Honda announce 2017 driver lineup


Credit: Chris Tedesco/Red Bull Content Pool

Honda Red Bull OMSE have revealed their driver lineup for the upcoming Red Bull Global Rallycross season.

Race winner Sebastian Eriksson will remain with the team, being joined Mitchell DeJong and Oliver Eriksson (no relation), the 2014 and 2015 Red Bull GRC Lites champions respectively.

DeJong made his Red Bull GRC Supercars début last season at the final rounds in Los Angeles after nearly two years away from the track. He took a best finish of eighth.

“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,” said DeJong at the ‘Project CARS 2’ Rallycross preview event in Los Angeles.

“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.”

Former Lites champion Mitchell DeJong was impressive on his Supercars début last year – Credit: Chris Tedesco/Red Bull Content Pool

Meanwhile Oliver Eriksson, son of team principal Andreas Eriksson, unsuccessfully attempted to defend his Lites crown in 2016, ultimately finishing second to Cabot Bigham.

“It’s truly an honour to compete at the highest level in rallycross,” said the 19-year-old. “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 team mates and I think we’re all ready for the season to begin.”

The signing of two of the three previous Lites champions alongside Sebastian Eriksson leaves the future of Joni Wiman, the first ever Red Bull GRC Lites champion, uncertain.

Wiman took the supercars crown in 2014, his first season at the highest level, but didn’t win a single race that year. He got his first and so far only event win in Las Vegas at the end of 2015 but has ultimately struggled to match Eriksson over the course of the last two years.

A return to Europe is the most likely destination for the former-Formula Renault driver.

2009 Formula 1 world champion Jenson Button was expected to feature in Honda’s Red Bull GRC lineup this season, but an announcement on the Brit’s possible participation in the series has not been made.

2017 will be Honda’s second year with Olsbergs in Red Bull GRC – Credit: Chris Tedesco/Red Bull Content Pool