Sebastian Eriksson, Honda Finish Second in Atlantic City
· Eriksson Claims Second Podium Finish of 2017
· Mitchell deJong Records Double Top-Five Finishes
· Honda Remains Second in Manufacturers’ Championship
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (August 13, 2017) – Olsbergs MSE (OMSE), with 24-year-old Sebastian Eriksson, captured Honda’s fifth podium finish of the year Sunday in Round Nine of the 2017 Red Bull Global Rallycross season. The third doubleheader event of 2017 featured some of the most intense racing of the season to date.
Eriksson capitalized on his semifinal heat win by starting on the front row of Sunday’s 10-lap, 10-car final. His aggressive launch allowed the veteran to hold off the eight competitors behind him, defending his position and following winner Scott Speed out of the first corner. The dirt portion of the track was where OMSE’s Mitchell deJong took over fifth in his 600 horsepower Honda Civic Coupe, ahead of his Subaru and Ford competitors.
On Lap 2, Eriksson would take the Joker Lap option, in order to maintain the pace to battle for the win, trailing Speed by 1.1 seconds. Rookie deJong would take the shortcut Joker Lap on Lap 4, passing the Subaru of Patrik Sandell. With the second and third positions held by the Honda Civics, the two teammates could focus on battling for the win and podium positions.
Eriksson was successful in defending his position, navigating the technical .902-mile circuit with precision and defensive race craft. On the final lap, Eriksson would endure heavy contact to the passenger side door of his No. 93 Honda Red Bull OMSE Civic from Steve Arpin, finishing second and claiming his second podium finish of the 2017 season, the tenth in the Honda’s two-year history in the Red Bull Global Rallycross series.
Unfortunately, deJong would lose his fourth-place position after heavy contact with Sandell in the final corner. The Temecula, Calif.-native would finish fifth, the eighth top-five finish of his rookie campaign. Oliver Eriksson would make the biggest improvement of the final, going from 10th to seventh, finding a clear line through the late accident in Turn Nine.
In Saturday’s Round 8 feature, The OMSE Civic Coupes finished fourth, fifth and sixth. S. Eriksson led deJong and O. Eriksson to seal the two top-five finishes. With the competitive weekend in New Jersey completed, Honda remains in second-place in the season-long Manufacturers’ Championship. A recap video of the Saturday action is available online on the Honda Racing/HPD Facebook Page.
The penultimate weekend of the 2017 season will take place in Seattle, WA., site of a double-podium finish for Honda last season. Coverage of the final doubleheader of the year can be seen on Saturday, September 9 and Sunday, September 10 at 4:30 p.m. ET on NBC.
Sebastian Eriksson (No. 93 Honda Red Bull OMSE Civic): “It was a good day today with a very tough race, but we were competitive all day-long. Our OMSE crew worked extremely hard this weekend maintaining and repairing the Honda Civic efficiently. The car was amazing all day, putting together great races and results which allowed us to start on the front row. It allowed us to protect our second-place spot, follow Scott [Speed] and defend [Steve] Arpin for most the Final. The second-place finish helps us keep our chances for the manufacturers’ championship in sight. The entire team is looking forward to Seattle, and to settle some unfinished business from 2016.”
Mitchell deJong (No. 24 Honda Red Bull OMSE Civic): “We had a difficult starting spot in the middle of the pack and suffered damage to the steering on the Civic after going three-wide and off the track on the first lap. We were just along for the ride at that point. We got clean air and caught up to Sebastian [Eriksson] for the remainder of the race. In the final corner, I got t-boned from someone behind me. We finished fifth, but just two-tenths of a second behind fourth-place. It was a crazy race.”
Oliver Eriksson (No .16 Honda Red Bull OMSE Civic): “We had to start all the way from the back of the grid in the Final. We suffered some bodywork damage along with the rest of the pack. It was absolute carnage as I tried to make my way through the field. I made a few mistakes throughout the day, so it was a tough race for me. I tried to stay out of trouble, but when you’re starting last, you can’t avoid the mayhem of Red Bull GRC racing; you must be aggressive. Tough day, but we’ll look back at our weekend and learn and move forward.”