Loeb, Solberg say Ekstrom has them on back foot in World Rallycross

World Rally legends Sebastien Loeb and Petter Solberg admit DTM star Mattias Ekstrom and his Audi have them on the back foot in the World Rallycross Championship

Loeb, Solberg say Ekstrom has them on back foot in World Rallycross

Ekstrom can complete a hat-trick of RX wins in this weekend's Lydden Hill round, and his recent Mettet triumph moved him into the points lead ahead of double champion Solberg.

"It's clear at the moment Ekstrom is feeling really well in his car, he has a lot of confidence and he's not having to take big risks to do what he's doing," said works Peugeot driver Loeb.

"We are having to push quite hard just to follow him at the moment."

Solberg said he had always expected this kind of speed would come from the Audi RX Quattro, run by Ekstrom's own EKS team.

"I must admit, I have been more surprised at the Audi in the last two seasons - surprised that it wasn't already at this speed," said Solberg.

"Now it's at the level I thought it would be last season.

"Ekstrom's on good form at the moment and he will continue that form this weekend."

Solberg added that his PSRX Citroen DS 3 would come to Kent with further improvements.

"We are a little bit behind, but we have some more updates for Lydden," he said.

"I have to be honest, we hadn't made the plan to bring these upgrades already, but it's clear that we have to do something now.

"We have some work on the chassis and on the engine, just some small differences. Don't worry, there's something up our sleeve."

LOEB FINDING HIS FEET

The two WRC champions finished on the podium behind Ekstrom at Mettet, with Loeb beating Solberg to an RX career best of second.

Last year's Lydden winner Solberg thinks his old rival will be strong at the track.

"It's fast, wide with lots of sweeping corners," Solberg said.

"Seb and the Peugeot will go well there. He will be able to use the joker lap to get some clear track, that's when he will be quick."

Loeb admitted he had been surprised he could beat Solberg so soon.

"Petter is quick," Loeb said.

"I was thinking he would come past me, but he didn't - I was a little bit surprised by this.

"It's good to be competing with him again. We had some good races in rallying and it's nice to be doing the same again. And he's a good guy as well."

shares
comments
Why rallycross is becoming irresistible

Previous article

Why rallycross is becoming irresistible

Next article

Loheac World Rallycross: Loeb gets home podium, Kristoffersson wins

Loheac World Rallycross: Loeb gets home podium, Kristoffersson wins
Load comments

About this article

Series World Rallycross
Drivers Sébastien Loeb , Mattias Ekström , Petter Solberg
Teams EKS RX
Author David Evans
From Lebanon to cross-category world titles - a rally legend's top 10 Plus

From Lebanon to cross-category world titles - a rally legend's top 10

Petter Solberg has called time on his top-flight career after winning titles in two FIA world championships. Here, the 2003 rally and '14/15 rallycross king recalls his 10 best events - including the moment where all his success began

World Rallycross
Nov 7, 2019
How to make an F1 venue fit for World RX Plus

How to make an F1 venue fit for World RX

World Rallycross makes its first appearance at Silverstone this year as part of the 'Speedmachine' festival in May. We take a look at how the new rallycross track fared in its debut event

World Rallycross
Mar 22, 2018
Volkswagen hasn't disappeared completely Plus

Volkswagen hasn't disappeared completely

Volkswagen's abrupt departure from the World Rally Championship it was dominating was one of the winter's biggest shocks. Now 2003 WRC champion Petter Solberg's World Rallycross team has VW support. What does that mean for World RX and what remains of Volkswagen Motorsport?

World Rallycross
Apr 3, 2017
Why rallycross is becoming irresistible Plus

Why rallycross is becoming irresistible

Sebastien Loeb started a new journey in his motorsport career last weekend, but he wasn't the only attraction in Portugal. DAVID EVANS examines why the World Rallycross product works so well

World Rallycross
Apr 21, 2016
How good is World Rallycross? Plus

How good is World Rallycross?

The entries are strong, the cars are powerful and it can teach the WRC a thing or two about promotion. But after visiting the Lydden Hill round, DAVID EVANS still has his doubts

World Rallycross
May 30, 2014
New rallycross golden age comes to Britain Plus

New rallycross golden age comes to Britain

The sport began at Lydden in the late 1960s and this weekend the new-look World Rallycross Championship will strut its stuff at the Kent venue. HAL RIDGE explains why it will be unmissable

World Rallycross
May 23, 2014
Solberg: why rallycross is my future Plus

Solberg: why rallycross is my future

PETTER SOLBERG had a rough first season back in rallycross, but that hasn't deterred him from signing up for the first year of its new era in 2014, as he explains in his AUTOSPORT column

World Rallycross
Oct 16, 2013
Solberg: back to school Plus

Solberg: back to school

Petter Solberg says that there's still lots to learn about running a successful rallycross campaign, but he's really enjoying getting back to his roots

World Rallycross
Apr 2, 2013