Ekstrom's EKS team pulls out of World Rallycross Championship

Mattias Ekstrom's EKS team will not take part in the 2019 World Rallycross Championship and will sell its Audi S1 Supercars

Ekstrom's EKS team pulls out of World Rallycross Championship

Team owner and driver Ekstrom announced his departure from World RX as a full-time driver immediately after the finale in South Africa last month, following his squad's loss of factory support in August.

The two-time DTM champion has now revealed that the team, which made its World RX debut in 2014 and and achieved a drivers'/teams' title double with Ekstrom two years later, will take a break from the series in '19.

Why World RX is in serious trouble

"After five amazing years where we had so much support, so much fun, a great team and great support of all our partners, we have decided that we will take a break and we will not be on the grid for the 2019 season," said Ekstrom in a video on social media.

"When I started EKS back in 2014, my dream was to make a team that I always dreamt of being the driver for.

"That meant a team with the best people, the coolest brands, the greatest partners and the greatest cars.

"The Audi S1 in the new version was the dream car for this project and now five years later, we can only say it was a success."

Ekstrom won the team's third ever event at Holjes and claimed the title in his first full season.

He has subsequently finished second to Johan Kristoffersson in the following two years.

"In 2014 when EKS started we were a private team. For 2017 and 2018 we had Audi factory support and we were a factory team," Ekstrom said.

"That was something great for us and I want to also say big thanks to Audi for believing in EKS, myself, all the drivers and in the end we managed to be champion once and twice we were runner-up, something to be proud of."

EKS has always fielded at least a two-car line-up and this year Ekstrom's team-mate Andreas Bakkerud finished third in the points in his first season with the squad, having been left drive-less at the end of 2017 when Ken Block's Ford-backed team withdrew.

Bakkerud's EKS drive had already been in doubt since Audi withdrew its support.

"I want to say thanks to all the drivers who have been part of EKS," said Ekstrom.

"Andreas, I'm sorry again that your programme was cut short. Something that you miss is a bit of luck, but remember that hard work pays always off, so good luck my friend."

Bakkerud is taking part in Audi's DTM young driver tests this week.

In conjunction with Audi Sport, EKS developed three 2018-specification S1s this year and has produced a total of eight cars in its five-year programme.

Ekstrom says his squad will "definitely support" whoever buys the S1s so "they can also have success and hopefully also get some trophies" but admitted "we do not yet know" what EKS's own future might be.

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About this article

Series World Rallycross
Drivers Mattias Ekström
Teams EKS RX
Author Hal Ridge
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