World RX: Eriksson and Scheider join MJP Racing, Heikkinen stays with Ekström
Two full-time entrants of the FIA World Rallycross Championship announce their line-ups for the 2017 season. MJP Racing Team Austria (former World RX Team Austria) has today announced that Sweden’s Kevin Eriksson will join double DTM Champion Timo Scheider in the two-car squad with Ford Fiesta Supercars. Mattias Ekstrom, another DTM star and current World RX champion, decided not to change a winning team, so he signed Toomas Toppi Heikkinen to drive for his EKS RX team again in 2017. Ekstrom and Heikkinen were teammates last year when EKS RX clinched both drivers’ and teams’ titles.
Kevin Eriksson, who won the German round of the 2016 World RX championship and finished 11th in the final standings, will continue to drive Ford Fiesta but for Austrian team instead of Swedish Olsbergs MSE.
“I am very excited to join MJP Racing Team Austria and to be able to compete full-time in 2017. Driving for the team alongside Timo Scheider makes me feel fantastic. I’ve seen what they have done with their new 2017 Ford Fiesta RXS and it will be amazing to drive this machine. Thanks to the team and their sponsors for giving me this opportunity,” Eriksson commented.
Timo Scheider, who signed a contract with a team owner Max Pucher few days ago, added: “I am very excited to join MJP Racing Team Austria – we had been talking since some time. Rallycross encompasses for me the great passion of motorsport. The level of the Championship goes up in 2017 with more manufacturers entering, but MJP Racing has built a new car for 2017 that will be a serious contender. They not only have great dedication but also employ a high-tech approach to designing and building race cars that is unique. We found ourselves to be very compatible as partners and I look forward to a fantastic season.”
Mattias Ekström recently received a factory support from Audi for the 2017 World RX season. Ekstrom’s team will run two Audi S1 RX Quattro Supercars again. The second driver will remain the same, announced Ekstrom today, opting for Toppi Haikkinen. “Never change a winning team”, Ekstrom explained.
Heikkinen finished in the seventh place last year, adding three podiums to Ekstrom’s results and contributing to teams’ championship title. Before joining EKS RX in 2016, Heikkinen spent two World RX seasons with Marklund Motorsport, being the championship runner-up in 2014.
The 2017 World RX season kicks off at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on April 1-2.