Lets see what a Saab ng900 can do against a modified 07 Corvette Z-06
We ended up breaking the ring gear on our Saab ng900 drag race car a week before the Pinks All Out contest and had to overnight one from Sweden. We received the package 3 days before the event and had a few issues with the gear box and by the time we had it all back together it was 11pm on Thursday night and we had to race at 8am Friday morning. We loaded the car on the trailer at 11pm and even got the cops called on us for “reving the engine” late at night, the cop was cool and seemed excited about our racing event the next morning.
We arrived the next morning and got the car off the trailer and waited for the event to start. We got two practice runs on Friday, the weather was not half bad and about mid 80’s and the car was running well. We made the first pass and the car went well, but then as I shifted into 4th gear, the car hick-ups and then takes off again, very weird and the run was 11.6 with the weird hesitation in the engine. We put in a little more gas hoping it sucked air and tweaked our 5th injector set-up a little higher. Next run, I shift into second gear and hear a pooowww, I think its the transmission again and I am bummed and pull over to the side of the track. We get towed back and inspect the car. I say its the transmission and my tech Steve is also bummed, we also say, “unless we broke an axle” and we check under the car and find a broken drivers side axle, shaft split in two, not the cups, but the shaft itself 🙂 I call around and find that Brian O’donnel is willing to grab an axle and meet us in the morning.
We arrive at 7am and Brian has the axle with him, Steve jumps right in and in about 15 minutes, the old axle is out and the new axle is in and we take the car around the parking lot for a test drive. It seems fine, but only the track will tell us for sure. We line up and find our local Rivalry has thrown some cars around to line up next us in the event. We line up for the pro tree, much different than the standard tree and I get my best RT of the year with a .06 time and we run our best time ever at 6000’ with the 3rd pass on the car with its new set-up and end up running 11.3 at 133mph a mile high 🙂 We are very happy and talk about putting the car up since our last runs were so bad the day before. We end up deciding to ride it out to the end and that is when we lined up against the Covette Z-06 modded, supercharged RWD powerstroke. I am having a good day and get a good launch on Rich’s arm drop and end up beating the Vette by a few cars and run a 11.4 at 132mph to his 11.6 at 113mph. I later find my RT was 1.9 on Rich’s arm drop, but the Vette is 2.3, so we treed or arm dropped him. That is the last run of qualifying and I feel we are done for the day. We then get a short interview from Wille B and talk about the Saab a little bit and then another TV crew come over to talk about our car and ask if they can film me doing some pedal work. We say yes and they get some video of the car and me doing some pedal work, will see what they use that for when the show airs, if anything.
We are about to load the car again and decide to wait just in case of some miracle. We head down to the track for Rich to announce the winners and or the top 32 that will run off for the 25k is cash and prizes. I am a little shocked when they call our car number and I really can’t belive it, I try to yell out in enthousiasm as requested by the TV director, but have little energy to do it right. I walk over to give my interview on how happy I am to have been chosen to race and then they announce we have 15 minutes to be staged in the lanes and ready to race. We congradulate ourselves and everyone is in shock, especially Steve, the look on his face will stay with me to the end of my time, it was classic shock!
We are lined up in the staging lanes and waiting to be paired up and start running for the big money. I see the officials telling the vette we had bumped out to an alternate to come down and line up behind me. He refuses to do this and stays at the top of the hill, the officials go and talk to him and then shortly after that, I notice them coming toward me and my car. They inform me that I may not be able to run because I do not have a roll bar. They say this before they are close enough to see if my car has a roll bar. Someone has pulled the tech card on me and I think I know who it was 🙂 We are first told we will be able to run and if we run too fast, we will be eliminated. We think this is the best we can do at this point. After a few more minutes, they come back and inform us that we will not be able to run and that we are eliminated for not being able to meet the track ET tech of having a roll bar if faster than 11.49. The Vette wins in the end and he is moved from an alternate into my spot and ends up racing off for a spot in the top 16.
It was a lot of fun, somewhat bitter-sweat, but in the end we had a great time and were glad to show the crowd and Rich and Wille B. what a well prepped Saab can do when given a chance!