Per Eklund

PE

Personal information
Nationality Sweden Swedish
Born 21 June 1946
World Rally Championship record
Active years 1973~1997
Co-driver Sweden Johnny Johansson
United Kingdom Dave Whittock
Sweden Björn Cederberg
Sweden Hans Sylvan
Sweden Ragnar Spjuth
Sweden Jan-Olof Bohlin
Teams Saab, Toyota, Nissan, Austin Rover, Subaru
Rallies 83
Championships 0
Rally wins 1
Podiums 13
Stage wins 73
Total points 270
First rally 1973 Swedish Rally
First win 1976 Swedish Rally
Last rally 1997 RAC Rally

INTRODUCTION

Per Torsten Eklund, nicknamed “Pekka”, born June 21st, 1946 in Koppom Värmland, is a Swedish rally and rallycross driver. In 1999, he became the FIA European champion in rallycross in a highly modified Saab 9-3 T16 4×4, and later also won the Open category in the prestigious hill climb race at Pikes Peak. Short of winning a rally in the era, he nonetheless scored multiple podiums and strong finishes in the early years of Group B. He sits alongside Ronnie Peterson, Bjorn Waldegard, Erik Carlsson, and Stig Blomqvist as Sweden’s foremost racing drivers of all time.

GROUP B RESULTS

(# = finish position / R = retired or DNF / = did not compete)

Y TEAM EVENT PTS
Monaco
MC
Sweden
SE
Portugal
PT
Kenya
KE
France
FR
Greece
GR
New Zealand
NZ
Brazil
BR
Finland
FI
Italy
IT
Ivory Coast
CI
United Kingdom
GB
82 Multi 4 2 2 R R 2 9 57
Y TEAM EVENT PTS
Monaco
MC
Sweden
SE
Portugal
PT
Kenya
KE
France
FR
Greece
GR
New Zealand
NZ
Argentina
AR
Finland
FI
Italy
IT
Ivory Coast
CI
United Kingdom
GB
83 Multi R 4 3 R 22
84 Multi 3 R 6 3 30
85 Audi (P) 5 6 4 24
86 Austin R 7 7 United States
US –
86 pts 8

BIO (~1986)

CAREER

1964~1981 – Rallying & Rallycross Debut

Eklund made his debut as a rally driver in his father’s Volvo in 1964, just two weeks after his 18th birthday. In 1967, he bought a Saab 96 to compete as a privateer. In 1970, his rallying career took substantial momentum when he was signed by Saab alongside Stig Blomqvist and Erik Carlsson.

In 1971, Eklund also started driving Rallycross at Valkenswaard in The Netherlands, and some months later he won the first ever Swedish Rallycross event at Hedemora. He first drove a Saab 96 V4, in the early years of the Embassy/ERA European Rallycross Championship as teammate to his compatriot Stig Blomqvist. He was always prominent, became 7th overall respectively 4th overall in the first and second European Championship series of 1973 and 1974.

Back to focusing on his rallying career, Eklund became Swedish Rally Champion in 1978, beating his team mate Stig Blomqvist. In 1979, Eklund’s contract came to an end, with Saab close to terminating its competition activities, so he rallied a triumph TR7 V8 for two years until he caught the eye of Toyota Team Europe. In 1981, he would give the team decent performances with the Celica 2000 GT.

The Group B Era

In 1982, Eklund achieved Saab’s last top position in a World Championship event, finishing fourth in the Swedish Rally driving a privately entered, Clarion-sponsored Saab 99 Turbo. He was always proud of that result since he was able to defeat a few four wheel drive Audis in a snow event. With three second place podiums in that year, Eklund finished a respectable 5th overall of the FIA World Rally Championship for Drivers. A strong achievement considering that he drove for a different team at each event.

For 1983 and 1984, he was retained by Toyota to compete in select events with the new Group B Celica TA64 TCT. Up to the end of 1985, he would also continue competing with the Clarion sponsored privateer team and their Audi quattro A2. All the meanwhile, Eklund would participate in the design and testing of the MG Metro 6R4 which was introduced at the last rally of 1985 (RAC – Great Britain). He stayed with the MG Rover team until the end of Group B in 1986.

LATER CAREER

From the early 1990s till 2009, his last full rallycross season, he was one of the fastest competitors of the FIA European Championship for Rallycross Drivers. In 1999 Eklund claimed his first and only European title for Drivers of the Division 1, nowadays known as the SuperCars category.

Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (USA): In 2000, Per Eklund achieved the still valid record time of 11:21.58 in his Saab 9-3 Viggen 4×4 while racing the Pikes Peak Open category. In 2002, he took the Unlimited Class Victory: Eklund and his Saab’s performance defeated the second place entry driven by long-time Swedish friend & rival Stig Blomqvist by over 34 seconds with a time of 11:13.20.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Per_Eklund +  https://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Per_Eklund


spell checked, translated, and modified (additions or abridged), by Jay Auger – website owner & author


PHOTOS

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PEklundQuattro

1982_tte_drivers


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