Initially, Olsbergs MSE selected Los Angeles as its United States’ headquarters, but team owner Andreas Eriksson has decided that’s no longer the ideal place and has relocated his Swedish organization’s American operation to Mooresville.
“The skills are here and I think the foundation for the future is here,” Eriksson said. “My decision to move here is something I’m trying to do for the future. This is just the beginning.”
Eriksson moved part of his organization from its headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden, to Los Angeles in 2009. Since Rallycross was new in the United States, Eriksson thought it would grow on the West Coast. However, it began growing faster on the East Coast due to the dense population. Now he sees Mooresville as providing the infrastructure, especially the mechanical infrastructure, needed for the sport to grow.
“I have a lot of my suppliers that I work with in Europe that are based in Mooresville,” said Eriksson, whose teams also compete in the European, Scandinavian and World Championship Rallycross series.
“I looked at the NASCAR Institute and I saw it had a lot of young students from all over America. I thought if I based close to that, that in a couple of years I can build something around that. The young generation knows Rallycross better than the old generation. We are a modern sport. The sport we have is a good complement to NASCAR.”
Eriksson rented a building in Talbert Pointe in a location where NASCAR Institute students must pass his shop every day. He noted he could acquire a building almost three times the size and four times the land in Mooresville for the same money as what he had in Huntington Beach, Calif., in the Los Angeles area. It also takes three weeks less to ship something to Europe via boat and there’s a shorter flight time. Eriksson says it is easy to import in the Charlotte area because of customs’ familiarity with the motorsports industry and the parts that are shipped.
“I’m careful and I have a plan for everything I do,” Eriksson said. “I am trying to build a stable future for a lot of families. The goal I have is to build the first purpose-built Rallycross track here for the future, for Global Rallycross and World Championship cars.”
Olsbergs MSE completed its move to Mooresville the week the Red Bull Global Rallycross Series opened in Fort Lauderdale. It set up a course similar to the one in Fort Lauderdale, minus the jump and dirt, behind the John Force Grandstand at zMAX Dragway for suspension tuning and setup on its Supercars and GRC Lites, before heading to Florida. Defending Supercar champion Joni Wiman and Sebastian Eriksson comprise the team’s double-car effort in that division, while Mooresville resident Austin Cindric and Oliver Eriksson represent the team in GRC Lites.
Cindric, who’s in his rookie season with the team, captured his first Global Rallycross victory at the Florida event and says having the Swedish team’s U.S. headquarters in Mooresville will prove beneficial.
“I can drive 10 minutes down the road and be at the shop,” said Cindric, the 16-year-old son of Penske Racing President Tim Cindric. “I can work on the cars, work with the guys. It will be an easier transition for both of us.
“I also think it’s great for the sport because it sets that team and this new form of racing inside such a dense racing community that it opens up new opportunities for a lot of guys within the community. The mechanics and engineers, everyone in the racing community, will open up their eyes to this new form of racing.”
After the Summer X Games in Austin, Texas, the next event on the Global Rallycross schedule is June 20-21 at Daytona International Speedway. The 12-race schedule concludes Nov. 4 in Las Vegas.
Mooresville’s Austin Cindric won the Red Bull Global Rallycross season opener for the GRC Lites in commanding fashion.
Before capturing his first-ever Global Rallycross victory in the main event, the 16-year-old Cindric won two heats. Cindric’s performance in the Fort Lauderdale, Fla., event gives him the early lead in the point standings.
Bell Wins at Southern National
Kyle Busch Motorsports super late model driver Christopher Bell put the Mooresville-based team in victory lane recently at Southern National Motorsports Park in Kenly, N.C.
Bell, who started from the pole, passed Huntersville’s Harrison Burton for the lead on lap 33 and was never seriously challenged for the lead despite a pair of mid-race restarts. Bell’s victory made him the first two-time winner in the Mooresville-based CARS super late model division. Burton ended up third while Mooresville’s Cole Timm finished second. Timm currently leads the point standings, while Concord’s Kyle Grissom is second and Bell is third.
Deb Williams is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Deb? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.