Audi Sport has chosen to let Mattias Ekström go and hunt his title hunt in FIA World Rallycross Championship, instead of participating at the DTM finale at Hockenheim.
He will be replaced by René Rast, who is the official reserve driver for Audi in DTM. That, however, means that Rast will have to miss the FIA WEC round at Fuji in Japan for G-Drive Racing in LMP2. Rast already had a start in DTM earlier this year, when he replaced Adrien Tambay, after he suffered a hand injury in Saturday’s race at Zandvoort.
Ekströms DTM season has been loaded with troubles, and currently he is only 7th in the championship with 2 other Audi drivers in front of him. So it probably wasn’t a hard decision for Audi to let him off, and go do the WorldRX round at Buxtehude near Hamburg.
The FIA World Rallycross Championship has been exceptional for the Swede this season. So far he has won 4 rounds and hasn’t finished worse than 8th. Currently he is leading the Championship with a 10 points gap to Norwegian driver Petter Solberg, who has won the World Championship for the last 2 years. Both drivers are the most winning drivers in WorldRX with 9 victories to Solberg and 6 for Ekström.
Mattias Ekström participates with his own team in Rallycross, and has Toomas Hekkinen as teammate. Heikkinen has been on the podium twice this year and earlier this season, both drivers were in top 3 of the Championship. Since then he has had a few rough rounds and currently sits 7th in the standings. But the EKS RX team are still leading the Teams Championship.
This weekend we will find Ekström behind the wheel of his Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM for Audi Sport Team Abt Sportline at Hungaroring, before he returns to his Audi S1 EKS RX quattro next weekend for the Latvian round of WorldRX.