Reigning FIA World Rallycross Champion Mattias Ekström of Sweden is more than ready to return behind the wheel of his Audi S1 EKS RX Supercar, on this weekend’s round eight of the series in Trois-Rivières, Canada (5-6 August).
The Swede missed out on last July’s round seven, on his home soil at Höljes, as it clashed with a very important meeting in the German-based DTM series, in which Ekström has also been competing for years: Swedish rallyist P-G Andersson took his place at Höljes.
Despite having won the first three World RX weekends of this season, there was little Ekström could do to stop the newly created PSRX Volkswagen Sweden squadron of two-time World Champion Petter Solberg and team-mate Johan Kristoffersson, as the Audi driver now sits third in the Championship’s provisional standings, 28 points behind leader Kristoffersson and just seven points shy of Solberg, and makes his ambitions very clear:
“Three successes so far aren’t bad. But in Canada, we’re bent on winning our fourth big trophy,” says Ekström.
“That’s absolutely realistic because this fast track suits me and our Audi S1 EKS RX quattro. It has a spectacular long straight and two jumps which are really good fun.”
As for Ekström’s team-mates, Toomas Heikkinen of Finland is also intent on scoring a podium finish across the Atlantic, as he did back in 2015, when he took his Marklund Motorsport VW Polo to a second-overall finish.
“My goal is to continue this string at Trois-Rivières. And of course I’d like to be on podium again,” says the Finn.
“In 2016, there were some rain showers immediately before the final. Petter Solberg and I were the only ones to enter the race on slicks. My start was perfect but on the wet track we weren’t fast enough to finish on podium.”
A spot in the final is the minimum target for EKS’ third-car entry, too: Latvia’s Reinis Nitiss used the four-week break after Höljes to try some new experiences, like competing in Rally Latvia, where he finished fifth overall in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo (two-wheel-drive classes were also blessed by the presence of a certain Oliver Solberg among the entries) and also giving a try at bungee jumping.
“Those were great experiences, but now I’m happy that the World RX finally continues,” says Nitišs.
“I can hardly wait to get behind the wheel of my Audi S1 EKS RX quattro again in Canada and battling for championship points.”
Racing action at the World RX of Canada starts on Saturday morning, 5 August, at 09:15 local time with the first practice session.