NYNASHAMN, Sweden (October 5, 2015) – It was a massive weekend for Olsbergs MSE around the world as team drivers in Asia and the Caribbean drove their Ford Fiesta ST rallycross cars to podium results in two different international championships.
In Turkey, Andreas Bakkerud earned a second-place result in the FIA World Rallycross Championship stop at Intercity Istanbul Park.
“This is really, really great for a whole team that has been working hard. This second place feels like a team victory,” said Bakkerud, who finished a slim three hundredths of a second off the lead on Sunday. “It was an epic battle.”
In Barbados, where the team tackled a Red Bull Global Rallycross doubleheader at Bushy Park, Olsbergs MSE scored a third-place result with defending champion Joni Wiman in his Red Bull / Bluebeam Ford Fiesta ST. “It turned out to be a track where you really needed to push to pass, and that’s what I tried to do,” said Wiman.
Wiman had crossed the line fourth but penalties assessed due to a crash at the finish line between the second- and third-place cars saw Wiman promoted onto the podium.
Also on Saturday, Wiman’s teammate Sebastian Eriksson scored a fourth-place result after taking the hard route to the Final through the Last Chance Qualifier. In Sunday Red Bull GRC racing, the Olsbergs MSE Ford Fiesta ST cars were in the mix all day, with Wiman finishing second in his heat and semifinal races. But luck wasn’t on the team’s side in the Final. Wiman scored a fifth-place result, while Eriksson wound up seventh after getting tied up in traffic.
The Barbados track suited the team’s Red Bull / Bluebeam Ford Fiesta ST rallycross cars. The course configuration at Bushy Park was the longest in series history, with technical turns linked by long straightaways that allowed the cars to hit their top speeds. “We’ve had a lot of tracks where we haven’t quite gotten the car the way I want it, but we did a great job as a team here this weekend,” said Wiman.
Meanwhile, the World RX track at Intercity Istanbul Park reconfigured the former Turkish Formula One track to a 60 percent tarmac, 40 percent dirt course for the event. The Olsbergs MSE cars were in good form there.
In addition to the podium result for Bakkerud, Reinis Nitiss was also a contender for the overall win until a heartbreaker of a last lap of his Semifinal race. He was leading when his transmission let go and he had to drive the final lap using only second and fifth gears. He finished fourth, one position shy of a spot in the main event. “The cars are where we want them to be: we had the starts, we had the pace,” said Nitiss. “We are right there fighting for the championship.”
Timur Timerzyanov, who is running the World RX Championship as an independent for the title under the Namus OMSE banner, advanced to the Semifinals in his Red Bull / Viatti Ford Fiesta ST. But he also missed the main event after contact forced him off pace and he finished fourth.
Bakkerud’s podium was his second of the 2015 season. He finished third at World RX of Sweden earlier this year. The result sees him jump into fourth in the World RX title chase with two events remaining. In the World RX teams championship, the Ford Olsbergs MSE team is second, with two more opportunities to close the gap. World RX of Italy takes place in two weeks, followed by the November 27-29 World RX of Argentina in San Luis.
Olsbergs MSE’s development team also had a successful weekend in worldwide Lites races.
In Red Bull GRC Lites, the young Olsbergs MSE drivers dominated the competition. Austin Cindric and Oliver Eriksson took a win and a runner-up result apiece in Barbados. The teammates are locked in a fierce battle at the top of the standings and head into the Las Vegas season finale next month separated by just three points.
Their RX Lites counterparts also saw success in Turkey. Driver Kevin Eriksson advanced to the Final and scored a sixth-place result, while former British Touring Car Championship driver Tom Onslow-Cole finished his RX Lites debut race on the podium, in third. Onslow-Cole won his seat in the race earlier this year in the RX Lites Talent search held at the historic Lydden Hill Circuit in May.
“Rallycross is obviously very different than any of the other racing I’ve ever done and the cars are set up so differently from what I’ve driven before,” he said. “I still haven’t had time to compute everything I’ve learned this weekend, but I’m hooked. It’s been very intense. It’s been an incredible weekend.”
Up next for the Olsbergs MSE team is the World RX of Italy when series competition resumes October 16-18 at Franciacorta International Circuit. The Red Bull Global Rallycross squad will be back in action November 4 for the Las Vegas season ender.
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.