Honda Introduces Expanded 2017 Red Bull Global Rallycross Driver Lineup
Honda and Honda Performance Development today announced that Olsbergs MSE (OMSE) will field an expanded lineup of three talented, young drivers for the 2017 Red Bull Global Rallycross Championship season. Teaming with series veteran Sebastian Eriksson will be former Red Bull GRC Lites champions, newcomer Oliver Eriksson and American Mitchell DeJong, who returns to the team following his debut at the 2016 season finale in Los Angeles.
The 2017 Honda Global Rallycross drivers were announced by Sage Marie, assistant vice president of public relations at American Honda, during the “Project CARS 2” Rallycross preview event in Los Angeles, where the drivers virtually competed driving exotic cars on some of the most iconic tracks and courses around the world. DeJong, one of the “Project CARS 2” game testers, gave rave reviews for the virtual reality and 12k supported game.
The Honda Red Bull OMSE Civic trio will get behind the wheels of 2017 Honda Civic Coupes in hopes of building on the five podium finishes the team scored in its inaugural season.
“Coming off Honda’s maiden campaign in Global Rallycross in 2016, we are ramping up for the 2017 season with a great blend of skill and experience, in addition to talented newcomers,” said Susie Rossick, assistant vice president of Honda Automobile Marketing. “The Honda Red Bull OMSE Civic team is excited to be back on the track and is committed to increasing its time on the podium.”
OMSE is fielding the youngest team in the Red Bull Global Rallycross Series, led by 24-year-old Sebastian Eriksson, who returns to Olsbergs MSE for his third season in the Supercar class and his second competing behind the wheel of the Honda Red Bull OMSE Civic. The Hagsfor, Sweden native will lead his countryman Oliver Eriksson, who at just 18 years of age is the youngest rookie in Red Bull GRC. The younger Eriksson’s career accolades include a Red Bull GRC Lites championship in 2015. Rounding out the team is 19-year-old Temecula, Calif. native Mitchell DeJong, competing in his first full season of Supercar competition after winning the 2014 Red Bull GRC Lites Championship with OMSE.
“It was an epic 2016 for us representing Honda Racing,” said Andreas Eriksson, CEO and Team Principal of OMSE. “We hope to not only climb onto the podium a few more times this season, but to learn more about the Honda Red Bull Civic Coupe’s true capability. It’s an aggressive machine and we have aggressive drivers who are eager to bring home great results.”
The 2017 Red Bull GRC season kicks off on April 28-29 in Memphis, Tenn. at Memphis International Raceway. Television coverage begins on April 29 with qualifications airing at midnight ET /9 p.m. PT on NBCSN and coverage of the finals beginning at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT on NBC.
Sebastian Eriksson: “I’m very excited to return to OMSE. This team is my second family and we take pride in competing at our very best. Last year, we had a new challenge in developing the Honda Civic Coupe for the track, but we showed a lot of pace and consistent results. I feel like we can take that next step this year and give Honda some great results.”
Oliver Eriksson: “It’s truly an honor to compete at the highest level in rallycross. It’ll be nice to get back to competing in the car after finishing second in the Lites championship last year. I want to win, I want to be the best once we hit the track in Memphis, but I also understand that learning the car and competing in Supercars will present a new challenge for me. I’m grateful to have Sebastian and Mitchell as teammates and I think we’re all ready for the season to begin.”
Mitchell DeJong: “I can’t believe it’s finally here! I’m Honda’s first American Global Rallycross driver and I get to compete on the best team in Rallycross. To work with OMSE, Red Bull and Honda is amazing, but winning races and a championship is the ultimate goal. The 2017 season is about to become great for all of us.”