Olsbergs MSE has today (12 April) officially unveiled the groundbreaking new Ford Fiesta ST Supercar that it hopes will carry Kevin Eriksson and Robin Larsson to the top step of the podium in this year’s FIA World Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy – with history set to be made in Barcelona this weekend.
Swedish rallycross specialist OMSE is making an eagerly-anticipated full-time return to World RX in 2018, and the winter off-season witnessed months of tireless design and development at the team’s Nynäshamn workshop south of Stockholm.
That work was carried out in collaboration with Ford Performance, with the new Fiesta ST having been built entirely from the ground up and benefitting from the years of rallycross experience that OMSE has gained through its raft of successful motorsport programmes worldwide.
Aside, obviously, from the 2018 Ford Fiesta ST platform, notable innovations include a totally new suspension configuration and aero package along with the very latest-specification Olsbergs MSE powerplant – making for a potent combination indeed.
Not only that, but when Eriksson and Larsson – World RX race-winners both – take to the track in Barcelona for the season curtain-raiser this weekend (14/15 April), it will represent the very first competitive outing for the new Fiesta ST anywhere in the world. Both men are eager to mark the momentous occasion by bringing home a solid result.
“As soon as I drove this car, I could tell it was a step forward,” remarked Eriksson, who won in Germany in 2016 following a spectacular first corner overtake. “There has been plenty of midnight oil burned back at the factory these past few months, and everybody involved deserves a huge pat on the back for making this happen.
Pre-season testing has been promising, and this is only the start. Once we find the ‘sweet spot’ with this car, it’s going to fly!”
“I’m so excited to be returning to World RX this year, and even more so to be coming back with such an awesome car,” added 2014 FIA European Rallycross Champion Robin Larsson, who has twice been a finalist in Barcelona and is supported by ExTe, Bydalsfjällen, Bergs Fegen, OP Höglunds, Bevola, Trux, Krossekonomi, Förch by Normteknik and Makita.
“The new Fiesta ST is an incredible piece of kit, and although it is still evidently very early days, the potential is huge – so bring it on!”
World RX is renowned as being the pinnacle of international rallycross competition, but OMSE founder and Team Principal Andreas Eriksson is keen to demonstrate that it is possible to reach the top step of the rostrum without spending a small fortune.
“Having largely sat out the 2017 campaign, for us, it was very important that if we were to return to World RX full-time, it had to be in the right circumstances and with a very real chance of achieving success on a sensible budget,” he asserted.
“Every time we enter a series, it is with the expectation of being competitive and fighting for victory, and we are confident that in the 2018 Fiesta ST, we have the car to do just that.
“I must thank Ford Performance Motorsports Global Director Mark Rushbrook for his unstinting support and co-operation in this exciting new project, which has yielded what I firmly believe to be the best rallycross car we have ever produced. I must also pay tribute to our loyal partners Olsbergs and Blåkläder, without whose ongoing commitment none of this would be possible.
“Every element of the Fiesta ST has been enhanced in some way, and the results of those improvements will hopefully be seen on the track and against the stopwatch. We are very much looking forward to getting the forthcoming season underway.”
”Rallycross fits our brand like like a glove,” added Kalle Larsson, Global Marketing Manager at Blåkläder. “It combines speed, action and fast cars in tough environments. For this reason, we are really proud to once again be a sponsor of Robin Larsson and his Swedish team in the FIA World Rallycross Championship in 2018. The fact that Robin was born and raised in Svenljunga makes it even more exciting.”
All media attending this weekend’s World RX of Catalunya-Barcelona are warmly invited to an informal function in the Olsbergs MSE hospitality unit at 17:30 on Friday, 13 April, in the presence of the team’s two drivers and key personnel. This will also mark the first opportunity to see the newly-liveried Fiesta ST in the flesh.
Founded by former Swedish Rally Champion Andreas Eriksson in 2005 and with bases in both Sweden and the USA, OMSE is a leading protagonist across the board.
The company’s hugely successful Supercar Lites brand – as used in both RX2 and GRC Lites – is widely regarded as the blueprint for single-make rallycross feeder series and the ideal platform for the next generation of talent in the discipline.