Audi AG has confirmed that it will provide Factory Support to the EKSRX team for the 2017 FIA World Rallycross Championship.
Mattias Ekstrom’s squad secured a unique double during the 2016 season with the Swedish driver winning the Drivers Championship whilst the team secured the Teams Championship at the final round.
Alongside this announcement, Ekstrom confirmed that both he and his squad will return for the 2017 season with the second seat in the team to be confirmed. Ekstrom’s team-mate during the 2016 season was two-time World RX race winner Topi Heikkinen, however the Finnish driver recently revealed on his social media channels that there would be an announcement soon.
Head of Audi Motorsport, Dieter Gass, explained the reason behind this decision.
“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.”
Ekstrom was overjoyed at the news that his team would receive factory backing and explained that this was a dream come true.
“When we took our first steps to build EKS, we dreamed about becoming World Champions and we did it – in three years,” explained the Swedish driver. “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.”
However with increased support from Volkswagen, Ford and Peugeot during the 2016 season, Ekstrom was also aware that any title defence would require backing from Audi.
“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.”