LOS ANGELES, Calif. (September 20, 2014) — The Olsbergs MSE team scored its first podium of a Red Bull Global Rallycross doubleheader on Saturday with a second-place result for Red Bull/Bluebeam driver Joni Wiman.
It was a career-best finish for the 20-year-old Supercars rookie, who is very much in the championship hunt heading into the second of this weekend’s two points-paying races on Sunday.
“The gap to the leader is getting smaller and with 50 points at stake for a win in this championship, 10 points is nothing,” said Wiman. “We’re in a good position for Sunday’s race.”
Wiman is narrowly in fourth place in the overall rankings — 10 points behind the leader. The young driver has had a strong debut season in the series and secured his first series podium earlier this year with a third-place result at the Washington, DC, round.
Teammate Patrik Sandell also had a strong start to the weekend on the tricky Port of Los Angeles course. He recovered from a stall at the start of the final to finish in fifth-place overall.
“It was a good result today for the Kobalt Tools Ford Fiesta ST and the car is in perfect shape for tomorrow,” said Sandell. “With back-to-back races here in Los Angeles, it was critical to get through the first day without taking any damage and I’m pleased we achieved that. On Sunday, we can push a little harder.”
The strong results also helped team partner Ford to seal the series’ manufacturers championship for the fourth year in a row. “I couldn’t be happier for Ford and I’m proud to have been part of their winning season again this year,” said Sandell, who is campaigning his second season with the Olsbergs MSE Ford team.
Wiman finished second to Scott Speed, while fellow Ford driver Ken Block rounded out the podium in third.
The Los Angeles doubleheader weekend takes place on an unusual track overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The technical, tarmac-heavy course is constructed into a lot at the Port of Los Angeles. Saturday saw busy grandstands for the rallycross event, which also included exciting demonstrations from Red Bull stunt pilot Kirby Chambliss and sportbike freestyle pro Aaron Colton.
In addition to the Supercars contest, GRC Lites returned to the series for their sixth round of 2014 competition. Olsbergs MSE driver Kevin Eriksson scored his second win of the season, another strong result on the heels of a recent win at Solvalla in his native Sweden.
The action resumes on Sunday with Round 8 of the 2014 Global Rallycross Championship at the Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro, Calif. Live coverage airs on NBC starting at 2 p.m. Pacific Time.
It is a busy weekend for the Olsbergs MSE organization with a doubleheader in Los Angeles for drivers Wiman and Sandell in Red Bull Global Rallycross, while World RX drivers Andreas Bakkerud and Reinis Nitiss are in Germany, contesting the ninth round of the World Rallycross Championship.