Thursday, June 25, 2015

Sebastian Eriksson first at Daytona International Speedway, Double podium for Olsbergs MSE in Red Bull GRC

Olsbergs MSE driver Sebastian Eriksson wins Red Bull GRC Round 3 in Daytona.
(Ken Block finished second and Steve Arpin was second).
The result followed a third-place result a day earlier at Round 2. (PHOTO: Olsbergs MSE)
DAYTONA, Fla. (June 21, 2015) - Sebastian Eriksson led the Olsbergs MSE team to a double podium this weekend at the Red Bull Global Rallycross doubleheader in Daytona.
Rookie Eriksson drove his Red Bull/Bluebeam Ford Fiesta ST to his first Supercars win on Sunday, following up Saturday's third-place finish.

"Now I've shown them what I can do and maybe that means the other drivers will be looking at me in the first corner," said Eriksson, who now has a slim lead in the points standings over veteran Ken Block, after three rounds in the championship. "But I'm going to focus on taking this season race by race."

Defending champion Joni Wiman finished fourth on Saturday, behind teammate Eriksson -- despite taking a hit in a chaotic first Final of the weekend that cost him an early lead. "After all that contact, the car was really hard to drive so it became more about survival to just bring the car home in a good place," he said.

On Sunday, Wiman showed his speed early on, qualifying third and pacing teammate Eriksson through the Semifinal to advance directly to the front row of the Final. But while charging through the pack on the seventh lap, contact with another car sent him into the trackside barriers, ending his charge three laps short of the checkered flag.

"I'm disappointed. Today, I definitely had more," said Wiman. "But the weekend as a whole was a strong team performance. We're the drivers to beat out there and I'll be ready to challenge Sebastian in the next one."

The rallycross course at Daytona International Speedway is one of the longest in the series, measuring nearly a mile in length, with 30 percent dirt and a big tabletop jump feature. The risk of attrition was high, with cars and drivers strained to the limit in the sweltering Florida summer heat. Full coverage of this weekend's Red Bull Global Rallycross doubleheader aired live on NBC Sunday. 

It was a successful weekend for Olsbergs MSE'S Lites team as well, with Oliver Eriksson earning his first win in the series on Saturday and teammate Austin Cindric winning the second round of the doubleheader. "I feel pretty good," said Cindric, who also won the opening round in the championship last month. "Every race we've been to, we've been the car to beat and I'm confident we're going to stay that way."

Oliver Eriksson said his first series victory felt like a huge weight had lifted off his shoulders. "I set a goal to get a win in a race this season, and to have it happen was amazing. Now I have a goal to get as many firsts as I can."

Full coverage of the Red Bull Global Rallycross Lites championship airs Friday, June 26 at 2 p.m. (Eastern Time) on NBC Sports Network. 

The Red Bull Global Rallycross team returns to its new home in Mooresville, N.C., to prepare for competition on the July 4th weekend at Marine Corps Air Station New River in Jacksonville, N.C. It will be another busy weekend of intercontinental racing for the team, with its World RX squad also on course: Andreas Bakkerud, Reinis Nitiss and Timur Timerzyanov will be competing in Holjes at World RX of Sweden -- OMSE's home event.