The EKS RX team have taken the lead in the teams’ championship table following an impressive display during the opening round of the 2016 FIA World Rallycross Championship season in Montalegre, Portugal.
The team enjoyed success in the qualifiers as well as bagging a podium in the final which puts them 11 points in front of the Volkswagen RX Sweden Team with a total of 39.
Team débutante Toomas Heikkinen finished third in the thrilling final and feels that the cars’ speed makes up for its tricky handling.
“I’m still adapting to the Audi S1 EKS RX quattro,” said the 25-year-old, “the car is not easy to drive but it’s definitely very, very fast. And you all know what a difference quattro can make!
“The guys have done a great job over the winter, and I feel right at home with the team. It’s just a shame that Mattias did not make it to the final, too – he really deserved it.”
After a dominant performance in the qualifiers with two heat wins, team founder Mattias Ekstrom narrowly missed out on reaching the finals but remains pragmatic heading into the rest of the season.
“I know that things like this happen in rallycross,” said Ekström, “of course we are here to get the trophies. But after all the work and effort we’ve done over the last few months it’s more important that we have a really great car now.
“The starts are good – that’s important in RX. And after the setup changes we’ve done it’s a really big pleasure to drive this S1. And it’s also pretty fast.
“After this weekend I’m even more convinced that we can fight for the World Championship title. That also makes me really proud of the entire EKS squad.”