Stig Blomqvist: The Snow King

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Known as “The King of the Snow” for his mastery at the wheel on this surface, Swedish driver Stig Blomqvist was part of the Audi team from 1982 to 1985, representing the Ingolstadt brand in 48 national and international rallies. In this time he got 21 first places, 8 seconds and 2 third places. The key moment of his career was on October 4, 1984, when he won the Rally of Ivory Coast, claiming the title of World Champion.

Stig Lennart Blomqvist, born on July 29, 1946 in the Swedish city of Örebro, was barely twelve years old when his father sat him next to him as a co-driver in a regional rally. When he turned 18, it was Stig who mounted his father in the passenger seat of a Saab 96 Sport with a two-stroke engine, rising in his first rally with victory in the junior category, as well as with second place in the classification general. His talent did not go unnoticed and he soon began a great career: in 1969, the driving school teacher found his home in the Saab team, with which he remained until the brand stopped participating in rallies. In 1981, by way of interlude, he won the British Rally Championship at Talbot.

And then Audi came along. At the end of 1982, Blomqvist joined the Ingolstadt rally team. It was to arrive and give the bell because his first race with the Ingolstadt team ended in victory at the San Remo Rally. After relevant experience with both front-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive vehicles, the reserved Swedish driver adapted incredibly quickly to the all-wheel drive Audi quattro.

Even then his nickname echoed like thunder: "The King of the Snow." After the extraordinary start the previous year, in 1983 Blomqvist once again proved his skill and became the British Rally Champion with a quattro model created by Audi UK. In the whole season he obtained five first places, three seconds and two third parties.

Sonderausstellung zur faszinierenden Rallye-Aera im Audi museum mobile in Ingolstadt: / Vor Ort zu bewundern ist unter anderem der Audi quattro Rallye A2 Gruppe B von 1984, im Bild der Rallye Weltmeister Hannu Mikkola bei der Rallye Akropolis im Jahr 1984

The most notable intervention of that year took place in the Swedish homeland of Blomqvists. The Audi Sport team modified the Audi 80 quattro launched on the market the previous year (the first series production quattro model) for the national importer, until it became a Group B rally car. The difference in power compared to the The Rally quattro model used by Hannu Mikkola was notorious: the naturally aspirated engine of the Audi 80 performed exactly half that of the supercharged A1 quattro.

So what Blomqvist achieved can be defined as impressive. Several best marks obtained in the training sessions and the permanent attacks allowed him to harass Mikkola, who in that season would win the first Drivers' World Championship title for Audi; At the end of the race, the distance between the two opponents, despite mechanical inequalities, was only 47 seconds. Blomqvist was thus able to recall the old days with Saab, in which, with a car whose performance was clearly inferior, it managed to frighten the competitors; only, in this case, the competitor was from the same team.

1984 was “his” year, despite the fact that two-time world rally champion Walter Röhrl joined the Audi team that season, later to be voted “best rally driver of the century”. And the year started in the best way: triple victory in the Monte Carlo Rally with Röhrl ahead of Blomqvist and Mikkola. Already in the following race Blomqvist put his stamp on the season: victory in Sweden, then the abandonments in Portugal and in the Safari Rally, after which the Swede was fifth in Corsica, to then begin his triumphant march: Blomqvist won three times consecutive, in Greece, New Zealand and Argentina. The victory in Ivory Coast in the penultimate race of the season was the culmination of his title of world champion.

This victory was also the first victory for a Sport quattro in a World Championship race. The following figure is a sample of the ruthless struggle that took place: in the first full stage, Blomqvist's car catapulted down the African tracks to the finish line at an average speed of 181 km / h. Fuel consumption reached 65 liters per 100 kilometers.

With five victories, as well as a second, four and a fifth place, Blomqvist obtained a final score of 125 points, taking an obvious advantage to second placed Hannu Mikkola, also from Audi, who collected 104 points. Audi's dominance in the Constructors' Championship was also clear, with 120 points ahead of Lancia, which scored 108 points. In his last year at Audi, 1985, Blomqvist was unable to achieve the same results due to breakdowns and accidents. He managed to occupy second place in the Drivers 'Championship, in a season in which Audi was awarded second place in the Manufacturers' Title.

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Automundo

Automundo is the blog about news from the automotive industry, motorsport and the culture of the region. Director: Diego Durruty.

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