2017 Year in Review: Sebastian Eriksson
FINISH: 4th in Supercar points
2017 RESULTS: 12 starts, 1 win, 2 podiums, 4 heat wins, 651 points
2016 RESULTS: 11 starts, 4 podiums, 3 heat wins, 341 points
THE GOOD: It was a promising start to the season for the 2015 Supercar runner-up, as Eriksson grabbed a heat victory in Memphis and finished his first two semifinals of the year in second place. But when the rains came in Louisville, the Swedish driver found a way to outshine Scott Speed, Tanner Foust, and Steve Arpin, fighting his way to the front and holding off Arpin in a photo finish to give Honda its first-ever Red Bull GRC victory.
As the season carried on, Eriksson managed to build on that momentum, totaling four heat wins—one more than last season—and climbing to fourth in the standings after ranking seventh last year. His most complete race came in the second Atlantic City round, where he won his second round heat and semifinal and followed Scott Speed across the line in second place.
THE BAD: As other teams made major strides in competitiveness, the podium haul decreased for Eriksson this year as trophies became harder to come by. But even as he had to split top-three finishes with Honda Red Bull Olsbergs MSE teammate Mitchell deJong and Subaru Rally Team USA’s Patrik Sandell and Chris Atkinson, it was a number of DNFs that hampered his title hopes.
Seventh place in Memphis and last place in New England I bordered his Louisville victory, stifling momentum and forcing Eriksson to stockpile top fives to close the points gap. Seattle, meanwhile, was a major disappointment coming off of his Atlantic City podium; two DNFs left him 10th and ninth in those two rounds. Los Angeles, meanwhile, was another seventh place run.
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: “It’s been an up and down season. We had way too many bad results to be fighting in the championship, so that’s not what we hoped for. We had a lot of DNFs and that doesn’t help. But Louisville was the height of the season, and we had a few strong results for the team.”
2018 PROGNOSIS: Taking a race win was a big step, but you know Eriksson and OMSE aren’t satisfied with fourth place. Expect them to be extra aggressive in 2018.
Photo credit: Jason Zindroski (1); Louis Yio (2)