We haven't heard much of former FIA Sportscar Champion Thed Björk
lately; now the news is that he will be quite busy come the second
weekend in June - but not at Le Mans. He will make his return to
endurance racing, behind the wheel of a Saab 9-3 Aero Sport Sedan
at the Nürburgring, in an all-Swedish team.
will recall that Thed won the 2001 FIASCC SR2 title for Stanley
Dickens' Sports Racing Team Sweden, sharing a Lola with American
Larry Oberto. In 2002, he drove Yves Courage's C60JX to a 15th place
at Le Mans, with partners Didier Cottaz and Boris Derichebourg.
Last year, he clinched the Swedish GT Championship, driving a 3Q
Viper GTS-R; but he once again found himself out of a drive when
that series fell apart at the end of the season. Other opportunities
did not materialise, and so this may well be Thed's only foray into
international competition this year.
The Diners Club Racing
Team (spot the sponsor!) has been put together by Peter Wallenberg,
who has an understandable affinity with the Saab marque: he is the
former owner of the Saab-Scania company. For a number of years now,
Wallenberg has been campaigning Saab automobiles in the three and
eight hour events that make up the Swedish SLC series, and selected
international events. 2004 will be the team's fourth consecutive
Nürburgring 24 Hours campaign; last year, Wallenberg / Hans
Simonsson / Joakim Thörjesson finished a very creditable 22nd
The all time
best result of a Saab in an international 24 hour race still dates
back to 1959, when a 748cc two-stroke 93 Sport came home in twelfth
place at Le Mans. 45 years on, and with 450bhp at their disposal,
the DC Racing Team and Thed Björk will try to improve the marque's
record. Below is the team's car at last year's event.