2014 FIA World Rallycross Teams Champions Olsbergs MSE have announce their lineup for this years FIA World Rallycross Championship, confirming that Kevin Eriksson and Niclas Gronholm will drive a pair of Ford Fiesta Supercars while two-time FIA WRC Champion Marcus Gronholm has joined the outfit as General Manager for the season ahead.
Both drivers will make their full time début in the series this year, however Eriksson drove a Ford Fiesta Supercar at the Argentine WorldRX Finale in 2014 as part of winning the RX Lites Cup that year. Gronholm has made several appearances in the FIA European Rallycross Championship in his fathers GronholmRX team, including securing the Finnish Rallycross title in 2015.
Eriksson has confirmed that he will also contest his native RallyX Nordic series whilst Gronholm will defend his Finnish Rallycross Championship title again in 2016 alongside their WorldRX commitments.
Olsbergs MSE has also confirmed that it will support Tejas Hirani and Cyril Raymond in all seven rounds of the 2016 RX Lites Cup.
Andreas Eriksson, Olsbergs MSE owner, explained the move to sign two young drivers for this year:
“Markus, myself and Jussi (Pinomaki) discussed how best to continue a successful build-up of young drivers. We are all clear that we want to create the next generation of champions, which have been born, raised and developed in the sport. Both Kevin and Niclas already have a few titles in rallycross despite both only being 19. Tejas and Cyril have also been extremely successful in their RX Lites career so far, so it will be a pleasure to work with this young and hungry group of people.”
Eriksson added: “Our main focus in 2016 is not for a title but we will do our best to make sure we have the right material and preparations to do well and we have a long-term plan. We will work together to grow this team in the coming years. As for Olsbergs MSE as a company, the future looks encouraging and after some extremely positive times from 2009 to 2015 we are now ready for a new chapter in the company’s history book.”
Marcus Gronholm explained the commitment to give the next generation its chance in WorldRX:
“We will focus this year on building the next generation of champions and ensure our drivers get the seat time and experience that they need. The 12 World Championship events as well as a handful of national races will be important for Kevin and Niclas’ growth.
“Both Kevin and Niclas have raced in different series with great success but now it’s the real thing, the final stage of the level required to be the best. With my old WRC team-mates Sebastian Loeb and Petter Solberg now fighting in rallycross, I must admit that there are times when I’m tempted to get back behind the wheel! But the future of the sport depends on what we create today, it’s time for new champions to be born.”