2015 championship season opens this weekend in Fort Lauderdale
Charlotte, N.C. - Championship winning rallycross team Olsbergs MSE is set to begin its 2015 title defense this weekend at the Red Bull Global Rallycross season opener in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
This year, 2014 champion Joni Wiman returns to the series with OMSE for his second championship campaign. He is joined by rookie Sebastian Eriksson. They will both drive 2015 Red Bull/Bluebeam Ford Fiesta ST rallycross machines.
"I'm looking forward to this season with two drivers who are young and ambitious and represent the future of the sport of rallycross," OMSE team boss Andreas Eriksson said on Wednesday. "It's always harder to win a championship again, when people expect it. It's going to be a fantastic challenge."
To compete in a big championship like this with a great team is a dream I have had since I was a kid,
OMSE, which is headquartered in Sweden, has won every Global Rallycross championship title since the U.S.-based series started in 2011. The team has been preparing this week with a final round of vehicle testing at Charlotte Motor Speedway, near the team's new U.S. home base in North Carolina.
An off-season development program has brought multiple updates and improvements to the Red Bull/Bluebeam Ford Fiesta ST and this week marks the first time that the team drivers have had an opportunity to review the 2015 package.
"I'm really happy with the car; it's been worth waiting for," said Wiman on Wednesday. "We've been working hard these past few months and the goal is definitely to put our Ford Fiesta ST on the top step of the podium in 2015."
Wiman, a 21-year-old Finnish talent, made his debut in the GRC Lites development series in 2013. He swept the season to take the title and the team promoted him into the top Supercars class last year. He won the 2014 championship title with a record of five podiums in 10 races.
Teammate Eriksson, from Sweden, also debuted in Lites in 2013 and finished the season runner-up to Wiman. After winning the Swedish national rallycross championship last year, the 22-year-old says he's excited to be back in the United States competing alongside his former Lites rival.
"To compete in a big championship like this with a great team is a dream I have had since I was a kid," said Eriksson. "The car is great and I think we can fight for the title this year."
To further its goal of developing future stars, OMSE is also fielding Lites drivers in Red Bull Global Rallycross. Young American Austin Cindric and Swede Oliver Eriksson are committed to the program this year.
Full coverage of the 2015 Red Bull Global Rallycross season opener is broadcast live on NBC Sunday, May 31, at 3 p.m.