Olsbergs MSE battles hard in Hell

Olsbergs MSE battles hard in Hell

HELL, Norway (August 23, 2015) – The Olsbergs MSE team fought hard through a difficult weekend at World RX of Norway, with independent Timur Timerzyanov the only Supercars driver on the squad to qualify into the main event.

Timerzyanov put on a spectacular show in the Red Bull/Viatti Ford Fiesta ST on Sunday when he rolled over in his Semifinal and continued. He managed to cross the finish line in third place to earn a position in the final — despite big damage.

“The car in front of me suddenly changed direction and I touched his rear tire and wound up on my roof,” said Timerzyanov, who has been working hard to find the pace this season as he adjusts to his new team and car.

The crew worked quickly to repair what was initially assessed as cosmetic damage, making liberal use of tape to return the battle-scarred vehicle to the grid for the main event. But more contact in the Final saw Timerzyanov forced to retire.

The course in Norway was something of a rallycross sampler, featuring a challenging mix of elevation changes, fast and slow corners, and plenty of gravel. With few opportunities to pass and a first-corner Joker lap, racing was intense as cars jostled for position off the start.

For the first time this season, driver Andreas Bakkerud missed the Final after a tangle with fellow Norwegian Petter Solberg. While attempting an aggressive pass for the lead in the Semifinal round, Bakkerud misjudged conditions on the freshly watered track, clipped the inside curb and knocked into his rival.

Bakkerud continued for several laps on a flat front-right tire until the wheel finally gave way and he was forced to retire.

“It’s always great to fight against Petter, especially here in Norway where we both have so many friends and family supporting us in the grandstands,” said Bakkerud. “Nobody wants to end a race with damage to their car but, at the same time: I saw a gap, and I went for a gap. It was close racing and rallycross is rough. It happens sometimes.”

Bakkerud, who hails from Bergen, Norway, enjoyed big support from local fans in the crowd. A vocal cheering section wearing Bakkerud’s signature baby blue tee-shirts were among the nearly 20,000 fans in the grandstands. It was an attendance record in Hell, with fans enjoying non-stop action under sunny skies.

The course maintenance also caught Latvian driver Reinis Nitiss off-guard in the Semifinal. After leading into the Joker, he slid wide and found himself battling door-to-door with Olsbergs MSE guest driver Henning Solberg. It was exciting racing and they passed each other several times, but the battle cost them both time. Nitiss finished his Semifinal race a disappointing fourth, missing the cut for the main event by one position.

“I made a small mistake at the beginning, and that was it,” said Nitiss. “I gained two positions on the Joker lap and then gave them away on the track.”

In Lites, Olsbergs MSE driver Kevin Eriksson finished on the podium, in third, while OMSE guest driver Oscar Solberg (son of Henning Solberg) finished fifth, and teammate Sandra Hultgren was sixth.

Timerzyanov, who won the European Rallycross Championship in 2012 and 2013, said he is impressed by the growing level of competition he sees in the World Rallycross Championship. Norway saw a record entry of 44 Supercars. “There were 20 drivers within one second of each other after practice,” said Timerzyanov. “Everyone is so close that it’s a great fight on the track.”

Up next for Olsbergs MSE is World RX of France, September 4-6, at the popular Loheac circuit.

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.

The FIA World Rallycross Championship 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 2015 championship is made up of 13 rounds: Portugal, Germany (Hockenheim), Belgium, Great Britain, Germany (Estering), Sweden, Canada, Norway, France, Spain, Turkey, Italy, Argentina.