Three Ford drivers came out to meet the media this week at the Global Rallycross (GRC) series Media Day event. Joni Wiman is moving up from GRC Lites this season after sweeping his way to that series championship in 2013. He will drive the Red Bull/Bluebeam OlsbergsMSE Ford Fiesta ST for team owner Andreas Eriksson.
Patrik Sandell is also confirmed to drive a Ford Fiesta ST for OMSE in the Red Bull GRC SuperCars category. He'll be in his second year in Global Rallycross and with the three-time defending GRC champion team of OlsbergsMSE.
Brian Deegan is off to a successful start this season in the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series and is an experienced GRC competitor.
Here are the Q&As with each of the Ford drivers:
Q: The 2014 Red Bull GRC season is almost here. Were you able to enjoy any downtime in the offseason?
A: It was nice to have some peaceful time and just take it easy. We had some testing in the spring, but not too much.
Q: Last year you had a very successful season in the GRC Lites. How will that success help you when you move up to the Supercars in 2014?
The car is quite similar; the power is the big difference. I’m quite confident for this season.
What are you expectations for the 2014 season?
For the first race, I just want to grab the final, and then we have to improve while the season is going on and win a couple races.
How do you feel about your Ford Fiesta ST heading into the 2014 season?
I think I have the best car at the moment, I’m sure of that. The team is working hard for the sport to grow and it’s awesome!
What have you been doing in the offseason to prepare for the 2014 Red Bull GRC season, any testing?
Back in Sweden, I have done a lot of ice driving during the winter so that is keeping me busy driving-wise, so that is a good thing. We have also tested the new car, and that felt really good. I feel like I have a good package going into my second season of (Global) Rallycross. I feel confident I will be able to keep performing in a good way.
You mentioned 2014 will be your second season in Rallycross. How will having that first season under your belt help you this year?
For sure, it will help me a lot. I've been racing stage rally forever, but rallycross was something completely new last year so there were a lot of new things coming into that. I know more about the sports, I know how to play the game in a different way, so I feel much more confident now than I did one year ago. One year ago, I didn't know what to expect and now I am prepared.
How do you feel about OMSE’s relationship with Ford?
It’s really good, just look at the track record for OMSE with Ford, 19 X Games medals, and I don’t think we need to say anything more. It is the best team and I am honored to be a part of it.
How was your offseason? Were you able to spend some time with your family?
Yeah, it’s been good. Actually, we don’t really ever have an offseason at the house; we’re always racing. We’re at the motorcross track with my son Haiden, and my daughter Hailey has been racing off-road race trucks, the little cart series, and I've been back in my off-road race.
With one round of the LOORRS schedule complete, how are you feeling about this season?
The LOORRS series fits me really good. It’s coming from the motorcross background, and I feel really at home in the off-road race trucks. We've won the championship the last so many years, and that is the plan again this year. I came out in the first round in Arizona, and this is the best start we've had to a season. We came out and won in the Pro Lite and the Pro 2 was a battle for the lead and we left with the points lead. Usually, I start off in a hole because I am trying all kinds of new stuff, but this year I stuck to the game plan with what worked last year, and we are starting off pretty solid.
You've had the opportunity to run Fords in both LOORRS and in GRC. What is your relationship with Ford like?
I've always driven a Ford. It's funny that my first truck was a Ford. It was an old pick-up truck. It’s what I used to drive to California from Nebraska to start my life as a racer. I've always been a fan of Ford, and it’s cool to be in the Ford Family and be a part of it.