Audi AG have announced that they will support Mattias Ekstrom’s EKS squad for the 2017 World Rallycross Series. Ekstrom, the current World RX Champion, will compete in all 12 rounds in another full campaign defending his title.
His Audi S1 won the title with a 32-point gap to fellow Swede Johan Kristoffersson’s Volkswagen Polo, and the news that Ekstrom’s EKS squad will get factory backing from Audi puts him in strong contention to fight for the title once again.
Deiter Gass, the head of Audi Motorsport said,
“We realise that it’s going to be increasingly difficult for EKS to hold its own against the factory teams, so we chose to intensify our World RX commitment.”
– Deiter Gass
Audi’s commitment mimics Volkswagen’s factory support to the newly formed two-man team of Kristoffersson and two-time World RX Champion Petter Solberg, who will be strong contenders for title too when the season gets going in Barcelona on April 1st.
EKS Squad’s Mattias Ekstrom was reflective on how far the team has come, and what the backing of Audi means in terms of prospects going forward.
“When we took our first steps to build EKS, we dreamed about becoming World Champions and we did it – in three years. We also dreamed about getting support from Audi, to be able to stay on the top and compete for more championships but now we have got that too.”
“We laid a lot of groundwork as a team in the first three years, gathered important experiences and set new standards with EKS. 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. The fact that EKS is now receiving factory backing by Audi makes me very happy – I’m convinced that rallycross has a great future.”
– Mattias Ekstrom
World RX definitely does have a great future, there are so many aspects to like. It’s short, snappy wheel to wheel drift battles with jumps, mixed terrain with 0-60 in 1.9s, 600bhp hatchback monsters.