Two extra additions join the Supercars grid for the next round of Red Bull Global Rallycross at Atlantic City, N.J. this weekend (Sunday, 3 p.m. ET, NBC), and they’re cool names.
In his rallycross debut, Chris Atkinson will join Subaru Rally Team USA while GRC Lites veteran Kevin Eriksson will step up to Honda Red Bull Olsbergs MSE in a third Honda Civic Coupe.
Atkinson, a 36-year-old Australian, will be in the No. 55 newly-built 2017 Subaru WRX STI prepared by Subaru technical partners Vermont SportsCar and Subaru Tecnica International.. He’s a longtime Subaru factory ace in the FIA World Rally Championship. Atkinson joins team regulars Bucky Lasek and Sverre Isachsen.
Eriksson won twice in GRC Lites and will wheel the third Honda, which has been on site this season as a backup car to the primary entries from Joni Wiman and Sebastian Eriksson for the Andreas Eriksson-led team.
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.