Ekström squad joins new entrants for NRX

EKS JC and Olsbergs join US teams Vermont SportsCar, Dreyer & Reinbold, and Loenbro for 2021 NRX season

(L-R) Travis Pastrana and Mattias Ekstrom

Nitro Rallycross has revealed the first teams that will be taking part in its inaugural season later this year.

EKS with JC Raceteknik, Olsbergs MSE and Dreyer & Reinbold Racing have joined the already confirmed US rallycross stalwarts Vermont SportsCar and Loenbro Motorsports, which is led by three-time event winner Steve Arpin.

“In the first two NRX events, the Nitro team has teased us with just how spectacular our sport can be,” said Arpin. “To now see that proof of concept expand into a full series with events staged in new markets across the world, with all-new purpose-built tracks, new twists, new elements – it seriously makes my heart race.

“This is what the sport has been waiting for.”

Olsbergs MSE was a mainstay of the US rallycross scene throughout the Global Rallycross era, winning the championship from 2011-14 with Tanner Foust, Toomas Heikkinen, and Joni Wiman. It later went on to run Honda’s factory effort from 2016-17.

Sebastian Eriksson

Photo: Larry Chen / Red Bull Content Pool

The Swedish team will campaign four cars in NRX’s main class, with another two SuperCar Lites machines in the NRX NEXT development category.

“The boldness that defines our organization is something we share with Travis [Pastrana] and the Nitro team,” said OMSE boss Andreas Eriksson. “So we are committed to Nitro Rallycross.

“As the future of rallycross, NRX has given the racing community hope. I’ve been waiting for three years for the right opportunity to return to the US Now we are ready for something new.”

Dreyer & Reinbold Racing had announced in March that they would be on the NRX grid, but 2021 will mark the first time it has competed in rallycross’ top class, having been a championship-winning operation in the second tier of GRC and Americas Rallycross.

Travis Pecoy

Photo: Larry Chen / Red Bull Content Pool

The IndyCar regulars previously confirmed their intentions to move up to Supercar competition to DirtFish last year.

EKS and JC Raceteknik have been in partnership since last year, when they ran combined programs in RallyX Nordic, European Rallycross, and World Rallycross – where it took the teams’ championship.

More teams will be announced in the coming weeks, while NRX’s electric platform will enter the next phase of its testing program in May.

Between May 4-7 the FC1-X, which is being co-developed by OMSE and electric motorsport leaders QEV Technologies, will undergo its first proper track tests.

Coley returns as lead commentator

Away from the competition side of things, Andrew Coley has been confirmed as the lead commentator for NRX’s global feed.

The popular Brit, who is affectionately known as ‘The Voice of Rallycross’, has signed a multi-year deal to commentate on NRX, with series organizers describing it as “his primary rallycross commitment going forward”.

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Photo: FIA World RX

“I passionately love the sport and Nitro Rallycross is where the future is headed,” Coley said. “It’s short format, it has contact and it has sideways driving on gravel.

“The jumps and tracks are just incredible – it’s unlike anything else in motorsport.”

Coley is no stranger to NRX, having called the first two editions of the competition at the Nitro World Games in 2018 and ’19. He also commentated on both seasons of ARX, as well as every World RX race since its first season in 2014.

Words:Dominik Wilde

Photography:Garth Milan & Larry Chen / Red Bull Content Pool, FIA World RX

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