Shot of the weekend from Oregon Trail Rally, filmed with DJI Inspire 1 dron with a tailwind. The third race on the Rally America National Championship schedule, Oregon Trail is the only 3 day rally event in the Championship that takes place in urban Portland, OR and through the Mt. Hood farmlands outside the city.
Privateer regional competitors are some of the fan favorites at Rally America events, especially when they’re campaigning cars as crowd-pleasing as Garth Ankeny’s cherry red 1969 Saab 96 Deluxe, which is being piloted by Tom Kreger and co-driver Russ Kraushaar in Group 2 this weekend at the Oregon Trail Rally.
“We don’t see a lot of Saabs racing anymore, at least not in the United States, but they’re great little rally cars,” Ankeny said on opening night of the Oregon Trail Rally, as fans gathered around the car, camera phones in hand, during Parc Expose at Portland International Raceway before the Wagons Ho! regional rally at Oregon Trail Rally.
For Ankeny, a Portland local who owns Trackside Motorsports and A-n-T Tire & Wheel, it’s important to bring rally history into the present. He first got hooked on Saabs in the mid-90s after a few drinks with Satch Carlson at the Rally of the Lost Patrol lead to him digging a car out of the mud in Carlson’s field.
That Saab 96, which had run the Acropolis Rally in Greece in 1970, was shipped over from Sweden for the Trans-Canada Rally the following year. Ankeny was intrigued and as he got to work on the car, he also began digging into Saab’s rally legacy. The Saab 96 racing in Oregon this week is the second Saab he’s restored: he built it from a shell in 2006 and has been racing it in Northwest rallies ever since.