will return to the Service Area at Weston Park.

Stig Blomqvist Beside the Iconic Audi A2 Quattro: A Rally Legend Returns
Stig Blomqvist Beside the Iconic Audi A2 Quattro: A Rally Legend Returns

A unique and thrilling element of this festival is the inclusion of dusk stages at Weston Park. Rally cars will navigate the famous RAC stages in the dark, providing a spectacular visual experience for spectators. The grand finale of the evening will be marked by a fireworks display, creating a truly electrifying atmosphere.

On Sunday, October 1st, the rally cars will return to Weston Park, taking on the stages, including the renowned water splash, which never fails to thrill both drivers and spectators. Visitors will also have the opportunity to get up close and personal with the cars and meet the drivers at the Meet & Greet area.

The Historic Rally Festival isn’t just about the racing action; it’s a full-fledged entertainment extravaganza. Attendees can savor great food and drinks, explore trade stands, admire club displays, and enjoy a fun fair, making it an unforgettable experience for the entire family.

A Glimpse Inside Hatton Grange

It’s worth noting that Hatton Grange, the setting for the festival’s ceremonial start, is the private family home of the Kenyon-Slaney family. Except for this exclusive event, Hatton Grange is not open to the public, making the festival a rare opportunity to glimpse the beauty and history of this remarkable location.

Please be aware that the stages at Hatton Grange are subject to licensing regulations, and access may be restricted outside of the Historic Rally Festival.

Don’t Miss the Historic Rally Festival

As the countdown to the Historic Rally Festival begins, anticipation is building among rally fans worldwide. Stig Blomqvist’s return to the stages in the iconic Audi Quattro A2 adds a touch of nostalgia and excitement to an already thrilling event. It’s an opportunity to witness a rally legend in action and experience the power and history of Group B rallying.

For those eager to be part of this spectacular weekend of historic rallying action, tickets are available for purchase. Make sure you secure your spot at the Historic Rally Festival, where history, speed, and passion collide on the rally stages, creating memories that will last a lifetime.

To order your tickets and learn more about the event, visit: Historic Rally Festival Tickets

In the world of rallying, few names shine as brightly as Stig Blomqvist’s, and the Historic Rally Festival promises to be a fitting stage for his return. With a blend of history, adrenaline, and excitement, this event will undoubtedly be a highlight of the motorsport calendar in 2023.

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