Ekstrom Penalised in 2018 World RX of Sweden

by Phil Kinch

The sixth round of the 2018 FIA World Rallycross Championship was the World RX of Sweden and for many drivers that have competed at the Holjes circuit, this holds a special place in their hearts with its unique challenge.

The Holjes World RX weekend is often known as the “Magic” of Rallycross and for EKS Audi Sport driver Mattias Ekstrom, this statement holds very true. The 2016 FIA World Rallycross Champion explains what makes his home World RX Event special for him.

Ekstrom compares Holjes as “The Monaco” of Rallycross. Credit: Jaanus Ree/Red Bull Content Pool

“What Monaco is for Formula 1, Höljes is for rallycross. The atmosphere is unique and the circuit one of the best on the world championship calendar,” said Ekstrom

“The coolest thing is the extremely fast right-hand corner taken at around 170 km/h just before the jump. Immediately after comes the most spectacular jump of the entire season.”

The 2018 World RX of Sweden was a frantic affair and one where Ekstrom had to work hard to make sure he got into the Final. Keeping his times fast enough to be inside the top five in every Qualifying session saw the former DTM Champion end up in fifth place overall after Qualifying.

Ekstrom is hopeful of better things at the 2018 World RX of Canada. Credit: Jaanus Ree/Red Bull Content Pool

Ekstrom would go on to finish in third place in his Semi-Final, however contact with Timmy Hansen during the Supercar Final on the very last lap would see his weekend finish with a penalty.

“In the qualifying races, we were unlucky with our grid positions and this slowed us down somewhat throughout the weekend. In the final, my car was the fastest, but from fifth on the grid it’s difficult to move forward,”explained Ekstrom.

“The last lap was a real challenge. Andreas was directly in front of me when Timmy apparently had a problem. I tried to overtake him as well. Our tires touched, but I managed to stay on track. Still, Andreas did a great job with second place and we’ll continue to fight.”

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