Per Eklund has been a rally and rallycross legend for four decades now, but outside of two triumphs in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, the majority of his greatest accomplishments have come across the pond. But an Eklund-prepared Saab 9-3 took a victory in a 2010 rallycross exhibition, and brought a team to America full-time this year with co-owner Andy Scott, who drove to second place in last year’s British championship. Scott and teammate Samuel Hubinette have been one of the most impressive driver duos this season, scoring top five finishes at Charlotte and each ranking in the top seven in points.
Here’s what to expect out of the Florida-based privateer outfit in Global Rallycross’ premier event:
#77 Samuel Hubinette (5th in points, 24; best finish 5th): This won’t be Hubinette’s first go-round in rallycross at X Games, as he scored bronze in the 2010 event. It will, however, be the longtime Dodge driver’s first attempt at racing a Saab there. Two days before Charlotte, the ink was barely dry on his one-race deal with Scott-Eklund Racing; now, he’s proving to be one of the series’ top non-Ford drivers, running second in the Texas final until he suffered a mechanical failure.
#26 Andy Scott (7th in points, 21; best finish 4th, 1 LCQ win): Plenty of folks probably wrote off Scott-Eklund Racing as an uncompetitive privateer at the start of the season, but the three-time winner in last year’s British rallycross series has shown traces of stardom already this year. He won the last chance qualifier at Charlotte, finished fourth in the final there, and outraced Travis Pastrana in their heat to make it into the Texas final. Scott has said that his operation is a top-five team, and X Games could give him a prime opportunity to take them to the next level.
- Chris Leone