Olsbergs MSE, Honda Endure Tough Weekend in Seattle
· Rookie Oliver Eriksson Collects his Fourth Top-Five Finish
· Final Doubleheader of the Season Ends With Tough Results
· Red Bull GRC Heads to Los Angeles For Final Race
SEATTLE, WA (September 10, 2017) – After early success in the final doubleheader weekend of the season, Olsbergs MSE and drivers Oliver Eriksson, Mitchell deJong and Sebastian Eriksson endured a damage-filled weekend at the Red Bull Global Rallycross event in Seattle.
deJong paced the Honda Racing trio on Friday night, with a best lap time of 39.927 seconds, placing him fourth among the ten-car field in qualifications. In Heat 1A, Sebastian and Oliver Eriksson would finish third and fifth, respectively, setting the duo up for Saturday’s Heat 2A. deJong ‘s smooth and consistent pace through the technical dirt portion of the course would aid the rookie to a third-place finish in Heat 1B.
With cool temperatures hitting the .735-mile course on Saturday, Oliver Eriksson took the victory in Heat 2A. Following S. Eriksson’s third and deJong’s fifth in Heat 2B, the third-round heats proved to be vital to the team’s grid position for the Final. The No. 93 and 16 Honda Red Bull OMSE Civics of Sebastian and Oliver Eriksson would sit on the inside of the second row, while deJong would go from seventh to fourth on the first lap.
On Lap 2, Sebastian Eriksson encountered a puncture to his intercooler after heavy contact heading towards the dirt infield section of the circuit. Oliver Eriksson and deJong battled the championship contenders, sitting in fourth and sixth, respectively. deJong was looking to add another podium to his impressive rookie season, but his input shaft would break upon landing after the 70-foot dirt jump, on Lap 7. It would be the youngest driver in the field, Oliver Eriksson. who would finish fifth, collecting his fourth top-five finish of the season.
The fifth-place finish marked the 16th top-five finish for Honda in Red Bull GRC Supercar competition.
Sunday’s main event didn’t last long for the Honda Red Bull OMSE Civics, with all three drivers dealing with attrition from the rough, Evergreen Speedway circuit. At the start, it was deJong who maintained the inside line going into the high-speed oval left-hand turn. With damage from other cars and course markers littering the track, deJong held onto fifth with teammate Sebastian Eriksson closely trailing behind him in sixth.
Oliver Eriksson’s final ended on Lap 5 with extensive damage from other competitors, while deJong and the elder Eriksson were fighting for fifth. S. Eriksson would also retire from the race on Lap 7, after significant damage to his suspension from the rough track and competition. After smooth and consistent laps, deJong suffered a right rear tire puncture, on Lap 8. Official results score deJong in eighth, S. Eriksson in ninth and O. Eriksson in tenth.
The final weekend of the 2017 Red Bull GRC takes place October 13-14 in Los Angeles. Television coverage of Round 12 can be seen live on Saturday, October 14 at 4:30 p.m. ET on NBC.
Oliver Eriksson (No. 16 Honda Red Bull OMSE Civic): “This was probably the toughest weekend we’ve had all season. We had great pace on Saturday and taking the heat win was great for us, and then the top-five was promising and I really had high hopes for Sunday. We were caught up in a lot of carnage today and it’s a disappointment. We did the best we could in just surviving the ten laps, but it just wasn’t meant to be. With this behind us, we can focus forward on the championship in Los Angeles.”
Mitchell deJong (No. 24 Honda Red Bull OMSE Civic): “This was a difficult course to adjust to, and for the team to fix the damage we’ve endured throughout this weekend has been unbelievable. My thanks go to our Olsbergs MSE crew for their hard work back in the paddock and for their help on track. The puncture was tough to deal with today, but we’ll just gather our data from the weekend and move on to Los Angeles. I’m excited to race at my home event in front of my friends and family.”
Sebastian Eriksson (No. 93 Honda Red Bull OMSE Civic): “I think we had a really good qualifying session, leading the field when it came to the infield dirt portion. I had a great pass on the outside of Tanner Foust in the semifinal, but when it came to the final, we just ran into a lot bad luck. I’m glad we got this out of our system and can look forward to the biggest race of the