Thursday, January 23, 2014

Olsbergs MSE AND FORD Announce Their 2014, GRC and FIA World Rallycross Championship Driver Line up

NYNÄSHAMN, Sweden (January 23, 2014) – Championship rallycross operation Olsbergs MSE Ford today announced its plans for an international three-series campaign in 2014.
“I am excited to introduce our OMSE Ford drivers — the present and future stars of the sport,” said OMSE CEO Andreas Eriksson. “The drivers on our 2014 roster demonstrate our commitment to building the sport of rallycross.”

At an open house and media tour of its Swedish headquarters, OMSE officially announced that it will field Ford Fiesta ST entries in the FIA World Rallycross Championship and the Global Rallycross championship, as well as the Rallycross Supercar Scandinavia series.

”Ford and Olsbergs MSE have enjoyed a long and winning partnership that has established an incredibly successful package with the OMSE Ford Fiesta ST and most recently resulted in our third-consecutive Global Rallycross Championship,” said Jamie Allison, Director of Ford Racing.

 “As importantly, Olsbergs MSE has played a leading role in building the sport to the level it’s at today.
“We are looking forward to another successful year with Olsbergs MSE in both GRC and the FIA World Rallycross Championship, fueled by Andreas’ passion and commitment, and bolstered by a roster of young and incredibly talented drivers,” added Allison.

OMSE will campaign two cars in the new FIA World Rallycross Championship. Andreas Bakkerud is debuting with the team. The young Norwegian finished in fourth-place in his debut Supercars season in Europe last year, following back-to- back Rallycross Super 1600 titles in Europe. Young Latvian Reinis Nitišs also joins OMSE’s Supercars effort, following his own dominant season in the 2013 Super 1600 championship in Europe and appearances in two GRC Lites contests in the United States.

“As competitors we are focused on winning, but I’m always thinking about the future,” said Eriksson, who stresses that Olsbergs MSE is committed to driver and vehicle development.
In the U.S.-based Global Rallycross championship, Junior World Rally Champion Patrik Sandell will return to the Supercars team after scoring a Top-10 result for OMSE and Ford on the series in 2013. He is joined by Supercars newcomer Joni Wiman, who earned a dominant win in the first GRC Lites championship season last year and will step up to the top class of competition in the United States for the first time in 2014.

Affirming the team’s commitment to driver development, OMSE will also field a pair of cars, as a junior team, in the new Rallycross Supercar Scandinavia series powered by STCC. Confirmed for the 2014 team is youngster Sebastian Eriksson, who finished runner-up in the 2013 GRC Lites championship. The successful GRC Lites development series, which debuted in 2013 in the United States as a support to the Global Rallycross championship, will also return in 2014. A program expansion will see more cars running more contests in 2014. The second driver will be young Norwegian Daniel Holten; Daniel has had success in the European Championship including a top five finish and has gained experience in rallycross, competing in national series.

“A lot of kids out there need a new future and a new sport they can dream for and that’s what we’re creating at OMSE,” said Eriksson. “Growing participation in the Lites series is a key part of our commitment to bolstering the development of rallycross around the world.”
The event at OMSE’s Swedish headquarters offered media and guests an opportunity to explore the facility and view the organization’s top-spec cars, as well as get a preview of the 2014 competition roster.

Also present for the 2014 team preview and open house were leaders from the top rallycross promoters in the world: IMG Global Head of Motorsports Rob Armstrong, FIA World Rallycross Championship Managing Director Martin Anayi, and Global Rallycross CEO Colin Dyne. All three expressed their support for OMSE’s ambitious 2014 plan.

“Olsbergs MSE is a competitive team on the international stage who are committed to the growth of the sport, and we welcome their participation in the FIA World Rallycross Championship in 2014,” said Anayi.

“Olsbergs MSE is a valuable team partner to the Global Rallycross series,” said Dyne. “They are a strong, professional organization who believe in the kinds of driver development and technological advancement that builds the sport. We are pleased to welcome the team back to the GRC in 2014.”
Two-time World Rally Champion Marcus Grönholm and British Touring Car Champion Andrew Jordan, who will work with the team as test drivers and driver coaches in 2014, were also on-hand for the announcement.

The 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.
The OMSE organization is led by Eriksson, himself a championship rally driver and veteran rallycross driver. He is supported by Chief Financial Officer Jan-Erik Steen and three-time European Rallycross Champion Jussi Pinomäki, who joins OMSE in 2014 as team manager, while also continuing to work with his own Team Set Promotion.

The confirmed supercar driver lineup for OMSE 2014:
FIA World Rallycross Championship:
Andreas Bakkerud, Reinis Nitišs

Global Rallycross:
Patrik Sandell, Joni Wiman

Rallycross SuperCar Scandinavia:
Sebastian Eriksson, Daniel Holten

Source: Olsberg OSME