Future Stars: Oliver Eriksson
The first driver to ever attempt to defend a GRC Lites title, Oliver Eriksson impressed once again in 2016 with two race victories and five podiums. The Olsbergs MSE star and son of the great Andreas Eriksson opens up about his 2017 goals and the biggest moment of his young career:
First time racing any vehicle: My first time racing was in 2013 in an ice-cold winter race in January. I drove a Saab 99 with studded tires and my brother was one of the opponents in my first ever heat. I came out winning that heat after I accidentally pushed my brother in a snowbank on the last lap, where he got stuck. Ooooops.
First race car/kart and when I got it: My first car was a Nissan Micra prepped with a Saab 2.0L engine but I never raced that car—I only practiced with that. The first car I raced was a Saab 99 from the 1970s tuned with a 2.0L engine and 2 Stromberg carburetors. Awesome car!
Driver I idolized growing up and why: Marcus Gronholm. He is simply the best driver in my opinion. He adapts to every condition like it is a Sunday drive. He always makes everything look easy, no matter what, and he always keeps his head cool. It’s pretty funny that he later on started driving for Olsbergs MSE, and now even working alongside him on the team is an amazing privilege.
First full season of racing and results: My first season racing was in 2013 and I drove folkracing. I made over 15 races where I ended up third in my first race and won the second race. It was a good year where I had three wins and a couple more podiums, but mostly a lot of hours in the garage tuning and prepping the cars.
First GRC Lites race and results: New York 2014. I started in front row in the main and ended up with a good fourth place.
Pre-race rituals: have a pre-race warm up that I always go through. I do it so that I am in perfect condition when I get in the car. Because you know in rallycross you have to be alert and ready for everything!
Most memorable moment in racing career: When I won the Lites title in 2015, for sure. All that hard work over the year couldn’t have been paid off any better. It was a moment that I will remember forever, My first ever title!!
Race I’d like to have back and what happened in it: The second Los Angeles race in 2016. The moment where I could have been the first ever back to back champion in GRC Lites history. But it ended quickly in the main. I got pushed off in the second corner and was dead last. I fought my way up to fourth but I lost the championship by one position after all 11 races. That sucked…
2017 goals: I want to say Supercar, but I want to win races. That’s what I’m there for, and at the end of the year I want to walk away with the title.
Photo credit: Louis Yio