Almost 4 years We met the Saab R900 in a garage in Upper Franconia. His then owner was looking for a buyer. The condition of the Group A sports car was pathetic and our hope was that it would eventually come back to the race track.
This hope was fulfilled, and last year the R900 was racing motor racing with Jürgen Grobusch and his new co-driver J. Blum. The season started in March with snow and ice and with the use at the Rally Kempenich. The team and the Saab R900 beat each other well; Snow and ice are the domains of Swedish cars. The dedication was rewarded, and 6's demanding special stages later saw the team win the class.
What started out well could have continued successfully. One month later Jürgen Grobusch and J. Blum competed in the Westerwald Rally. After 5 special stages, the Saab led in its class, and with the last stage the class victory would have been certain. But the drive shaft broke in a right turn and the event was over for the fast Swede.
A limited slip differential interrupts the season
During the following disassembly of the drive unit and the gear unit, the limited slip differential came to light as the actual cause of the error. All the gears on the ZF differential were broken, and a consulted transmission specialist classified the differential as undersized. The change to a larger sized barrier failed because of the lack of compatibility with the Saab's gearbox, so an individual solution had to be found.
With some financial commitment, a new, more robust differential lock has been made for the Saab R900. And the effort seems to have paid off!
Exactly four days before the start of the Cologne - Ahrweiler Rallye 2016, the team was ready for the new assignment. The gearbox and the new differential were installed, and without a prior test drive, it was off to the rally center in Mayschoss and the start. November provided rough weather conditions; on the first day there was an uncomfortable mix of sleet and fog. The fog in particular bothered the participants, said Jürgen Grobusch, and the team took it slowly and carefully. Because you didn't want to drive the R900 into a ditch on the first day.
A historic victory for the Saab Rally
On Sunday, in the most beautiful sunshine, the track was still wet and extremely slippery. Big traction problems bothered the team, the tire selection was not very happy. And yet, the triumph was within reach. Because after 13 special stages the team Grobusch / Blum drove in the Saab R900 as class winner of the group A with the CTC and CGT vehicles over the ramp in Mayschoß.
It was the first ever Saab victory at the 1971 rally.
The summary of the season 2016: Everything was done right!