AUDI TO BACK EKSTROM BID
World champion gets factory support for 2017
DTM and World Rallycross racer Mattias Ekstrom has secured factory Audi Sport support for his EKS team to defend his FIA World Rallycross Championship title.
Swedish driver Ekstrom won the World RX Drivers’ Championship in 2016 and the team also claimed the Teams’ title with its pair of privately-run Audi S1 quattros.
It has been announced that the German manufacturer, for which Ekstrom also drives in DTM, will play an increased role in the squad for this year.
“We laid a lot of groundwork as a team in the first three years, gathered important experiences and set new standards with EKS,” said Ekstrom. “But it was also clear to us that we’d need support for the future in order to be able to continue on this level.
“That EKS is now receiving factory backing by Audi makes me very happy. Rallycross has a great future, also with potential electrification in the series.”
EKS was created in 2014, and has already enjoyed access to Audi Sport’s suppliers and partners, but 2017 will be the first time Audi has had an official presence in the sport.
The announcement means that there are now four-factory backed squads in the series, Audi joining Volkswagen (PSRX – Volkswagen Sweden), Peugeot (Team Peugeot-hansen) and Ford (Hoonigan Racing Division).
“We realise that it’s going to be increasingly difficult for EKS to hold its own against the factory teams [in World RX], so we chose to intensify our World RX commitment,” said Dieter Gass, head of Audi Motorsport.
The German marque withdrew from its successful programme in the World Endurance Championship at the end of last year and will have an official presence in Formula E, DTM and now World RX this year.
Ekstrom won the 2016 world title