FRANCIACORTA, Italy (October 18, 2015) — Olsbergs MSE driver Andreas Bakkerud took a confident victory on Sunday at World RX of Italy, leading from start to finish to earn his first win of the 2015 FIA World Rallycross Championship season.
“This was not my win: it was the whole team,” said Bakkerud. “We have worked really, really hard and I’m really proud of the boys raising the bar through a little bit of a mid-season slump, so thanks to them for everything.”
With a strong start in his Semifinal, Bakkerud got in front of a tangle that took out rival Timmy Hansen and then pushed for a win to secure a spot on the front line for the main event. That edge proved critical and Bakkerud was able to lead the Final race wire to wire.
“In these wet conditions, it was outstanding,” said Olsbergs MSE Team Principal Andreas Eriksson. “The car worked well, the driver worked well. For the first time this year he didn’t do a single mistake in the Final. That’s how you win the race.”
All three Olsbergs MSE Ford Fiesta ST drivers advanced to the Semifinal rounds, with Bakkerud and Reinis Nitiss each taking heat race wins along the way. Nitiss remained consistent through the four qualifying heats despite heavy rain on the Franciacorta International Circuit. The course was 60 percent tarmac and 40 percent gravel, all of it soaked, and it featured a challenging jump that saw several wrecks on the weekend. Nitiss was the fastest driver in the third heat, but did not advance to the Final. Timerzyanov, who is racing as an independent this season under the Namus OMSE banner, earned a spot in the Final but got a flat tire during the race and finished sixth.
It was also a big day for Olsbergs MSE RX Lites driver Kevin Eriksson, who won the Lites Final. His brother Oliver just missed the podium and finished fourth while visiting American Austin Cindric finished fourth in his Semifinal. With the season-ending victory, Kevin Eriksson wrapped up the 2015 RX Lites Cup in the runner-up position.
Bakkerud is now fourth in the Supercar driver’s standings with one more event remaining in the championship. The Ford Olsbergs MSE team is in second place in the teams championship behind Peugot-Hansen. The 2015 FIA World Rallycross Championship concludes November 27-29 with the World RX of Argentina.
“I’m really looking forward to Argentina, especially because we have a bit of a break for the first time in months,” Bakkerud said. “For me it has been seven weeks in a row, traveling around. I’m thankful to have two weeks off now, then I’m heading to Las Vegas to watch the last GRC event and take a little vacation to reload the batteries and make myself ready for Argentina. Meanwhile the team has already started working to make the car 100 percent ready.”
Up next is the season-ending race of the Red Bull Global Rallycross Championship, which is set to take place November 4 in Las Vegas. Defending champion Joni Wiman and teammate Sebastian Eriksson will pilot Red Bull / Bluebeam Ford Fiesta ST rallycross cars for OMSE.
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 23 X Games medals, including podium sweeps at the world’s leading action sports contest (Los Angeles, 2011; Brazil 2013). The team has also won every rallycross championship in the United States since the sport debuted in that country in 2010, and won the 2014 FIA World Rallycross Teams Championship.
OMSE Ford Fiesta rallycross cars are class of the field at any race they enter. The powerful, 600-horsepower all-wheel drive machines are top performers that have scored countless wins and podiums at races around the world.
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 Sweden and the United States.
In 2015, Olsbergs MSE campaigns winning cars in World RX, the Global Rallycross Championship, and the Rallycross Supercar Scandinavia championship. The team’s multi-series campaigns in rallycross are guided by the new team slogan “Extreme Forces,” representing their united worldwide effort. Fans can follow the team across social media platforms using the #OMSE #XForces hashtags.