Olsbergs MSE, Honda Capture First Red Bull GRC Double-Podium Result
· Sebastian Eriksson and Joni Wiman Finish Second and Third
· First Double-Podium Result in Manufacturer’s Inaugural Year in Red Bull GRC
· Eriksson’s Fourth Podium Result, Highest Finish of the Season (Second Place)
SEATTLE, WA. (September 17, 2016) – For the first time in the manufacturer’s history, Honda Olsbergs MSE drivers Sebastian Eriksson and Joni Wiman captured a double-podium finish in Red Bull Global Rallycross competition on Saturday at Evergreen Speedway. With the result, Honda has now tallied five podium finishes in its inaugural season in Red Bull GRC.
After enduring the rain and mud-soaked conditions, Eriksson piloted his No. 93 Honda Red Bull OMSE Civic Coupe to a second-place finish, while his teammate, Wiman, finished third. Both drivers displayed superb car control through the difficult circumstances. Eriksson’s inside starting position on the middle of the front row and Wiman’s, on the inside of the third row, proved to be the edge the team needed to secure the second and third positions through the hole shot.
The Honda Civic Coupe’s turbocharged power plant enabled an aggressive start off the line, with Eriksson running side-by-side with Tanner Foust and Wiman navigating past four competitors going into the first corner. The aggressive start led to precision and consistency across the soaked .791-mile circuit and particularly through the muddy, 22.5 percent dirt section.
The Honda Racing teammates both took their Joker Laps on the third lap, enabling them to open an early gap on the rest of the field. Eriksson and Wiman’s 8,500 rpm Honda Civic engines paced the rest of the Red Bull GRC field by more than 1.137 seconds.
The Olsbergs MSE and Honda-powered team displayed toughness, speed and consistency all weekend long. Eriksson won the Semifinal A heat and led the Saturday morning warm-up. Wiman’s difficult fourth-place finish in Semifinal B led to his front-row starting position in the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ). Ultimately, Wiman’s poise and perseverance led him to victory in the LCQ and the inside starting position going into the final.
With Saturday’s result, Honda remains in third place in the season-long manufacturers’ championship. The Honda Racing team now heads to the final event on the 2016 Red Bull GRC calendar, a home race at the Port of Los Angeles. Coverage of the doubleheaderRed Bull GRC LA Presented by Honda, begins on Sunday, October 9 at 3 p.m. ET on NBC. Online coverage begins at 3:30 p.m. on RedBull.TV.
Sebastian Eriksson (No. 93 Honda Red Bull OMSE Civic): “We had such a great weekend here in Seattle. Our team fought hard all weekend long and to come away with a double podium is truly special for the entire team. We gave everything we had today and knew that the conditions were not on our side, but we persevered, and to be on the podium with Joni [Wiman] is even more special. I’m looking forward to competing in Honda’s home race in Los Angeles.”
Joni Wiman (No. 31 Honda Red Bull OMSE Civic): “Man, this was a long time coming. We have finished fourth and fifth so many times this season that coming away with the podium finish feels like a big weight off my shoulders. The team deserves so much and lately luck has not been on our side. Now, we’ve just got to do it all again in Los Angeles.”
Andreas Eriksson, CEO/ Team Principal, Olsbergs MSE: “To see both cars up at the front is really great. We’ve proven that we have the pace and it’s hard to put it all together in half a year. Everything is different; there are so many different areas to find improvements. We continue to improve and get faster and faster, but when we’re competing in Red Bull Global Rallycross with Honda engines and sponsors like Red Bull and Bluebeam, winning is something we strive for and we won’t be satisfied until we do.”