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|Headquarters||Feilding, New Zealand|
|Products||Saker SV1, SVS GT, SVS Sprint|
Saker Sports Cars were designed and built in Feilding, New Zealand by Bruce Turnbull of Turnbull Engineering from 1989 to 2002. Turnbull has been providing technical assistance in the development of the Hulme F1. Since 2002 Sakers were being built and designed in Etten-Leur, Netherlands. Which makes Saker Sportcars Dutch.
The Saker SV1 was the first model of the car, entering limited production in 1992. The car was road legal and regularly used for touring and competition. The SV1 was designed to be powered by a variety of engines, including V8 and V6. They were sold in the UK, Japan and New Zealand.
In 1999 Turnbull introduced the Saker SVS GT and SVS Sprint. The Sprint was an open-top version. These model features updated chassis and mechanics. The main changes were to the space-frame chassis, which was stretched by about 100 mm (3.9 in) to allow it to accept a wider range of engines. The most common engine used was the Subaru Impreza WRX turbo flat-four with a converted transaxle for rear-wheel-drive, although Subaru flat-sixes could also be fitted. Both the GT and Sprint were manufactured in the Netherlands, though there was a dispute over the licensing[clarification needed].
A small number, as few as three, of race-only Saker GTs were also manufactured under license in the USA. One road-going Saker SVS was imported from New Zealand into the US in 2004. It was fitted with a Lexus 1UZ-FE 4.0-liter V8 engine mated to a Renault UN1 5-speed Transaxle. Since then it has been modified to accept a highly tuned Chevy LS6 5.7L V8, that produces almost 500bhp, mated to an Audi 01E (DQS variant) 6-speed transaxle. At the time of the engine change the owner also modified the body, headlights, tail lights, and front bumper/splitter to make the car look more modern.
In 2002 Huub Vermeulen (DNRT) and Robbert Visser were wanting to make an affordable racing car. Bruce Turnbull's Saker appeared to meet that need. The rights to manufacture the cars were purchased and Saker Sportscars was founded in the Netherlands. The company is now run by Herbert Boender with the support of the Meyer brothers, Laurens[who?] and Gerrit[who?].
Both the Saker GT and Sprint are still made by Saker Sportscars. In 2010 two new versions were added to the range, the RapX and the Sniper. However, the specifications remain the same as the GT and Sprint with only the bodywork changing.
Sports car racing
The Saker Sportscar Challenge was founded in 2004 allowing Saker drivers to compete against each other under the banner of the DNRT. The Saker Sportscar Challenge was one of the top of amateur racing classes in the Netherlands. The series races were held at Circuit Park Zandvoort, TT Circuit Assen, Spa-Francorchamps and Brands Hatch. The final race of the season took place in late October at Circuit Park Zandvoort. Judging by the series' website, the last full season of the Saker Challenge was 2013.
Alan Purbrick and David Brise have competed in the Britcar Endurance Championship driving a Saker RAPX for three years, achieving a race victory at the end of the 2018 season.
Along with the Saker Sportscar Challenge, Sakers compete also elsewhere. Sakers have raced for several years in the 24 Hours of Dubai and achieved a class victory in the 24 Hours of Barcelona.
- Bruce Turnbull, retrieved 8 January 2016
- Mazur, Eligiusz, ed. (2002). Katalog Samochody Świata 2003 [World Car Catalogue 2003]. Warsaw, Poland: Print Shops Prego - Polska Sp. z o.o. p. 219. ISSN 1234-8198.
- Woodford, Paul. "Saker SV1". Constructors Car Club. Archived from the original on 2016-05-05.
- "Raceverslagen" [Results]. Saker Challenge (in Dutch). divinet.nl bv. Archived from the original on 2015-02-22.