Despite fully moving his focus to the 2018 FIA World Rallycross Championship, Mattias Ekstrom once again had a difficult weekend at the 2018 World RX of Belgium.
The former DTM driver was hoping to have a better time in the third round of World RX, however he was also fully aware of the difficulties of racing at the Circuit Jules Tacheny Mettet.
Whilst tracks like Montalegre in Portugal and Hell in Norway are full time complete Rallycross venues, the venue at Mettet isn’t. Its made up of additions to a full time racing circuit and the EKS Audi Sport driver explains the challenges this brings.
“The fans and the atmosphere in Belgium are great. But this is one of those strange, artificial race tracks we drive on from time to time,” explained the Swede.
“Actually, the track has only turnoffs and this massive downhill jump. The racing line is narrow. It’s difficult to achieve a fast lap time and the Joker Lap is so slippery and slow that you feel like you’re stopping.”
The 2016 FIA World Rallycross Champion started out the weekend in the best way by securing second place overall after Q1 and Q2 on Saturday. This laid the foundation for the Swedish driver to aim towards the ultimate goal of making it to the Supercar Final.
Having finished as Top Qualifier at the end of Qualifying, Ekstrom finished third in his Semi-Final and this left him on the back row of the grid.
After taking the joker on the last lap of the Supercar Final, the EKS Audi Sport driver had a dash to the finish where he beat Championship leader Johan Kristoffersson to fourth place at the flag.
However his sights are already set on round four of the 2018 FIA World Rallycross Championship: The 2018 Wold RX of Great Britain which this year has moved to Silverstone as part of the SpeedMachine Festival.
“Driving the Audi S1 EKS RX quattro was tremendous fun,” said Ekström. “Now I’m looking forward to Silverstone where we plan to fight back in the battle for the podium.”