Our highly successful road tuning operation has a sound motorsport history behind it, below are the highlights of our Motorsport history through the years…
Classic 900 Turbos
In 1987 the partnership between the Abbott brothers and SAAB GB, began with a Classic 900 Turbo 8-Valve, built for the Mobil1 SAAB Turbo Challenge. This model provided a basic understanding of the fundamental concepts that make a SAAB.
The first car was so successful that in 1988 a second Classic 900 Turbo was built and raced, and as with its predecessor it proved very successful – this was the car that placed the essential SAAB elements in the hearts of those at Abbott Racing Motorsport.
The Classic 900’s unique slanted Turbocharged engine and sure-footed front wheel drive chassis worked very well and both the cars remained successful throughout their period of competition. A championship win in 1988 proved just how successful these cars were.
Still to this day the distinctive burble of a Classic 900 exhaust brings out smiles from our workshop staff, but from the Classic 900 it was onwards and upwards
9000 2.0 and 2.3 Turbo’s
1989 saw the debut of the SAAB 9000 on the race circuits of Europe. At this time racing a high-powered front wheel drive car was considered crazy! However, with 260 BHP and a well developed chassis, the 9000 caused more than a few raised eyebrows as it began to score wins in the Production car championships. When the car won the championship in its first year, people started to take competition SAAB’s seriously.
For the 1991 season a new face-lifted and more powerful 9000 2.3 was built and raced, once again proving just as successful as its predecessor and often beating the more powerful rear wheel drive cars like the Sierra Cosworth and Porsche 944 models that were competing for the championship.
Despite the supposed technical disadvantages of front wheel drive, the two 9000’s scored many race and championship wins, both in 2.0 and 2.3 guise. These are still among the most successful racing SAAB’s.
9000 CS 2.3 Turbo
The 1992 season marked the arrival of the new 9000 CS model. Immediately the car showed
staggering form on the race track, winning almost every race against considerably more powerful cars, almost all of which were considered to be technically superior in their weight and drive configuration.
Following in the footsteps of the two 9000’s before it the 9000 CS 2.3 was so successful that it won the 1992 UK Production car championship in its first year of racing and later went on to win the famous Willhire 24 hour endurance race at the Snetterton circuit.
Officially over its racing career, the Abbott Racing SAAB 9000 CS 2.3 has won more events and championships than any other racing SAAB, making it the most successful competition SAAB of all time, more successful in fact than the factory rally team.
900 2.0 Turbo and 2.0 Normally Aspirated
In 1994 the new General Motors funded SAAB 900 was given its track debut, just as with the Classic 900, 9000’s and the 9000 CS, this was thanks to Abbott Racing Motorsport. Continuing the tradition the 1994 900 2.0 Turbo racer won its championship in the first year, just as the cars before it.
Still there was disbelief that a front wheel drive car could beat rear and four wheel drive, more powerful competition with such ease – even in wet conditions!
For 1995 the car was converted to the new “Saloon 2000” specification and won at Silverstone late in the season. By this time the car was delivering way over 300 BHP.
In 1996 a speedy 2.0 Normally Aspirated engine development project spearheaded by our new on-site Dynamometer installation, led to a major rebuild of the car with a totally new engine configuration and engine management system – following this development the car went on to win the last two races of the season.
9-3 2.0 Normally Aspirated
1997 season saw another new SAAB making its track debut, once again thanks to Abbott Racing. This time it was the turn of the Normally Aspirated 2.0 9-3, built to race in the United Kingdom “National Saloon Car Cup”.
We developed and built a new 230 BHP 2.0 engine in 3 months to be competitive in this new series. Consistently good results saw the car finish third in the championship.
When it comes to circuit racing, no one in the world, including the SAAB factory teams can match the technical knowledge of Abbott Racing Motorsport. It is this Motorsport grounding that we call upon to develop SAAB’s into the ultimate road cars, and as with our Motorsport – with total success…