Tag Archives: Andreas Eriksson

Wiman Makes Supercar Debut, Joins Other GRC Figures in Swedish Finale

Fans still waiting for the Global Rallycross season finale at Las Vegas on November 7 may have looked to Sweden to hold themselves over this past weekend. The finale of the Swedish Rallycross Championship, held on Saturday, was a high-caliber affair that featured appearances from many familiar faces to GRC fans.

The biggest story coming into the race week was the announcement that Joni Wiman, the newly crowned champion of GRC Lites, would make his Supercar debut for OlsbergsMSE, driving alongside team principal Andreas Eriksson. Wiman was incredibly fast throughout the race weekend, setting the track lap record in testing, posting the fastest time in the first practice, and winning his first heat.

Unfortunately, neither driver would make it to the podium; Eriksson finished fifth with a puncture in the A final, while Wiman’s driveshaft broke in the B final and he did not advance to the main event.

However, one GRC driver did make it to the podium. Anton Marklund, racing the same Volkswagen Polo that he brought to all four X Games events this season, earned a third place finish in the event despite having to run the final in two wheel drive. Marklund, who maintains 14th place in GRC Supercars standings, earned his best finish of the GRC season at X Games Munich, where he finished fourth in the first half of the doubleheader.

Other familiar names included Reinis Nitiss, who made two GRC Lites starts at X Games Los Angeles and Atlanta Motor Speedway; making his Supercar debut as well, he finished seventh. Per Eklund, whose Saab 9-3 ranked third in last year’s GRC standings with Samuel Hubinette behind the wheel, finished eighth.

Photo credit: QBA/QNIGAN.com

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Wiman to Test Supercars With OlsbergsMSE

Nynäshamn, Sweden – Tuesday 1st October 2013: Newly crowned 2013 Global Rallycross GRC Lites champion Joni Wiman will be stepping it up a gear next weekend and jumping behind the wheel of an OlsbergsMSE prepared Ford Fiesta Supercar.

As part of his prize for winning the inaugural Global Rallycross championship title, with an impressive five victories from five rounds, the 19-year old Finn will test the 600bhp Supercar in Strängnäs on Wednesday the 2nd, before taking part in the final of the Swedish Rallycross championship on Saturday the 5th October.

Both outings will be held on the technical ‘Kinnekulle Ring’ circuit in Götene in the south of Sweden, giving Wiman the perfect opportunity to get a taste of Supercar machinery on a European Rallycross circuit. In addition to providing the Supercar test, OlsbergsMSE will also be holding an exclusive Supercar Lite demonstration, with Wiman and several other Supercar Lite drivers on hand to discuss their experiences of racing the in the USA.

“Everything has fallen into place, and it should be a really exciting weekend,” said OlsbergsMSE CEO Andreas Eriksson. “Since Joni won the championship before the last race of the year [due to be held in Las Vegas on the 7th November] I thought this was a great opportunity for him to come over and test the car on Swedish ground.

“Joni will be driving a 2012 Ford Fiesta Olsbergs MSE Supercar, exactly the same speciation that Scott Speed won with in Charlotte two weeks ago. We will have the test on Wednesday, and then race on Saturday, which should give Joni plenty of time behind the wheel and show us what he can do. Based on his performances in the Supercar Lites this year, I am pretty confident he will do well.

“The Supercar entry for the race on Saturday should be twelve to fourteen cars, so it’s a great chance for Joni to experience the car in competition with tough competition. I’ll be able to keep a close eye on him, as I’m racing on the day as well!

“For us at OlsbergsMSE getting drivers like Joni through from the junior classes, to Supercar Lites, and into Supercars is all part of developing the Rallycross as a sport. It provides a clear path of progression for young drivers, and at the same time helps teach drivers the skills they need to make the most of racing a four wheel drive car.

“The interest in the Supercar Lites class is now already huge in the US, and now we bring that over to Scandinavia together with Rallycross Supercar Scandinavia which is promoted by STCC (Scandinavian Touring Car Championship) for 2014. We really look forward to create a platform in Scandinavia that continue this growth”. We have over 40 drivers that will test the Supercar Lite on the official test days coming weeks and I am really happy and impressed with the diversity of drivers Rallycross attract.

”The momentum in Rallycross is great and the most growing motorsport in the world today, The platform with Supercar Lites makes it easier to build future stars and champions.                              We also view to continuing grow further into Europe.”

As Ford’s official manufacturer partner in Rallycross , OlsbergsMSE currently builds and prepares four 2013 Ford Fiesta ST and OMSE 2 two Ford Fiesta 2012 Supercars in the Global Rallycross Championship  , on top of that two cars has been raced in Europe as testcars in European RX series in addition to developing and running the new start category of Global Rallycross with Supercar Lites vehicles called GRC Lites in the US.

Photo credit: Qba/QNIGAN.com

GRC TV: Introducing GRC Lites

GRC Lites will make their long-awaited debut at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Thursday, July 11. The car, the brainchild of OlsbergsMSE team principal Andreas Eriksson, is designed to help young drivers showcase their talent. Eriksson, as well as drivers Geoffrey Sykes and Mitchell deJong, talk about what to expect from the new vehicle this season.

GRC Lites Race Preview: New Hampshire Motor Speedway

IN BRIEF: The long-awaited GRC Lites class makes its debut at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway, kicking off a six-race schedule.

TUNE IN INFORMATION:

ENTRY LIST: Click here for the full entry list.

THE TRACK: New Hampshire features a 60-40 split of pavement and dirt, as well as a set of new and unique challenges. Unlike most Global Rallycross tracks, the joker lap at NHMS actually features a longcut, while an elevated hairpin serves as the last of eight turns on the layout.

THE CONCEPT: GRC Lites are designed to be the natural step before stepping into a Global Rallycross Supercar: they handle similarly to the series’ premier class, but feature about half the horsepower and are not turbocharged. The cars are identically built by OlsbergsMSE in conjunction with Avitas Motorsport, in order to emphasize driver skill over mechanical advantage.

THE DRIVERS: GRC Lites drivers have been making a name for themselves throughout the world of motorsport. The class will feature nine drivers at New Hampshire, with experience in every discipline of racing from stock cars to sports cars to off-road:

QUOTES: A selection of quotes in advance of Thursday’s GRC Lites event:

Andreas Eriksson, Team Principal, OlsbergsMSE: “I’m really looking forward. I tested the cars a lot, but I’ve never seen them run against each other with these different drivers. I know they work fine, but we’ll see how it goes when they race each other. I’m pretty confident that they will like it.”

Mitchell deJong, Driver, #24 GRC Lites: “I’m really looking forward to going out and mixing it up with these guys. It’s a completely new car, it’s new to me—I’ve never driven anything like it. But it’s such a fun car and so competitive, so I’m really looking forward to it.”

Geoff Sykes, Driver, #65 GRC Lites: “There’s definitely a lot of stuff to learn. I’m going to have a lot of stuff to learn going out with the launch control, and especially the jumping—I’ve never jumped anything before. So the first practice session is going to be a huge learning curve for all of us, I think. So I look forward to seeing all of the other drivers driving their cars, and seeing how we all compare right off the bat.”

Photo credit: Matthew Kalish

X Games Munich Track Draws Rave Reviews From European Veterans

Part of the allure of Global Rallycross is its inherent ability to create “pop-up racetracks”—circuits that didn’t exist weeks, days, or even hour the start of the first heat race. That dynamic has changed the face of rallycross, with events located everywhere from permanent racetracks to stadiums, as opposed to permanent circuits.

But this weekend’s track in X Games Munich, in particular, has excited many veterans of classic European tracks: it possesses an even mix of dirt and gravel, a balance of tight corners and long straightaways, and the famous dirt jump that fans have come to expect at every GRC event.

OlsbergsMSE team principal Andreas Eriksson, a veteran of more permanent European circuits before moving to GRC, is one of many to approve of this weekend’s build.

“I like this track, I think this is well prepared,” he said. “I like how they put it up. I see they’ve learned a lot doing the track. I hope the weather remains dry, but even if it gets wet we will not have a problem. It’s just more fun if it’s dry, I think, for everyone to see the cars.

“When I came here, I was really impressed with the operation. I think we will have no problems, and I think we will have a good show.”

“I think it’s a little bit of both a European track and a Global track, with the big jump from Global Rallycross, and also tarmac now and proper gravel,” added Anton Marklund, who finished sixth at X Games Brazil. “I think this track will be a lot of fun to drive, and there will be good racing. I think this track is the best we’ve had in Global Rallycross so far.”

To help his drivers adapt to the technically challenging track, Eriksson has been entering his team in numerous events across Europe.

“All of my drivers have been doing driving,” he continued. “(Brian) Deegan was in Europe for the first time ever, and then Topi (Heikkinen) and Tanner (Foust) did a lot of mileage. Also Patrik (Sandell) did some events in Stockholm. I think all the seat time you get in a Supercar makes you better, so that’s why we did it.”

But perhaps it’s Sverre Isachsen, a four-time race winner in Germany and three-time European champion, who best summed up the consensus opinion: “I’m really glad to see this now. They’ve done an amazing job.”

GRC Drivers No Stranger to Competing in Germany

Though both Global Rallycross and X Games may be making their first-ever stops in Germany, heading to Munich at the end of June, that doesn’t mean that GRC drivers are unfamiliar with competing in the country. In fact, if the past is any indication, visiting the country should be a welcome site for much of the sport’s European contingent.

The European championship often features a round at the Estering circuit, located in Buxtehude in the northern part of Germany. Over the past decade, Estering has hosted eight events, including last year’s season finale won by Liam Doran.

But three-time European champion and current Subaru PUMA Rallycross Team driver Sverre Isachsen is perhaps the king of the Estering. Isachsen took his first Supercar victory in Buxtehude in 2005, and claimed additional wins in 2006, 2009, and 2010. Only twice, in 2004 and 2008, did he fail to score the victory while competing at the track.

While Isachsen was often unbeatable, Andreas Eriksson, the man behind OlsbergsMSE and the new GRC Lites concept, would frequently mount a strong challenge. Eriksson won the race in 2008, finished second to Isachsen in 2006 and 2009, and added a fifth place in 2010.

Many drivers with GRC links besides Doran also competed at Buxtehude last season. Andy Scott, who ran four GRC races in 2012, finished fifth in the Supercar class, while Timur Timerzyanov, not long before he made his GRC debut with OMSE, finished 14th. Future GRC Lites driver Joni Wiman finished eighth in the Super 1600 class, while Anton Marklund wrapped up his Touring Car class championship with a seventh place run.

Two of the drivers making their GRC debuts at X Games Munich also have experience racing in Germany. Mattias Ekstrom is one of the DTM touring car series’ most legendary drivers, debuting in the series in 2001 and taking 17 victories and two championships since then. Meanwhile, Townsend Bell made his CART debut at the Lausitzring in 2001, finishing on the lead lap in 13th place in a Patrick Racing Reynard-Toyota.

Photo credit: QBA/QNIGAN.com

2013 GRC Lites Test with OlsbergsMSE

Watch as GRC Lites drivers take their first laps in their cars in preparation for the series debut at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 11. OlsbergsMSE team principal and vehicle designer Andreas Eriksson explains the concept behind the car, while drivers Geoff Sykes, Mitchell DeJong, and Sheldon Creed talk about what the new vehicle feels like from a driver’s standpoint.

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Global Rallycross Announces New Class

Los Angeles, Calif., May 6, 2013 – Global Rallycross (GRC) is pleased to announce GRC Lites, a new rallycross class that will support the series’ wildly popular Supercars class at all US races in 2013.

“We want to provide a place for our next generation of star drivers,” said GRC Founder Chip Pankow. “The GRC Lites class is the perfect training ground for any driver who wants to get started in rallycross and it will provide them exposure to all of our fans.”

GRC Lites is a tightly controlled “spec” class, designed with an emphasis on driver skill. Built by top rallycross preparer OlsbergsMSE, Lites produce just over half the power of the top Supercar vehicles and are designed to be more manageable for developing star drivers.

Global Rallycross Supercar driver and reigning champion, Tanner Foust, has tested the GRC Lites car and commented, “The GRC Lites cars are a great addition to the Global Rallycross lineup.  They’re challenging to drive yet incredibly capable cars that will carry as much speed as the supercars through some corners and the additional races on the track during the race day will certainly add to the entertainment factor for the fans.”

“The racing is going to be close, since all cars conform to the same specification, and driving talent will be the deciding factor in these races,” said OlsbergsMSE CEO Andreas Eriksson, who worked with GRC to develop the class. “There is no better place than GRC Lites competitions to learn the sport.”

GRC Lites cars are purpose-built racers that are fast, nimble, and exciting to watch. They are all-wheel drive and capable of handling the jumps, door-to-door combat and surface changes of a typical rallycross course. The class will run as a support series on the same courses as the Supercars at all US GRC events, with the Last Chance Qualifiers and Finals expected to run immediately before the main Supercar races.

“GRC Lites continues the growth of Global Rallycross and will provide the perfect venue for drivers to hone their rallycross skills infront of our thousands of spectators,” said GRC CEO Colin Dyne.

At the conclusion of the 2013 season, the GRC Lites series champion will be awarded a drive in an OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta ST Supercar and the top three finishers in the championship will receive a Supercar test with OlsbergsMSE.

Rallycross is a blend of circuit racing, off-road racing and rally competition. It promises intense, crowd-pleasing action in a fan-friendly track environment. As many as 10 drivers line up to start at once, piloting high-horsepower compact cars through race traffic over a challenging short course that features jumps, unbanked turns and changing track and surface conditions that can include dirt, gravel, and wet and dry tarmac.

GRC introduced the sport to the United States with the first event held at X Games in 2010. For the past two years, the series has been limited to top-spec Supercars, which are production-based, turbocharged, all-wheel drive vehicles that produce 600 horsepower and go 0-60 in two seconds. The OlsbergsMSE GRC Lites are the only other vehicles homologated for GRC competition.

Technical partners include AEM (electronics and engine controls), Motegi Racing (wheels), Mountune (engine), Avitas Motorsport (chassis and bodywork), Sadev (transmission and driveline components) and OlsbergsMSE.

Vehicle specifications

Ford Manufacturer Partner OlsbergsMSE Announce Field of Four Drivers to Run Fiesta ST in Global Rallycross Championship

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Cali. (March 28, 2013) – With back-to-back Global Rallycross Championship driver’s and manufacturer’s titles, the OlsbergsMSE team has announced a new multi-year contract as Ford’s official Manufacturer Partner in GRC.

OlsbergsMSE will continue to develop the championship Fiesta race cars, improving the technical aspects to increase performance on-track and deliver on its established winning tradition in the Global Rallycross Championship.

“Ford Racing and OlsbergsMSE have been pioneers in helping grow the sport of RallyCross beyond Europe and establish it as one of the most exciting and anticipated new series in the United States. Working with Andreas Eriksson and the OlsbergMSE team, Ford Fiesta has earned success winning the Global RallyCross Championship in the past 2 seasons.” said Jamie Allison, director, Ford Racing. “The team has pushed the limits in developing our latest Fiesta ST GRC RallyCross cars and we look to continue to build on that success beginning in X Games Brazil.”

The OlsbergsMSE team will build and run four brand new Fiesta ST rallycross cars to compete in the Global Rallycross Championship, including all four Global X Games events in Brazil, Spain, Germany and the United States. The field of drivers will include two-time GRC Champion Tanner Foust; 2012 runner up Brian Deegan, returning team driver Toomas Heikkinen; and GRC rookie Patrik Sandell. Look for each driver’s program release in the upcoming weeks.

“I am really satisfied with our driver line up for this year. OMSE has a good mix of different drivers, from different backgrounds and ages that will help us to improve our cars forward,” commented OlsbergsMSE CEO , Andreas Eriksson. “I am also looking forward to the start of 2013 season in GRC; the global expansion is starting to be a reality and this Motorsport is what I really see as the future. OMSE and I will do our best to continue produce good results and winning cars and most of all we will deliver great entertainment for the fans!”

Along with running the full GRC series, a testing and development program, the OlsbergsMSE is excited to have the opportunity to run the Fiesta ST in select FIA European Rallycross Championship (ERC) events, with some of the team’s full-time GRC drivers. OlsbergsMSE will support Tanner Foust in the first round at Lydden Hill on March 31.

“I’m excited to get back into the Rockstar Energy Ford Fiesta ST Rallycross car this weekend in England! Lydden Hill is a great track and OlsbergsMSE has worked hard over the off season to improve an already great car,” said Foust.

“I’ve always enjoyed the FIA European Rallycross Championship races, the competition and the European fans. I’m looking forward to stacking the OMSE car up against the competition before heading to Brazil for the X-Games!”

OlsbergsMSE’s Andreas Eriksson has run Ford Fiesta racecars since the RallyCross event was introduced to the U.S. in 2009 by X Games. With Eriksson’s passion to develop Fiesta and grow interest in the U.S. series OlsbergsMSE will launch a satellite team running two Fiestas in GRC, including X Games events, as a customer program.

“Being able to work with such a skilled and supportive team like OlsbergsMSE is a great fit for the Global Rallycross Championship,” said Colin Dyne, GRC CEO. “Andreas (Eriksson) is such an integral part of the series and his depth of knowledge, as it pertains to the Fords and rallycross as a whole, is an indescribable asset to GRC. We are thankful for the leadership and support he and the OlsbergsMSE team provide with their continuous efforts to grow the sport in the US and globally.”

In addition to running a field of supercars, Eriksson developed a line of Supercar Lites that will run in conjunction with GRC this season as a second class. Designed to be a development class, these cars are “proper race cars” and boast over 300 bhp and have a normally aspirated engine.

The GRC Lites are expected to be a great addition to the competition, not only as added value for the fans in the stands – but also as a way in to the highly-sought-after supercar seats. The series will be a great way to showcase driver talent and discover the next superstars in rallycross.

OlsbergsMSE will field all four Fiesta ST rallycross cars in the first round of GRC at X Games in Foz Do Iguaçu, PR, Brazil on April 21, 2013.

About OlsbergsMSE
Olsbergs Motorsports Evolution (OlsbergsMSE or OMSE) is a leading automotive innovation company based in Nynashmn, Sweden, with operations in Huntington Beach, California. Led by Swedish rallycross champion Andreas Eriksson, OMSE is recognized as one of the top rallycross outfits in the world. A respected front-running team in Europe, OMSE burst onto the United States competition circuit five years ago with its powerful, 600 horsepower rallycross Ford Fiestas and continues to revolutionize the sport with its aggressive technological advancement and professional operations. Fielding top drivers including Tanner Foust, Brian Deegan and Marcus Gronholm, the team has won the 2011 and 2012 Global Rallycross Championships since the sport of rallycross came to the United States and has finished in the top ranks at X Games every year since OMSE debuted there in 2009.

Fiesta ST, Expanded Partnerships Highlight Ford’s 2013 Global Rallycross Commitment

DEARBORN, MICHIGAN (Feb. 6, 2013) – After finishing 1-2 in last year’s Global Rallycross Championship with drivers Tanner Foust and Brian Deegan, Ford announced today that they are stepping up their commitment to this year’s GRC season by introducing the new Fiesta ST to the series.

The updated car is based on the 2014 Ford Fiesta ST, a performance version of the Fiesta already available in showrooms across America. Foust and Deegan at Olsbergs MSE will debut the new Fiesta ST at April’s Global X Games round in Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil, while Ken Block at Hoonigan Racing Division is in the process of building a new Fiesta ST to debut later this year.

“Global Rallycross has been a great series for us to demonstrate what Ford’s small performance cars can do,” Ford Racing director Jamie Allison said in a release. “With great drivers and teams, and now a formal manufacturer partnership with OlsbergsMSE, Ford Racing’s commitment to Global Rallycross is quickly growing. We’re excited about the debut of the Fiesta ST GRC car this year, and it will be fantastic to see Ford’s global performance car compete in four countries around the world this season.”

Continuing its support of X Games after success in years past, Ford will be the sole automotive sponsor of all four Global X Games events this year, which include stops at Barcelona in May, Munich in June, and Los Angeles in August. Last year, Ford won silver and bronze medals at X Games in Los Angeles with Block and Deegan, respectively.

Ford has also formalized its partnership with Olsbergs MSE in order to encourage the car’s development. Olsbergs MSE fielded a minimum of three Fiestas in each race of last year’s GRC season, scoring four wins and podium finishes at all six events.

“Olsbergs MSE has a good history developing extreme/rallycross cars, and with the longer-term manufacturer relationship with Ford and its technical support, together we will develop even stronger rallycross cars,” added Andreas Eriksson, Olsbergs MSE team principal. “The partnership is exactly what Olsbergs MSE needs to continue to be a winning team in the coming years.”

Foust, Deegan, and the new car will all be at this week’s Chicago Auto Show, with the Fiesta ST on display on Thursday and Friday.

Image via Ford Racing