Mattias Ekström secured the 2016 World Rallycross championship by finishing fifth at the Estering round.
In fact, Audi’s factory driver opted not to run in the DTM finale at Hockenheim in order to compete at Estering, marking the first time for him to miss a race in his 16-year DTM career.
“This may be the best day in my motorsport career,” says Ekström. “I’ve had so many sweet moments with Audi Sport in the DTM, but this here is really, really special. We started from scratch three years ago. In October 2013, there was nothing. Only few people can imagine what my team and I have built since then.”
“Obviously, I owe a big debt of gratitude to my employer, Audi Sport. My bosses gave me permission to compete at the Estering in order to maximize my chances of winning the title. That couldn’t be taken for granted, and I’m very, very thankful for this. I hope that by clinching the big trophy, I was able to put a smile on their faces.”
Ekström is considered to be one of the most complete race drivers in the world, having raced in 177 DTM events since 2001, scoring 22 victories and two titles (2004, 2007). He also won on four occasions the Race of Champions – once in the teams’ classification with Tom Kristensen (2005) and three times in the single classification (2006, 2007, 2009). His track record also includes racing in the Swedish Touring Car Championship (STCC), in the World Rally Championship as well as in the NASCAR and the Australian V8 Supercars series.