2016 FIA World Rallycross Champion Mattias Ekström will return to the series for the double header at Höljes joining KYB Team JC, teaming up with the reigning European Rallycross winner Robin Larsson.
Originally Baumanis was presented as one of the KYB Team JC drivers for 2020, but the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic have caused economic problems for the World RX regular and he will now not take part in the full season.
KYB Team JC is a brand-new outfit in World RX, using Audi S1 cars originally built by Ekström’s EKS squad, with the team also entering two more in the Euro RX field that runs alongside the world series this weekend.
The teams lineup is completed by Ben-Philip Gundersen and Mats Öhman who enter in the Euro RX field, but former GT driver Enzo Ide misses out on an appearance this weekend.
Ekström is a two time winner in World RX, in both 2014 and 2015, at the Swedish circuit but withdrew from the championship at the end of 2018. He did however make a one off return last season at the World RX of Belgium at Spa-Francorchamps, where he entered with JC Raceteknik for first time.
“It’s always fun to compete. Rallycross has, and has always had, fast and fun cars that I enjoy driving. So, competing with Joel and JC again feels good, especially after the final round of RallyX Nordic at Tierp last season where I had the opportunity to give Robin some support. Robin has already won an event at Holjes this year, so is already in the groove.” Ekström said on his return.
My biggest priority this weekend is to have as much fun as possible. But of course, the day I do not dream of winning is the day I stop competing. The goal is always a trophy, but then we will see what is realistic according to the conditions. Holjes is always special, but this year it will be something completely unique without the fans. It’s a strange feeling, but still exciting.”
Joel Christoffersson, Team Principal, added on the return of the former front runner: “Since we have a vacant Audi S1 EKS Supercar for Holjes, I contacted Mattias. He has been a guest driver in the team twice before and thought, just like us, that it would be great fun to drive in his home race. Mattias will be a strong addition to KYB Team JC. He is a driver with many tips and tricks and if there is anyone who knows these cars, it’s him. It will definitely be an advantage for both Robin and us as a team to have him with us.”
“it’s sad that Janis won’t race in the full World Championship with KYB Team JC this year, I and the whole team had really looked forward to this collaboration. But given the situation around Covid-19, I think everyone understands that something like this could happen and I hope we can take up the collaboration with him again.”
The opening two rounds of the World Rallycross championship take place this weekend at the Höljes circuit in Sweden.