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20 Apr 2015

WRX: SET for more with OMSE

Category: News, WRX Posted 20.04.15 20:00 by

Finnish triple European Rallycross Champion Jussi Pinomäki returns to guide his ex-pupils Timur Timerzyanov, Andreas Bakkerud and Reinis Nitišs to FIA World Rallycross Championship domination.

 

As we move yet another couple of days closer to the 2015 World Rallycross season opener at Montalegre in Portugal – the recent announcement of the return Timur Timerzyanov, Andreas Bakkerud and Reinis Nitišs alongside Jussi Pinomäki in the 2015 Olsbergs MSE team gives us the chance to plot the rise of the three now OMSE drivers and Pinomäki from their development in the highly esteemed Super1600 Rallycross team SET Promotion, to their RX SuperCars success.

 

Andreas Bakkerud airborne during recent tests at Strängnäs in Sweden. © OMSE/ERC24

Andreas Bakkerud airborne during recent tests at Strängnäs in Sweden. © OMSE/ERC24

 

Reinis Nitišs powering his 2015 Ford Fiesta Mk7 ST SuperCar over the Strängnäs soil. © OMSE/ERC24

Reinis Nitišs powering his 2015 Ford Fiesta Mk7 ST SuperCar over the Strängnäs soil. © OMSE/ERC24

 

There’s no doubt that Jussi Pinomäki has been pivotal to that success. As a Rallycross driver – Pinomäki made his mark in 2004, in the then entitled Division 2 (now TouringCar) winning the Championship successively in 2004 and 2005 in his trademark Renault Clio RSR. Three years later the Finn had completed his progression to the then named Division 1A (now Super1600), where he won the Championship title in that class in 2008.

Two seasons later, having taken a step back from driving in order to control his expanding SET Promotion team; Pinomäki guided his team of young Super1600 drivers to four consecutive Championship titles in 2010, 11, 12 and 13. The man from Turku was an innovator in the Super1600 division, and moulded his teams, cars and drivers to be formidable challengers. In turn they came to dominate the Super1600 class.

 

Latvian Reinis Nitišs and Finn Jussi Pinomäki can get along very well. © OMSE/ERC24

Latvian Reinis Nitišs and Finn Jussi Pinomäki can get along very well. © OMSE/ERC24

 

Norwegian Andreas Bakkerud listening carefully to what his Swedish team principal Andréas Eriksson explains. © OMSE/ERC24

Norwegian Andreas Bakkerud listening carefully to what his Swedish team principal Andréas Eriksson explains. © OMSE/ERC24

 

SET Promotion is one of the most decorated teams in the history of European Rallycross. And the team’s ongoing development and investment in youth – led by Pinomäki – has driven the teams’ evolution and success in the championships it has competed in. Since its establishment by the brothers Jussi and Kalle Pinomäki at the beginning of 2003, the team have contested in the European Rallycross, World Rallycross, GRC and selected Rally Championships.

Pinomäki will return to guide the trio of Timerzyanov, Bakkerud and Nitišs once more, with the sole aim of further success. In fact, having overseen their respective Super1600 titles in 2010, 11, 12 and 13, victory in the team standings would represent the full circle of their development. It is no coincidence that the same three drivers who developed under Pinomäki are now some of the hottest prospects in World Rallycross.

 

Andreas Bakkerud, Timur Timerzyanov and Reinis Nitišs represent Norway, Russia and Latvia in a team that is led by a Swede and a Finn. © OMSE/ERC24

Bakkerud, Timerzyanov and Nitišs represent Norway, Russia and Latvia in a team that is led by a Swede and a Finn. © OMSE/ERC24

 

The OMSE team for this season will be led by Andréas Eriksson, himself a championship Rally and Rallycross driver, but it is the three-time European Rallycross Champion Jussi Pinomäki that will be perhaps most inspirational to the three Europeans. Having watched them develop under his wing in their early careers; the Finn will oversee their seasons on the World Rallycross stage.

Norwegian Andreas Bakkerud, 23, and Latvian Reinis Nitišs, 19, proved a potent pair on the WorldRX championship last year, together winning the coveted FIA World Rallycross Teams Championship title for OMSE. In 12 rounds of competition, they achieved 10 podium finishes between them, including three outright victories. OMSE newcomer Timur Timerzyanov from went on to have huge success, gaining two-time European Rallycross champion (2012, 13) with Hansen Motorsport, and is a potent force in the WRX series.

 

Jussi Pinomäki is the man OMSE boss Andréas Eriksson (rear) is happy to co-operate with. © OMSE/ERC24

Jussi Pinomäki is the man OMSE boss Andréas Eriksson (rear) is happy to co-operate with. © OMSE/ERC24

 

Timerzyanov himself recognises the close relationship they have with Pinomäki and his role in the OMSE team: “The people in this organisation know every bolt on the cars and they know what they need to do to win. I trust this team. Jussi taught me a lot when I was with him from 2009. It’s really good to work with him again; he gave me my first step in Rallycross. As a driver, to be World Champion is my goal, but everybody I know everybody is the same. I know if everything goes well then I can do it.”

Despite all three the drivers now being established on the World/European Rallycross stage, both Pinomäki and Eriksson are still clear on their vision to continue bringing young, talented drivers up through the Rallycross ranks. “We have the best young talents in the world driving for OMSE this season,” said team owner Andréas Eriksson. “Our philosophy is to promote drivers through the ranks and support them with the best equipment. Our line-up shows a huge amount of potential in 2015.”

 

It was in 2008 that Jussi Pinomäki won his third ERX title, with a Renault Clio Mk2 he dominated Division 1A. © JKR/ERC24

It was in 2008 that Jussi Pinomäki won his third ERX title, with a Renault Clio Mk2 he dominated D1A (now Super1600). © JKR/ERC24

 

Pinomäki and Eriksson began working together during 2012/13, and their collaborative approach in promoting young talent has already proved a success. Speaking in 2013, having competed with a young Set Promotion team in the GRC Lites, Pinomäki outlined their plans: “We have a vision where we want to take our team within the next two years and this is the first step toward that goal. We have been heavily involved in the Super1600 category, running many cars, and I think this is the right moment for something new. At the same time Rallycross as a sport is also growing, and it’s amazing to be a part of it at such an early stage. We’ve been working with Olsbergs MSE for a while, and talking with them since last fall, and slowly the pieces have started to fall into place.”

 

Olsbergs MSE aims to play once again a leading roll in the WorldRX series. © OMSE/ERC24

Olsbergs MSE aims to play once again a leading roll in the WorldRX series. © OMSE/ERC24

 

The joining of forces between Pinomäki and Eriksson looks a formidable combination, but it is the Finn’s blueprint and philosophy that has turned full circle – with three of his drivers getting set to drive in the biggest team in the World championship. It is clear to see that OMSE’s so-called ‘united worldwide challenge for Rallycross dominance’ is in full force and if we are to judge Pinomäki on his previous record, their domination will continue in 2015.

 

Top photo: Timur Timerzyanov is set for his first WorldRX year with Olsbergs MSE. © OMSE/ERC24