Mattias Ekstrom is working hard to get his season back on track and last weekend at the 2018 World RX of Great Britain, the 2016 FIA World Rallycross Champion looked like he was back on track.
With team-mate Andreas Bakkerud having driven the EKS Audi Sport S1 Quattro at the circuit during the opening round of the 2018 Toyo Tires MSA British Rallycross Championship, the team had valuable data to be able to attack the track head on with the Silverstone circuit being the newest addition to the 2018 FIA World Rallycross Championship.
However the former DTM Champion was already wary of the artificial jump in the circuit and how this could compromise race strategy and car setup.
“The corners are not so exciting, but the artificial jump could decide the outcome of a race,” explained Ekström.
“It is the biggest and most difficult of the year. It’s extremely difficult to adjust the speed correctly for the jump,”
Having finished Qualifying in fourth place overall, Ekstrom made it to the Semi-Finals without taking a heat win all weekend. During Semi-Final Two, he chased home rival Sebastien Loeb to take up a spot on the middle row of the Supercar final with team-mate Bakkerud.
However during the Final, it was Bakkerud who chased eventual winner Johan Kristoffersson to the flag to take second place. Team Peugeot Total driver Loeb exacted revenge on Ekstrom as the French driver passed him very cleanly into turn one, leaving Ekstrom to claim fourth place at the line.
“I didn’t realize that Loeb was so close behind me, which is why I stayed on the normal racing line,” said Ekström.
“There was no jackpot for me today, but we took a good haul of points. And of course the podium for Andreas is fantastic. Our fight in the first corner was fair. Overall as a team we can be satisfied because we have made progress. Our starts are now more consistent.”