For 2017 the Austrian power in the FIA World Rallycross Championship suffered not only a slight change in the team name but also has a totally new driver lineup for the coming season. The team is now called MJP Racing Team Austria as Max Pucher is now the only boss of the team, and a good pair was brought to substitute Timur Timerzyanov and Janis Baumanis.
The deals were presented on different days at MJP Racing Team Austria with the first driver announced being the DTM champion Timo Scheider, with this being a break in his sequence of apprearances with VW Group machinery, specially with Audi.
Although most of the recent 600 hp cars Scheider drove were GT3 cars with rear wheel drive, he also had quite good amount of time in the dirty 600 hp side of 4 wheel drive rallycross supercars with Münnich Motorsport, first in their Audi S3 RX in 2015 and then with their new SEAT Ibiza RX in late 2016, filling in for Reinis Nitiss, who left Münnich for Olsbergs MSE. Even though Scheider didn't impress in 2015, his rise was noticeable in 2016, with him having a good weekend in Argentina and missing a podium by a little margin. Pucher specially pointed out that Scheider competes under an Austrian license so he fits in the goal of bringing an “Austrian” driver to the team.
A few days later the team confirmed the second driver as Kevin Eriksson jumped from the Olsbergs MSE side. Eriksson has quite a curriculum in rallycross with two RX Lites titles as well a title in RallyX Nordic in Sweden and was runner-up in GRC Lites. Eriksson had his debut World RX season in 2016 with Olsbergs MSE and he only reached the semifinals until the Estering RX, as an epic totally sideways paved the way for his first World RX win and brought a considerable popularity rise to the sport as his move was widely shared in social media. According to MJP Racing Team Austria, Eriksson is still and OMSE driver, but as they are focusing with their American commitments with Honda in the Global Rallycross Championship, the Swede was up for grabs.
But not only name and drivers received changes, as machinery is a 2017 Ford Fiesta RXS, and the team even had former Toyota LMP1 driver and F1 man Alexander Wurz doing some test laps in the new car. Wurz was revealed to be into Pucher's wishlist but since the son of Franz Wurz couldn't compete full time, they weren't able to settle a deal for the season.
PHOTOS: MJP Racing Team Austria, FIA