The Scott-Eklund Racing Saab 9-3 with Eneos Motor Oil of Samuel Hubinette will line up in second place in the opening heat of the Global Rallycross Championship round at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Saturday July 14.
The sister car of Andy Scott however suffered substantial damage after a heavy landing on its first time over the gap jump in Friday’s official practice and seeding session at the Loudon track. The Scott Trawlers-backed Saab 9-3 landed on the edge of the jump, breaking the right rear wheel, and ending the Dumfries driver’s qualifying run.
A heavy crash for Ken Block on the crossover bridge in the same session brought about the end of the four-lap stint and ruined any hopes of Scott being able to battle for a lap time ahead of Saturday’s heats and the all-important final. Despite his obvious disappointment, Scott will still take part in his five-car heat tomorrow evening and remains optimistic of a good finish, the privateer 600 bhp, two litre, 16 valve Saab 9-3 having proved on more than one occasion to be as competitive as the manufacturer-backed teams.
Both Hubinette and Scott will join the other GRC series regulars including Block, Brian Deegan, Tanner Foust and Travis Pastrana, and take part in a six-lap qualifying heat on Saturday around a custom-built 0.77 mile rallycross course. In addition to the 70 foot-gap jump, the track will feature a tabletop jump, car wash, crossover bridge and a section of gravel, and incorporate part of the straightaway at the NASCAR track known as the ‘Magic Mile’.
GRC race activity on Saturday will follow the NASCAR Nationwide Series race with the first of three heats starting at 19:00. The Last Chance Qualifiers and Final will follow immediately after. (All times are local and remain subject to change). All heats, last chance qualifiers and the final will be shown live on ESPN.
Saturday tickets for the Global Rallycross Championship also include access to the NASCAR Nationwide Series, F.W. Webb 200 and Whelen Modified Tour’s Town Fair Tire 100 and are priced at $25-35. To purchase tickets, call the New Hampshire Motor Speedway ticket office at (603) 783-4931 or visit www.nhms.com
Andy Scott – Scott-Eklund Racing Team Principal & driver, Car #26:
“It was a little bit disappointing obviously, as after yesterday’s run through the course without the jump, I felt pretty confident. But on my first run through today, I came up short on the jump and landed on the edge of it, breaking the wheel and puncturing the tyre. It was my first lap, and I didn’t get to complete it, so naturally I didn’t get a time. Then the red flag was shown when Ken crashed and that was the session over.
“The advice I was getting was to take a slower speed than I had originally thought but it obviously wasn’t fast enough. I’m not too concerned about it though as the way the track is built here it’s going to be all about the drag race down to the first chicane. So we’ve just got to nail it out of the start, get out of the gate and get to that first corner first.”
Samuel Hubinette – Scott-Eklund Racing Saab 9-3 with ENEOS Motor Oil, Car #77:
“We ran out of time in setting up the jump today, so we had to get on the track and jump right away and figure out our speed and everything else during our seeding session, which made it a little tricky. I’d decided not to do the jump yesterday, obviously it was the same for the others that didn’t do it, and those that did had an advantage.
“I tried to keep it safe, the first time I was a little too slow over the jump, the second time faster, and then unfortunately on the last lap I made a mistake and braked ahead of the timing line which cost me some time. But anything can happen in the race tomorrow so I just need to be optimistic and power through and try to do my best to get the Scott-Eklund Racing Saab 9-3 with Eneos Motor Oil through to the final and try and get that podium. That’s my goal tomorrow.”
Per Eklund – Scott-Eklund Racing Technical Director:
“After X Games, they had put some protection on the edge of the ramp. When Andy went over it, he wasn’t quite fast enough and the back of the car crashed down on the edge and broke the wheel. Samuel had a good run in his group, he was faster over the jump and could have almost certainly have been quickest overall, but he braked just ahead of the timing line which naturally cost him some time.
“Neither Andy or Samuel did the jump yesterday so we went into the seeding session without that advantage, and unfortunately that played a big role in how things went today. We have all had very little track time here this weekend, but tomorrow in the races anything can happen.”