ISTANBUL, Turkey (October 12, 2014) – Olsbergs MSE driver Andreas Bakkerud was back on top this weekend, scoring a win in his Ford Fiesta ST at the penultimate round of the 2014 FIA World Rallycross Championship in Turkey.
Bakkerud, who celebrated his 23rd birthday at the circuit on Friday, put in a consistently strong performance on the technical track as he advanced through the heats to the final. There, he battled hard to move from third to first and take the checkered flag.
“Winning here in Turkey was very good birthday present,” said Bakkerud. “To come back with victory after struggling for a few races feels really good for the whole Olsbergs MSE Ford team.”
The team has scored 11 World RX Supercar podiums so far this year, including three overall wins. Bakkerud scored his first victory of the year in May at the World RX of Great Britain, while teammate Reinis Nitiss earned his first career win just a few weeks later in Norway. Bakkerud and rival Petter Solberg are the only two drivers this season who have achieved multiple event wins.
“Andreas is back on the podium where he belongs. He has worked so hard for this and he is a great driver,” said team owner Andreas Eriksson after the race. “We work really hard as a team doing many races around the world and I’m happy to be here in Turkey to be part of this victory.”
For his part, Nitiss scored seventh-place points after barely missing out on the six-car final. The 18-year-old battled hard with provisional champion Solberg in the semifinal round but was unable to keep the veteran at bay.
The young driver said he felt the experience he gained in Turkey has been pivotal in his career development. “On this track, especially, there is a lot of strategy,” said Nitiss. “It isn’t just throttle and brakes and gears, but you need to think to set up a pass and to stay one step ahead. That has been good learning that I will take with me.”
The Intercity Istanbul Park facility was originally developed for Formula 1 competition and this weekend saw the first visit to the track by the FIA World Rallycross Championship. The layout was technical, and favored precise and tidy driving. In addition to Formula 1, the track has hosted the FIA WTCC, DTM, Le Mans Series and FIA European Truck Racing Championship.
“Organizers put a really high effort in building the track and preparing everything,” said Bakkerud. “It was a pleasure to race here.”
Returning to Olsbergs MSE as a guest driver this weekend was multiple Swedish Touring Car champion Richard Göransson. After setting a strong pace early in the weekend, a technical issue emerged with his vehicle’s transmission that hampered his results. Göransson recorded a ninth-place finish.
The final round of the RX Lites Cup support series also took place this weekend in Turkey. Sebastian Eriksson, who this year became the first-ever STCC RallyX Supercar champion, recorded the RX Lites race win on Sunday. Olsbergs MSE driver Kevin Eriksson was crowned the Cup’s inaugural champion and awarded the first-ever RX Lites trophy. The trophy is dedicated to the late Goran Henriksson, the driving force behind Olsbergs’ motorsport ventures.
The RX Lites development series, which features a purpose-built rallycross car designed by Olsbergs MSE and produced in Turkey in co-operation with Avitas Motorsport, joined World RX for seven championship stops this season. Featuring strictly controlled spec vehicles, the series is designed to provide an affordable platform to showcase the talent of emerging young drivers. Producing 310 horsepower, the RX Lites cars are powered by naturally aspirated 2.4-liter engines and feature all-wheel drive and sequential gearboxes.
The final round of 2014 FIA World Rallycross Championship, World RX of Argentina, takes place November 28-29. There, the team will have the first-ever World RX Teams’ championship in its sites. Olsbergs MSE trails rivals Marklund Motorsport by just four points heading into the last race of the season.
Before then, Olsbergs MSE Ford drivers Patrik Sandell and Joni Wiman will compete at the Red Bull Global Rallycross season finale in Las Vegas November 5. Red Bull/Bluebeam driver Wiman leads the championship standings heading into the final round.
ABOUT WORLD RX:
The FIA World Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy combines all the best aspects of motor racing in one. It’s fast, competitive and spectacular. It’s bold, authentic and relatable. Within it are all the elements of four-wheel racing that you love. The race action is broadcast in more than 100 countries with a combined household reach of 816 million homes. The championship is made up of 12 rounds: Portugal, Great Britain, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Turkey and Argentina.
ABOUT OLSBERGS MSE:
Olsbergs MSE designs, builds and operates winning competition cars for motorsport. It is recognized as the global authority in the growing sport of rallycross.
OMSE is a Ford Racing technical partner, developing the Ford Fiesta platform for international competition. Together, Ford and OMSE have earned an astonishing 20 X Games medals, including podium sweeps at the world’s leading action sports contest (Los Angeles, 2011; Brazil 2013). The team has also scored every rallycross championship in the United States since the sport debuted in that country in 2010, and its drivers are podium regulars in European competition.
Founded in 2009, the organization represents a partnership between historic Swedish industrial company Olsbergs and rallycross specialists Motor Sport Evolution. In 2013, the company expanded its operations into the United States and now has dual headquarters with operations in both Nynäshamn, Sweden, and Huntington Beach, Calif.
In 2014, OMSE campaigns leading cars in World RX, the Global Rallycross Championship, and the Rallycross Supercar Scandinavia championship.
OLSBERGS MSE IS POWERED BY: