Ekström rues slow start in final as EKS RX miss the podium


Credit: EKS/Bodo Kräling

Mattias Ekström was left ruing a mistake on the start of the final which saw him miss out on a podium finish at the 2017 World RX of Norway.

As the heavens opened above Hell, the rain gave EKS RX a boost as they performed strongly in the torrential rain, and at the end of the opening day it was the Swede that led the way.

“I was a little surprised that we were so fast in the wet, but that was quattro weather,” joked Ekström

The advantage of the wet weather soon evaporated on Sunday as the weather conditions dried up, and while the reigning champion qualified for the final with ease, he could only manage fourth.

“In the dry conditions on Sunday, we struggled again to match the pace of the competition. In the final we lost crucial ground right at the start. This was our own mistake and this ultimately cost us the podium finish.”

Ekström is now eight points behind Hell victor Johan Kristoffersson, while EKS RX lay in third position.

Toomas Heikkinen and Reinis Nitišs had a strong showing and both made it in to the semi-finals, and in doing some saw all three Audi’s compete in the same race for the first time.

Unfortunately Ekström was the only one to survive the semi-finals as they finished fifth and sixth respectively.

“I have reached the semi-final in all six rounds this season, but only once the finale,” said Heikkinen. “This is not my goal.” 

Nitišs added “I had a weekend with several setbacks – a puncture in qualifying 2, Ken Block made a hard move on me in the semi-final and then it’s simply not enough,”