Mattias Ekstrom took his fourth win of the year at round nine of the 2016 FIA World Rallycross Championship, which also gave him the lead in the Drivers Championship as his rival Petter Solberg missed out on a place in the Supercar Final at the World RX of Spain
The German driver remained inside the top ten during Qualifying, including setting the fastest time in Q2 and finishing overall in third place. This set up Ekstrom nicely as he lined up on the front row for Semi-Final One and he guided his EKSRX Audi S1 Supercar to victory which meant that the DTM driver would like up on pole position for the Supercar Final.
Ekstrom took the lead in the race and was never headed as he went on to secure victory ahead of Timmy Hansen and Timur Timerzyanov. Aided by Solberg missing out on the Final, Ekstrom has now regained the lead of the series with a 10 point advantage.
Ekstrom was very happy with his victory, “What an incredible weekend. Barcelona RX was already one of my favourite events of the calendar, and now it is even more so. Not only because of the victory. This great bunch of guys did a superb job and we collected vital points for the standings,” explained the German driver.
“The fans went nuts at our place, during the signing sessions and also on the stands. To sum it up in one word: Jackpot! Tonight the team and me will celebrate flat out, but tomorrow I travel back home to my family. My son already told me that he is proud of me and is waiting to catch the big trophy.”
Topi Heikkinen staged an impressive comeback after the damage his EKS Audi sustained at the World RX of France and he was immediately back on the pace during Qualifying. After a slow start in Q1, the Finnish driver was never outside the top six positions and his efforts were rewarded with a place in Semi-Final Two where he battles for a place in the Final before contact ended his hopes.
Heikkinen explained his disappointment from the weekend, “To be honest, I’m really, really disappointed at the moment. My Audi S1 EKS RX quattro was back in great shape and I had a good pace in the Qualifying runs.
“It would have been perfect to celebrate on the podium together with Mattias. Anyway, I will take a nip of champagne with the guys tonight and focus on the next round in Riga with the smile back on my face.”
With three rounds left in the World RX series, EKSRX now lead the Teams Championship by 21 points where they aim to increase that gap before the end of the season.