Mattias Ekström will have a farewell race in the DTM, when the opening round is run at Hockenheim on 5 and 6 May.
The soon to be 40 year-old Swede announced his 17 year long DTM career had come to an end after the 2017 season, and that he would instead focus on the FIA World Rallycross Championship, where he won both the titles in 2016, both as a driver but also as team owner.
Audi Sport has now chosen to give him a farewell weekend in DTM, like we saw when Tom Kristensen quit being a permanent driver in the series back in 2010. He raced a special design for that weekend, and now Eki will have the same goodbye to the series.
Audi Sport will enter a seventh Audi RS5 DTM for this race only.
Ekström has won 23 races, taken 20 Pole Positions, and more scored more than 1200 points in DTM.
On one side, it’s nice to see Audi Sport giving themselves the bother about running an extra car.
But we can’t stop wondering – what if he is suddenly the Audi driver with the best points score after the opening weekend? What if he leads the race with Mike Rockenfeller, Jamie Green or Rene Rast running in second – will he have to give up the place, since they need the points more than him?
So even though it’s a nice gesture, it could end up back firing. But lets hope that all goes well, and it will be a perfect goodbye to the successful Swede.
Audi Sport will run the DTM Championship Rene Rast, Mike Rockenfeller, Jamie Green, Nico Müller, Loic Duval and Robin Frijns as their full season drivers.