LAS VEGAS, Nev. (November 6, 2014) – Olsbergs MSE Ford driver Joni Wiman is the 2014 Red Bull Global Rallycross Champion. The Red Bull/Bluebeam Ford Fiesta ST driver emerged the winner in a tough championship battle that came down to a thrilling season finale in Las Vegas Wednesday night.
“I’m speechless,” said Wiman as he stepped off the podium, drenched in celebratory champagne. “At the start of the season I would have said I would be happy with a result in the top three of this championship, and to win it in the final race of the season feels amazing.”
Wiman, who moved into the points lead after September’s penultimate round, held off a trio of championship challengers on Wednesday to claim his first-ever Supercars title.
“I’ll admit that I was a little bit nervous today, but I knew what I had to do,” said the young Finn, who entered the race with a 12-point lead in the standings. “I’m very thankful to the Olsbergs MSE team, as well as Red Bull, Bluebeam and all of our sponsors for the great support this season.”
This year marked the rookie Wiman’s first season of Supercars competition with Olsbergs MSE. A protégé of two-time World Rally Champion Marcus Grönholm, Wiman vaulted onto the rallycross scene last year with a dominant season in the GRC Lites category and was promoted into the top class of competition for 2014. He is the first Supercars driver ever to score the championship title and rookie of the year honors in the same season.
“We are incredibly proud of Joni and the entire OMSE team,” said Jamie Allison, director, Ford Racing. “To win a championship as a rookie is remarkable. The combination of driver talent and the phenomenal OMSE team effort were key contributors to four championships in four seasons.”
It is the fourth-consecutive GRC title for the leading Olsbergs MSE Ford team, and the fourth series championship for manufacturer partner Ford.
The Olsbergs MSE Ford Fiesta rallycross Supercars are class of the field. The powerful, 600-horsepower cars are top performers that have scored countless wins and podiums at races around the world. Featuring sub-two-second 0-60 times, the turbocharged, all-wheel drive vehicles represent the top class of rallycross machine.
“With new teams coming in and everyone stepping it up this year, this was a hard-fought victory,” said Olsbergs MSE team owner Andreas Eriksson. “Our commitment to developing new rallycross talent has paid off with another title and this is a season we can all be proud of.”
Kobalt Tools driver Patrik Sandell is also an Olsbergs MSE success story this season. In June, he became the second driver to score an event victory when he won the Washington, D.C., race.
“I feel really excited about this championship and how it has grown, and I can’t wait to see where the series can go next,” said Sandell who this year contested only his second season of rallycross competition with Olsbergs MSE.
Before moving to rallycross, the Kobalt Tools driver established his racing career as a winning rally competitor on the world stage. In rallycross, he has also proven a consistent threat at the front of the pack. However, misfortune struck on Wednesday and Sandell was sidelined from the main event with a mechanical failure.
In the GRC Lites category, Olsbergs MSE Red Bull driver Mitchell DeJong took his seventh win in ninth rounds, securing a dominant victory in the 2014 championship. Newcomer Andreas Bakkerud, who made a guest appearance with the team in GRC Lites, finished second on Wednesday. Bakkerud is a leading Supercars driver who typically competes for Olsbergs MSE in the World RX championship.
In 2014, Olsbergs MSE has campaigned leading cars in the World Rallycross Championship, the Global Rallycross Championship, and the Rallycross Supercar Scandinavia Championship. The team will close out the season with drivers Reinis Nitiss and Bakkerud competing November 28-29 at the 12th and final round of 2014 FIA World Rallycross Championship, World RX of Argentina.
Full coverage of the final round of the Red Bull Global Rallycross Championship airs on NBC Sunday, November 16 at 1:30 p.m. (Eastern Time).
ABOUT RED BULL GLOBAL RALLYCROSS:
Red Bull Global Rallycross pits small production-based cars against each other in door-to-door racing featuring dirt, asphalt, and table-top jumps. With enhanced engineering and safety features, the cars produce 600 horsepower and can accelerate from 0-60 miles per hour in less than two seconds, and can also withstand 70-foot jumps and other vehicle contact.
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.
The team is led by CEO Andreas Eriksson, himself a championship rally driver and veteran rallycross driver. He is supported by three-time European Rallycross Champion Jussi Pinomäki as co-team manager.
In 2014, Olsbergs MSE has campaigned leading cars in World RX, the Global Rallycross Championship, and the Rallycross Supercar Scandinavia championship.
OLSBERGS MSE IS POWERED BY:
Ford (www.ford.com); Red Bull (www.redbull.com); Kobalt Tools (www.kobalttools.com); Bluebeam (www.bluebeam.com); Olsbergs (www.olsbergs.se); Ohlins (www.ohlins.com); Motegi Racing (www.motegiracing.com); AEM (www.aemelectronics.com); Eibach Springs (www.eibach.com); Royal Purple (www.royalpurple.com) Sparco (www.sparcousa.com); Magnaflow (www.magnaflow.com); Braille Battery (www.braillebattery.com); Alcon (www.alcon.co.uk); Sadev (www.sadev-tm.com); Mountune (www.mountune.com)