Red Bull GRC champs Olsbergs MSE out for more hardware in World RX finale

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A few weeks after winning the Red Bull Global Rallycross championships with Joni Wiman in Supercars and American driver Mitchell deJong in GRC Lites, Olsbergs MSE is gunning for another title this weekend in South America.

The FIA World Rallycross Championship makes its final stop of the 2014 season in the city of San Luis, Argentina, and while Petter Solberg has already locked up the driver’s title, the team crown remains up for grabs between Olsbergs (Andreas Bakkerud and Reinis Nitiss), Volkswagen Marklund Motorsport (Topi Heikkenen and Anton Marklund), and Peugeot-Hansen (Timmy Hansen and Timur Timerzyanov).

Marklund currently holds a four-point lead over Olsbergs, 361-357, for this title, while Peugeot-Hansen is a bit farther back with 323 points.

But the Olsbergs camp enters Argentina on a high after Andreas Bakkerud – who finished second behind deJong in this year’s GRC Lites finale at Vegas – topped the podium in the most recent World RX event in Turkey.

Now, the Ford team faces an entirely new venue in San Luis – the fifth all-new course for World RX this season.

“The new track in Argentina will be the same for everyone,” said Olsbergs manager Jussi Pinomaki in a statement. “We have already raced new tracks this year and different drivers have been fast on different tracks. I feel it’s down to mental strength when everyone starts to play the last cards, rather than who has most experience of new tracks.

“Portugal and Finland were both good for us as a team. Of course also the wins in England, Norway and Turkey bring back good memories, as well as having four cars in the semi-finals both in Sweden and Italy. Argentina will be the same as it’s been the same all season; we try to do our best with a smile on our faces.”

The race weekend in San Luis is scheduled to begin this Friday, followed by the semifinal and final on Saturday.

Andretti United team names drivers for inaugural Extreme E season

Extreme E drivers Andretti
Extreme E
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The Extreme E team formed by Andretti Autosport and United Autosports named Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen as its drivers Monday for the series’ inaugural 2021 season.

Munnings is a successful veteran of rally series. Hansen is a past winner and champion in the World Rallycross Championship.

They both will race in the environmentally conscious electric SUV series that will hold events in five areas around the world that are threatened by climate change. Chip Ganassi Racing and six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton also are fielding cars in Extreme E, which will feature male and female co-drivers on every team.

Catie Munnings

“I’m so excited to join Andretti United Extreme E,” Munnings said in a release. ““I was really intrigued when I first heard about Extreme E, I just knew I had to be involved. The male / female racing partnership is a fantastic and exciting new concept. The season has incredible locations and the racing will be very exciting. It will be a new challenge for the teams and drivers, and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a strong team.

“The championship is a really innovative concept, it’s combining motorsport and science and will produce an important legacy in each race location. Bringing the platform that motorsport has in line with the awareness that the planet needs right now is awesome and a really important message.”

Timmy Hansen

Said Hansen: “Going into the Extreme E will be a new chapter in my career, one that I am extremely excited about. It is something brand new, not only for me, but the whole of motorsport. The format is something

we’ve never seen before. I’m also delighted to be able to carry the message of something bigger – talking about the environment and doing something good for the world – that’s something that really drives me. It’s going to be a big adventure in life to see these locations and I’m going to do my best in carrying this responsibility and hopefully making people aware of the challenges we have in the world, together with our passion for racing.”