KOUVOLA, Finland (June 29, 2014) – Olsbergs MSE Ford drivers Andreas Bakkerud and Reinis Nitiss returned to the FIA World Rallycross Championship podium this weekend in Finland, finishing second and third to extend their lead in the points standings.
“I love racing at this track,” said Bakkerud, who has scored a podium result in three of four starts this season, including a win at World RX of Great Britain a month ago. “The Finnish fans are very enthusiastic and the course is quite technical, with a lot of ups and downs and tricky corners.”
The 18-year-old Nitiss, who scored the first overall win of his career earlier this month in Norway, added another podium to his stellar debut Supercars season. The Latvian driver won the Super 1600 category in 2013 and this year stepped up to the top class with Olsbergs MSE.
“It was really challenging to see when the rain started coming down and the track got muddy,” said Nitiss, who added with a wry smile: “I’ve never driven in weather like this before, but I like it. ‘Rain’ is for Reinis.”
The drivers credited Olsbergs MSE teamwork for their double-podium finish. “This is a contact sport and it’s good to have another driver you can trust out there,” said Bakkerud. “Reinis and I both want to win, but we’re still teammates — at least until the Final, when all bets are off and we go for it.”
After strong performances in early heat racing, both team drivers finished the first day of competition at the top of the intermediate standings and progressed to the start of the Final nose-to-tail. Nitiss lined up on the front row, beside visiting American driver Tanner Foust, and with Bakkerud behind him.
Rain created muddy track conditions and both Bakkerud and Nitiss put in careful drives in their Olsbergs MSE Ford Fiesta ST rallycross cars to overcome the slick racing surface.
“With visibility the way it was, our best strategy was to drive for the podium and not take too many risks,” said Bakkerud. “We need to think of the whole championship, and having both cars on the podium was an excellent result.”
Olsbergs MSE Ford now has a commanding lead in the team standings, while drivers Nitiss and Bakkerud are first and second, respectively, in the drivers’ championship.
“It is young, talented guys like Andreas and Reinis who are the future of the sport of rallycross,” said Olsbergs MSE team
owner Andreas Eriksson. “It’s great to see them succeed and we’ll continue to work hard this season to get the championship title.”
Some 25 Supercars made up the headline Supercar category in Finland, with the TouringCar and Super1600 categories attracting a further 25 entries. The supporting RX Lites Cup returned to competition for the third time this year with a 10-car roster of Olsbergs MSE-built RX Lites.
After four of 12 World RX rounds, Nitiss leads the Supercars championship standings, while Bakkerud climbs into second, ahead of former World Rally Champion Petter Solberg.
The World RX championship moves to Holjes Motorstadion next weekend for the World RX of Sweden, traditionally the series’ largest event of the year. There, Nitiss and Bakkerud will be joined by guest drivers Sebastian Eriksson and Daniel Holten.
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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