Honda Civic GRC Teams End 2017 with a Tough Outing in LA
The Olsbergs MSE Honda Civic Global RallyCross teams ended a strong sophomore season with a tough outing in Los Angeles.
The 2017 Global RallyCross season wrapped up last weekend in Los Angeles and while the LA event didn’t end the way that the Olsbergs MSE Honda Civic GRC drivers had hoped, it was a solid second year for the team. After a handful of podium finishes in their inaugural season in 2016, the OMSE Honda team got their first event win in 2017, along with more podium finishes and the best-ever finish by a rookie in the championship race.
The Port of LA
The 2017 GRC final event in Los Angeles was not a great one for the Olsbergs MSE Honda Civic drivers. After struggling in most of the heat races – finishing at or towards the rear of the field in the second and third heat rounds – the Red Bull Hondas had to settle for unsavory starting positions in the 10-car finale field. The Civics were in the hunt in the early-going, but just three laps in, Oliver Eriksson dropped out of the race, leaving only Sebastian Eriksson and Mitchel deJong to battle the field of Fords, Subarus and VWs.
The final race was dominated by the series-leading Volkswagens of Tanner Foust and Scott Speed as the teammates battled for the championship. Foust won the race, but in finishing second, Speed claimed his second-straight GRC Supercars championship title. Meanwhile, the OMSE Honda Civics of Mitchel deJong and Sebastian Eriksson finished sixth and seventh while Oliver Eriksson finished tenth in the ten-car field.
A strong second season
While the 2017 GRC season didn’t end as well as the OMSE team had hoped, this was a good season for the Honda Civic rallycross team. Sebastian Eriksson scored the first win for the team in Louisville and pulled down a handful of podium spots to finish fourth in the championship race. In his rookie season, Mitch deJong posted several third place finishes en route to a fifth place finish in the season standings – the best finish by a GRC Supercars rookie. Finally, 18-year old newcomer Oliver Eriksson posted a season-best fourth place finish in Indianapolis along with several strong runs during the season, allowing him to finish sixth in the championship race.
With the dominance of the Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross team drivers Tanner Foust and Scott Speed coupled with decades of rally excellence from the Subaru and Ford teams, cracking into the rallycross ranks hasn’t been easy for the OMSE Honda team. However, with the experience gained during the 2017 GRC season, proving that they know how to win, the Honda Civic entries could be far more formidable foes next season.