OMSE X Forces confirms Oliver Eriksson to return to GRC Lites

Photo: OMSE
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Following on from yesterday’s announcement of Cabot Bigham in one of Dreyer & Reinbold Racing’s GRC Lites cars, there’s another GRC Lites team announcement today.

The OMSE X Forces team has confirmed the series’ defending champion, Oliver Eriksson, will return to the team and series this season.

The younger Eriksson won the GRC Lites title in dramatic fashion over Austin Cindric last year at Las Vegas, with Cindric getting stuck in the dirt on the opening lap and unable to continue for the remainder of the race.

Eriksson’s car will be adorned in Red Bull livery. His teammate will be 15-year-old Cole Keatts, a Junior 2 Kart champion who moves into cars.

“We welcome Cole to the team this year,” said OMSE’s Andreas Erikkson. “We were looking for a fresh face and somebody completely new to the sport, but with the skills needed to succeed in rallycross. Cole’s prior racing success and experience will be of great value in his first year with our team.”

OMSE continues its GRC Lites program alongside its new Honda Civic Coupe effort in the Supercars class, where Joni Wiman and Sebastian Eriksson will continue for another year.

The GRC Supercars and Lites seasons start in Phoenix, May 21-22.

Ken Roczen signs with HEP Progressive Ecstar Suzuki for 2023

Roczen Progressive Ecstar Suzuki
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ANAHEIM, California – Ken Roczen will make the move from HRC Honda to H.E.P. Motorsports with the Progressive Ecstar Suzuki team, ending a long and eventful offseason that saw his split from his longstanding team after he committed to running World Supercross (WSX).

“H.E.P. Motorsports is thrilled to announce that the team has signed Ken Roczen as its premier rider for the 2023 season,” the team announced on Instagram. “Former AMA Motocross champion Roczen will be aboard a Suzuki RM-Z450. Roczen, who won his most recent championship on a Suzuki, will be reunited with the brand and bring his exciting style, determination, and grit back to the RM Army.

“Ken Roczen will compete in the upcoming 2023 Supercross and Motocross Championship series which is set to start on January 7 at Anaheim Stadium in Southern California.”

For Roczen, it is a return to the bike of his youth and on which he had some of his greatest professional success.

“This thing has been going on for weeks and weeks and weeks in the making, but there was so much uncertainty,” Roczen told NBC Sports during Monster Energy Supercross Media Sessions. “It was a very unique situation. I just finally signed two nights ago, so it’s really only legit once the ink hits the paper. It’s been in the works for a long time, but there were just a lot of questions and a lot of input from a lot of other teams too.

“Good things take time, and I’m okay with that. I grew up riding Suzuki. Ot’s like a homecoming. It’s a special feeling”

Roczen won the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on a Suzuki before making the move to Honda. That year he won nine of 12 Nationals and finished no worse than second as he easily outpaced Eli Tomac by 86 points. He finished third in his next Pro Motocross outing in 2018 after sitting out the outdoor season in 2017.

“I am beyond excited to reconnect with Suzuki for the 3rd time in my career. We’ve had a lot of success in the past and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together in our future.” Roczen said in the Instagram post.