Double FIA European Rallycross TouringCar Champion Derek Tohill will contest a full programme of events in the FIA European Rallycross Championship next season, driving an Olsbergs MSE built Ford Fiesta Supercar.
Following a year of planning the 2016 programme while contesting selected events in Ireland through 2015, Tohill – the only Irishman to compete in a full FIA World Rallycross Championship in 2014 – will debut the freshly built Supercar at the seventh round of the Irish Rallycross Championship this weekend at Mondello Park.
The 2010 and 2013 European TouringCar champion tested the Fiesta for the first time at Strangnas in Sweden on Monday with Olsbergs MSE, where Tohill and the PFCRX team got to grips with the new car, which has previously been used in the FIA World Rallycross Championship and recently updated to the latest specification ahead of 2016.
Olsbergs MSE is one of the front-running teams in the FIA World Rallycross Championship and in 2014 scored three victories to secure the Teams’ Championship title at the final event in Argentina. Tohill raced in World RX in 2014 and finished 14th overall in a Citroen DS3 Supercar, but is looking forward competing in the Fiesta Supercar with a longitudinally mounted engine, more akin to the Fiesta TouringCar in which he became the first ever Irish European Rallycross Champion.
The four-wheel drive Olsbergs MSE Ford Fiesta Supercar produces 600bhp with around 800nm torque. Rallycross Supercars are widely regarded as being some of the most exciting cars in motorsport, and can accelerate to 100kph in two seconds.
Tohill will be aided in his quest for glory in the European Rallycross Supercar category by PFCRX chief engineer; Graham Ronan, team coordinator; Gordon Lynch and chief technician; Ross Sutov.
The PFCRX Ford Fiesta MK7 Supercar is currently sporting an interim livery before the full 2016 livery and partners are revealed in the new year. The calendar for the 2016 FIA World and European Rallycross Championships is expected to be announced in the coming weeks.
Derek Tohill | Driver | Ford Fiesta #111
“We had a very successful shakedown and test at Strangnas. We got excellent training and support from Andreas Eriksson and the OMSE team. We know we’ve a lot to learn but I’m really excited to be able to prepare through the winter for the 2016 season. I really believe we can compete for finals in the European Championship.
“The car is currently on its way to Ireland – it’s great to bring it home and to be able to race it for the first time at Mondello Park. I’ve dreamt all my life about racing my own Supercar at Mondello and it’s about to happen. It will be great to support the IRX too. We want to go and have some fun in the remaining two rounds of IRX and recapture some of the Fiesta magic that took us to two European TouringCar Championship titles.We’ve all worked very hard for this and I think the lads are as excited about the future as I am.
“We’ve been through a rebuilding phase this season and now we feel ready to head back into Europe, where we certainly have unfinished business in Supercar. It’s going to be a big challenge but we’re seriously motivated. OMSE has updated the car to the latest specification to be eligible to compete in World Championship events next season and we have great support from our partners. It’s difficult to describe how excited I am. I really must say a huge thanks to my finance Treasa, father George and all of my family and supporters. Without them, this kind of programme simply wouldn’t be possible.”
Graham Ronan | Chief Engineer | Ford Fiesta #111
“We’re very happy with the Fiesta and how the shakedown in Sweden went. It’s great to work with such an experienced and professional team like OMSE, with the support of Mountune.
“Everything at the shakedown ran like clockwork, which was just perfect. We couldn’t have asked for a better first experience with the new car. I’m looking forward to Mondello Park this weekend and competing against the best in Europe next season.”