Swedish rallycross powerhouse Olsbergs MSE has today (16 April) officially revealed a quartet of drivers for the 2019 RallyX Nordic presented by Cooper Tires campaign.
Oliver Eriksson leads the charge in the headlining Supercar class. One of the hottest young prospects on the current rallycross scene, the 20-year-old finished as championship runner-up last year – missing out on the coveted crown by just 11 points – and has his sights set firmly on the main prize in 2019.
“I’m ready for revenge!” Eriksson asserted. “We didn’t get off to a great start in RallyX Nordic last season, which left us playing catch-up. When you’re on the back foot like that, you have to take more risks and whilst we almost made it, close isn’t close enough. This year, I want to be the hunted rather than the hunter…”
Ulrik Linnemann will partner the Swede in OMSE’s Supercar line-up. The architect of a spectacular RallyX Nordic debut midway through 2018 – beating all the championship protagonists to win on home soil at Nysum – the Dane is stepping into the series full-time this season after trying out OMSE’s Honda Civic at Tierp in October.
“Last year was quite a rollercoaster ride for me, so it’s exciting to have a full season in RallyX Nordic to look forward to,” acknowledged Linnemann. “I’ve already spent a week at the OMSE workshop and am getting on well with everybody and feel confident inside the team.
“The competition is clearly going to be tough – and it’s getting tougher all the time in RallyX Nordic – but my aim is to finish inside the championship top three. We know the speed is there – now I just need to add consistency.”
Eriksson and Linnemann will be supported by Linus Östlund and Niklas Aneklev in the Supercar Lites category. Rising Swedish star Östlund is six times a crosskart champion in his homeland, and made his Supercar Lites debut in RX2 in 2017, only just missing out on the final in an impressive performance. After sporadic outings in RallyX Nordic last year, the 19-year-old is back for a full campaign in 2019 and aiming to make a fast start on home soil in next month’s Höljes double-header.
“It’s exciting to be contesting a full season in Supercar Lites,” he enthused. “I had a great start in RallyX Nordic last year with second place at Höljes, but I knew it would be more of a challenge at the other tracks I didn’t know so well. Still, working alongside my OMSE team-mates, I learnt a lot and found some good pace. Hopefully that will enable me to be more consistent this year, and I can’t think of anywhere better to start the season, with the home crowd behind me and my family and friends cheering me on!”
Team-mate Aneklev has been a competitor in motorcycle enduro racing from a young age, and is set to make his four-wheeled racing debut this year with OMSE in RallyX Nordic’s Supercar Lites class.
“I decided to make the switch because I was breaking too many bones on bikes,” he joked, “so I thought I should try to find something safer! I’ve always been attracted by the excitement of rallycross. I was in the crowd at Höljes last year and knew then that I wanted to race, but I never thought it would happen so quickly. It just goes to show what’s possible in rallycross. It’s going to be a learning year for me for sure, but I plan on learning quickly…”
One more OMSE RallyX Nordic Supercar driver will be announced at a later date.