Stig Blomqvist never craved fame or fortune, but he marked a one great rally epoch. Stig made his international breakthrough in 1971 just in the model Saab 96.
While his spell at Audi earned him the lion’s share of his success in the WRC, it was with Saab that he made his name, claiming the first of his seven Swedish Rally victories in a 96 back in 1971, two years before the advent of the world championship for manufacturers.
News came to us that Stig would participate in UK Rallyday – EUROPE’S PREMIER RALLY CAR SHOW event scheduled for September 23.With a special Series McRae display and confirmed ex co-driver, Nicky Grist in attendance, Rallyday will be commemorating the 10th anniversary of the 1995’s World Rally Champion’s passing. Joining Grist is Stig Blomqvist, Harri Toivonen, Jari-Matti Latvala, Ott Tanak with more to be confirmed.
The news that 1984 WRC champ Stig Blomqvist will be attending Rallyday 2017 has set the British rallying world alight, and we can now shed further light on what precisely what Sweden’s famous sideways son will be actually driving.
WHAT WILL STIG BLOMQVIST BE DRIVING AT RALLYDAY 2017?!
Despite spells with the likes of Audi and Skoda, Stig will forever be associated with Saab, so it’s only fitting that he be handed the keys to a pair of Trollhättan’s most iconic rally cars, in this case a Saab 96 and a Saab 99 EMS.
Both these cars carved their way into WRC history in the 1970s, with the former initially powered by a 3-cylinder two stroke engine, and later a more powerful V4-variant which Stig himself used to claim overall victory on the 1971 RAC.
These ‘humpback’ Saabs were never the most potent cars on the stages but they were tough and reliable, and also allowed drivers like Stig to exhibit stunning front-wheel drive driving techniques such as the Scandinavian flick.
Stig’s other ride for Rallyday 2017 is one of the most beloved rally cars of the 1970s, the Saab 99 EMS. Initially campaigned with a 16v head, the EMS lost this important, power-adding part when the FIA opted to revise the somewhat complicated homologation rules at the end of the decade, and this forced Saab to seek extra shove from elsewhere.
The decision was thus taken to fit a turbocharger which brought headline BHP figures all the way up to 270bhp, and in this form it was able to carry Stig to victory on the 1979 Swedish Rally.
Both the Saab 96 and 99 are owned by passionate British rally fans, the former by Ian Clark and the latter by Julian Malbrad. Everyone at Rallyday would like to thank both Ian and Julian for offering to bring their stunning cars to the event, and we’re sure you’ll all agree when we say that the prospect of seeing both being driven by Stig Blomqvist is one which simply cannot be missed!
Tickets for Rallyday are available here, priced £18 for adults. Under-17s get in free and rally car rides are available for £25 (when purchased in advance).
If you fancy starting Rallyday early, camping permits are available at Cast Combe circuit for £10 per person.