Honda has made official its entry into the Red Bull Global Rallycross championship for the 2016 season, and will enter with Andreas Eriksson’s Olsbergs MSE team (OMSE).
The Honda Civic Coupe will compete in the championship with OMSE regulars Joni Wiman, the 2014 Red Bull GRC champion, and Sebastian Eriksson continuing as the two drivers for another season.
Developed from a production-model 2016 Civic Coupe chassis by renowned builders and racers Olsbergs MSE (OMSE) with technical assistance from Honda Performance Development (HPD), the all-new Civic Red Bull GRC car is built to withstand the rigorous demands of racing in a series that emphasizes repeated aggressive acceleration and varied terrain. The car will boast more than 600 horsepower, turn in a 0-60 mph time of 1.9 seconds and is designed to handle the 70 foot table-top jumps featured on each racetrack.
It’s a major switch for OMSE, arguably one of the top rally teams worldwide, that had long been linked with Ford.
Nick Lee, national advertising manager of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., announced the program today at the New York Auto Show, noting Honda has partnered with Red Bull and OMSE.
“Global Rallycross is seriously extreme racing, and it’s a terrific platform to showcase the new Civic Coupe to an enthusiastic, performance-minded young audience,” Lee said. “We won’t encourage our customers to take 70-foot jumps out on the street, but we will use this platform to tell people about all the incredible technology and performance capabilities of our new Civic Coupe.”
Honda Performance Development (HPD) has confirmed its technical partnership, as well.
“It’s an honor to be here. To do this is fantastic,” Andreas Eriksson said at the announcement.
“The heritage we have in rallycross is amazing, and we’ve assembled a great pair.”
The Red Bull GRC season starts in May at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Ranch outside Phoenix on May 21 and 22, and this figures to be the biggest announcement to kick off a series of announcements over the next two months in the lead up to the 2016 season.