Late last year, The Drive reported that Ford and the Hoonigan Racing Division would be ending its rallycross program and pulling out of the FIA World Rallycross Championship effective at the end of the 2017 season. Well, Swedish racing team Olsbergs MSE recently announced that Ford is not completely out of the World Rallycross Champion given its brand new Ford Fiesta ST rally cars.
Back when we broke news of Ford (and Hoonigan) pulling out of WRX, Dave Pericak, Global Director of Ford Performance said, "To continue in WRX would have required the development of a new race car." That is exactly what Olsbergs MSE did.
Olsbergs MSE claims that the new Fiesta ST has been built entirely from the ground up in collaboration with Ford Performance. The 2018 car has a new suspension configuration, aero package, as well as a one off Olsbergs MSE engine.
The pair of Olsbergs MSE Ford Fiesta ST rally cars will be piloted by Kevin Eriksson and Robin Larsson and will make debut at the first 2018 World Rallycross Championship race in Barcelona April 14-15.
“As soon as I drove this car, I could tell it was a step forward,” said Eriksson. “There has been plenty of midnight oil burned back at the factory these past few months, and everybody involved deserves a huge pat on the back for making this happen. Pre-season testing has been promising, and this is only the start. Once we find the ‘sweet spot’ with this car, it’s going to fly!”
“I’m so excited to be returning to World RX this year, and even more so to be coming back with such an awesome car,” added Larsson.