PR: Olsbergs MSE, Honda Conclude the 2017 Red Bull Global Rallycross Season
LOS ANGELES, Calif. (October 15, 2017) – In the final event of the 2017 Red Bull Global Rallycross season, Olsbergs MSE’s (OMSE) Mitchell deJong cemented his status as the most successful rookie in Red Bull GRC Supercars, piloting the No. 24 Red Bull Honda OMSE Civic.
His fifth-place finish in the championship was accomplished with consistent results, as deJong secured six top-five finishes in the season’s first six events, including three podium performances. The Temecula, Calif.-native would end the season with eight top-five finishes in 12 events.
The 24-year-old Swedish veteran Sebastian Eriksson achieved many highlights during the 2017 season, including Honda’s first victory in Red Bull GRC competition in Louisville in May. Since that victory, Eriksson claimed three top-five finishes, including a second-place in Atlantic City, and finished closely behind 2017 series champion, Scott Speed.
Meanwhile, 18-year-old rookie teammate Oliver Eriksson (no relation) finished the inaugural Global Rallycross season with his 600-horsepower Honda GRC Civic Coupe sixth in the drivers’ championship, after being forced to retire from the 10-lap final in Los Angeles due to extensive bodywork and mechanical damage. Despite the disappointing finish, Eriksson’s four top-five finishes this season tabbed the Swedish rookie as a rising star in the sport of rallycross.
Saturday’s racing at the Port of Los Angeles was intense and featured some of the closest and grueling heats of the season. Highlighted by S. Eriksson’s second-place finish in Heat 1A, the Civic Coupes were tested throughout the preliminary rounds, in preparation for the 10-car final in the afternoon.
In the final, S. Eriksson started on the outside of Row Two, with deJong on the inside of Row Three, alongside Oliver Eriksson. With a decent start, the 24-year-old S. Eriksson made his way up to fifth before getting bumped off the racing line by Steve Arpin in Turn Five. He would settle into sixth after taking the Joker Lap on Lap 2, going off strategy in hopes of capitalizing later in the race.
It was a tough day for O. Eriksson, whose final would come to an end after just three laps, due to significant bodywork and mechanical damage from competitors. As a result, Honda’s hopes would come down to Mitchell deJong and Sebastian Eriksson competing for sixth around the .654-mile circuit. After the eight-lap battle, deJong would prevail in sixth and Eriksson would end the race in seventh.
Honda concluded its second season of Red Bull GRC competition with a second-place finish in the manufacturers’ championship, edging Subaru. The manufacturer tallied nine heat wins, 16 top-five finishes, five podiums and a victory.