The 2018 finale in the FIA World Rallycross Championship had barely been run, before Mattias Ekström had an announcement.
The 40 year-old Swede has chosen to limit his own outings in the World RX Series, so he no longer races on full time.
Audi Sport announced a few months a back, that they would no longer run as a factory team, making the EKS team, which was started by Ekström in 2014, losing their major economical backer.
The World RX series has turned into so serious business, that you absolutely needs to be a works team, to be able to win. Not since the race at Estering in fall 2016, has a privateer won a race. Peugeot, Audi and Volkswagen has done all the winning ever since.
Mattias Ekström won the World Championship in 2016, adding silver medals in 2017 and 2018 to that. EKS won the Teams Championship in 2016 as well.
Prior to his World RX days, Ekström was racing in DTM from 2001 until 2017. That overlapping of commitments from 2015 to 2017, made him have to do only selected rounds in 2017, since Audi Sport had DTM as a much higher priority than World RX.
The Swede chose to end his DTM programme after 2017, to fully focus on his own team plus his own title. That didn’t work out, since Johan Kristoffersson and his PSRX Volkswagen Sweden were completely superior.
We hope to see more of the EKS team in 2019, but only time will tell.