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13 Mar 2014

PR: Andreas Bakkerud

Category: Press Releases Posted 13.03.14 20:00 by

Better prepared than ever! Andreas Bakkerud is working hard to be ready for his debut in the FIA World Rallycross Championship.

 

His new contract with Ford and their technical partner OlsbergsMSE allows Andreas Bakkerud to be better prepared than ever before. The youngster is now back in his home town of Bergen, after four hectic weeks around Europe with tests and trainings. “I’ve had one week of testing on ice in northern Sweden, I drove 1000kms with a go-kart in Italy, and we had one week of tests in France. It has been hard, but also important to be prepared in the best possible way,” said Bakkerud.

The contract with Ford-OlsbergsMSE gives Bakkerud the opportunity to prepare in a way he always dreamt about. So far this year he has driven a distance equivalent to 100 laps of testing in a SuperCar. “That is almost five full race weekends in distance, and it is incredibly valuable for my preparation.”

OlsbergsMSE has great resources available to help Bakkerud to develop as a Rallycross driver. In France there were a total of six engineers involved in the week long test. “There were separate people from engine builders, Öhlins shock absorbers and the team’s own engineers. All had full focus on me and my driving and the feedback. We did a lot of adjustments and adaptations to the car, and I learned a lot about what the various changes in the set-up means to the car,” says Bakkerud.

One day was also reserved to work with a driver-coach in the team, double World Rally Champion Marcus Grönholm. Bakkerud appreciates the opportunity to work with him: “Listening to such an experienced driver gave me a lot. This was just a start and we have a lot to look forward to. The team has impressed me, and I think we’re going to be strong this year.”

 

Working with OMSE driver-coach Marcus Grönholm is very much appreciated. © BM/ERC24

Working with OMSE driver-coach Marcus Grönholm is very much appreciated. © BM/ERC24

 

The test week on ice in Sweden was also special and important in Bakkerud’s work to be the best: “When you drive on ice, you can push limits more than you can on a regular racetrack. The consequence of a spin or exit is much smaller. So it allowed me to push hard to learn the car’s limits. I was driving and ‘dancing’ with the car in a wonderful way that gives me confidence to deal with the unexpected situations that may occur during a race where it could be close fights.”

The Karting week in Italy is a good old recipe for success that Bakkerud would not change. “It is Karting I grew up with, and this is where I can get the speed feeling inside my head. 1000kms on a kart is insanely long, but it sharpens me mentally and gives me exercise to keep my concentration level up.” Mental training and visualization are two elements Bakkerud works a lot with: “I have visited the WRX tracks in both Italy and Norway already. Walking the track and visualize the course in my head already is one way I like to work.”

The testing and preparation is nowhere near the end for Bakkerud, whose calendar is fully booked. “The team has many tests on the schedule leading up to the season. I hope to enter the opening event in Montalegre, Portugal, with more time behind the wheel in my race car than I had in total last year. For an athlete to perform at the top level it is crucial to face real challenges. I’ve got a unique opportunity with this contract with OMSE and work hard to transform it to perform well on the track and to reach the goal of a world championship title,” ended Bakkerud.

 

Top photo: Andreas Bakkerud pictured while testing his Ford Fiesta Mk7 SuperCar for the 2014 WRX series. © BM/ERC24