Rallycross heavyweight to field six cars in inaugural Nitro Rallycross season
US-based series will feature epic tracks and the biggest jumps ever seen
‘We truly believe NRX is the future for rallycross’, says OMSE CEO Eriksson
Swedish rallycross powerhouse Olsbergs MSE will enter the first full season of Nitro Rallycross (NRX) with a six-car line-up, as the team targets title glory in the eagerly-anticipated US-based series when it races into life later this year.
OMSE is a name synonymous with rallycross success, having firmly established itself as one of the discipline’s true ‘grandees’. The Nynäshamn-based outfit secured consecutive Global Rallycross Championship crowns between 2011 and 2014 with Tanner Foust, Toomas ‘Topi’ Heikkinen and Joni Wiman, adding the inaugural FIA World Rallycross Championship Teams’ trophy to its résumé in the last of those seasons in partnership with automotive giant Ford.
The squad has similarly secured multiple titles in RallyX Nordic and junior series’ GRC Lites, RX2 and RX Lites, and now OMSE is set to return to stateside competition for the first time since 2017.
The brainchild of multiple X Games gold medallist, five-time Rally America Champion and stunt driving specialist Travis Pastrana, Nitro Rallycross is an offshoot of the hugely popular Nitro Circus series and has previously featured as a standalone competition during the Nitro World Games action sports extravaganza.
The championship’s maiden full campaign will begin in September and will include five rounds at epic purpose-built tracks across North America, travelling from Utah to Nevada, Minnesota, Arizona and Florida.
OMSE will join battle with four Supercars – two Ford Fiestas and two Honda Civic Coupés – for World RX and Global Rallycross event-winners Sebastian and Kevin Eriksson, 2019 ARX2 Champion Fraser McConnell and Oliver Eriksson, a title-winner in RallyX Nordic, GRC Lites and RX2. The team will additionally field a brace of Supercar Lites entries in the re-baptised NRX NEXT class.
“We have been involved in the Nitro Rallycross concept from the outset, and truly believe this is the future for ‘Rallycross 2.0’,” said OMSE CEO and Team Principal, Andreas Eriksson. “Travis’ dynamism and energy is a breath of fresh air, and we are hugely excited to see his plans come to fruition together with the NRX crew. For us, this is only the first stage of a much longer-term strategy.
“Aside from our operational role with QEV Technologies in FIA RX2e, and racing Supercars in a couple of RallyX Nordic events later in the year alongside our full-season Supercar Lites entries and Fraser’s hunt for the Supercar crown, we have taken the very deliberate decision to limit our European activities for the OMSE factory drivers in 2021.
“That will allow us to concentrate fully on preparing for NRX, because we very much intend to hit the ground running come September. Having won GRC in its first year and the World Championship in its first year, we are chasing the hat-trick. It’s going to be awesome – bring it on!”
Following its inaugural campaign, NRX will expand to become a ten-round international series in 2022, adding events in Europe and the Middle East to the calendar. A new electric class is due to be introduced next year, focussed around the ground-breaking new FC1-X all-electric SUV being jointly developed by OMSE and QEV.