Driving development

by Tim Whittington |

Eriksson relaxed about support role.

Ford’s man in Rallycross, Andréas Eriksson is in a relaxed frame of mind at the start of the 2011 season, a year in which his main objective is to help someone else win races.

“My job is to make the Fiesta a great car in Rallycross, to develop the car and run the team, but it’s his [Tanner Foust] job to get the results and try to win the championship. That’s a change but I’m very happy with my role now, I enjoy working with the technical side of things, making the car better and developing everything. There’s nothing I can do on the track to help him, but I can make sure he has the best possible car and give him a lot of advice about the different tracks and driving style,” said Eriksson.

The strength of this arrangement in the two-car Ford team is that Eriksson feels confident about running a more edgy technical package than if had to deliver results. “We are a little more conservative with Tanner’s car than mine. He now has the Ford Racing backing in Rallycross so he is the official Ford driver here and Ford will also bring in Brian Deegan for the Global and US events. We’ve done a lot of work on the cars during the winter, the bodies are the same but there are changes to almost everything else. Mountune is now doing the engines for us and they have better performance figures than last year, no more power, but it’s more useable and over a better rev range. So Tanner’s car is better than last year but my car has a few different things and is a little more extreme, I can take the risk and try new stuff; if it works we can put it on Tanner’s car but he is not gambling on new ideas that could cost him results. It’s an extra strength for us as a team,” said Eriksson who believes that there is still a lot of development to come from the Fiesta.

Beginning his first full ERC season after driving in five rounds of the 2010 championship, Foust is widely regarded as a dark horse in the title race. With two Global events under his belt already this season, the American has done more miles than any of the other leading contenders and, as his results from last year show, is eminently capable of running on the leading pace.

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