FRANCIACORTA, Italy (September 29, 2014) — Olsbergs MSE guest Richard Göransson earned a World RX podium in his Supercars debut this weekend in Italy, while team drivers Andreas Bakkerud and Reinis Nitiss remain focused on the World RX teams championship as the season heads into its final two races of the 2014 season.
Bakkerud fought into the finals in Italy after a challenging opening day that began with a false start penalty. But while battling to lead the final, he took damage to his Olsbergs MSE Ford Fiesta ST when he struck a hole at the edge of the track and had to retire. He recorded a sixth-place
“I so much want to get back on the podium and get some good points for the team championship that I pushed a little too hard,” said Bakkerud, who opened the season with a string of podium results and remains in contention for a top-three spot in the 2014 drivers championship. “When we get to Turkey next month, I know what I have to do.”
Teammate Nitiss was unable to advance from the semifinal round after he landed hard off a jump, causing an electrical fault in his competition car that set off the windshield wipers and sprayer. The 18-year-old driver was trailing the leaders when he managed to regain focus on the second lap, and he crossed the line in fourth place.
For much of this season, Nitiss had been the closest challenger to WRC star Petter Solberg’s World RX championship charge. But the results this weekend mean the veteran has mathematically secured the title. Nitiss, who this year became the youngest Supercars race winner in championship history, is still in the hunt for the runner-up position. The Olsbergs MSE Ford team remains in a tight battle with rival Volkswagen for the teams championship.
“Petter has been very tough to beat and I’m happy that I was able to get as close as I have in my first season. That is an accomplishment,” said Nitiss. “Our aim all year has been the teams championship and we will continue that fight.”
The 10th round in the championship took place this weekend at the Franciacorta International Circuit in Italy, a challenging road course located between Brescia and Lake Iseo. It was the first time that rallycross visited the circuit, and it drew an excited crowd.
Both Bakkerud and Nitiss had dedicated cheering sections in the grandstands. Flag waving fan groups have made themselves known at many World RX rounds this year, offering vocal support for their favorite drivers.
“When the fans come out for us, it gives us the feeling of racing at home,” said an appreciative Nitiss after the contest on Sunday. “I can’t thank them enough and I know Andreas (Bakkerud) feels the same way.”
It was an impressive debut for Olsbergs MSE guest Göransson. The multiple Swedish Touring Car champion scored a second-place result this weekend in his first Supercar competition. He is expected to return to the series next month for the series’ penultimate round in Turkey.
Also on the Olsbergs MSE team roster for the World RX of Italy was Gigi Galli, the popular Italian rally driver known for his spectacular driving style. Nitiss said having the opportunity to race with guest drivers like Göransson and Galli helps to build the whole Olsbergs MSE organization. “We learn things as drivers when we can share in that level of competition experience — no matter the racing specialty,” said Nitiss.
Joining the World RX cars on the course in Italy was a compliment of RX Lites cars. Daniel Holten won the race, while Olsbergs MSE team driver Kevin Eriksson finished second in Italy to clinch the 2014 RX Lites championship before the conclusion of the season. It is the first title for the 18-year-old Swedish driver. He will claim his reward at the final round of the 2014 World RX season in Argentina, where he will be given the opportunity to compete in an Olsbergs MSE Ford Supercar.
World RX competition resumes October 11-12 at another new venue, the Intercity Istanbul Park, in Istanbul, Turkey.
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.
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