Rallycross and DTM title winner Ekstrom to contest WRC Arctic Rally Finland

Former World Rallycross champion and double DTM title-winner Mattias Ekstrom will return to the World Rally Championship for the Arctic Rally Finland later this month, driving a Skoda Fabia R5

Rallycross and DTM title winner Ekstrom to contest WRC Arctic Rally Finland

The 2016 World RX champion is contesting selected events in preparation for his 2021 programme with the ABT Cupra team in the new Extreme E series, and drove in the Dakar Rally last month.

He will compete in the second round of the 2021 WRC with a car run by Ekstrom's co-owned EKS JC squad, and will be co-driven by former FIA Junior WRC champion Emil Bergkvist, who also navigated for Ekstrom in the Dakar rally.

The Swede is no stranger to rallying, having made his WRC debut in a Group N Mitsubishi in 1999 on the Swedish Rally.

He won the Group N class in Sweden and on Rally Catalunya in 2004, and made selected top-flight appearances in the top-tier WRC class with a works-run Skoda Fabia in 2005 and 2006.

"Rally has been a life-long passion of mine and going to the Arctic Rally Finland is a bucket-list dream, that I finally get to tick off," said Ekstrom.

"For 2021 I have committed to the Extreme E series, that requires very diverse set of knowledge and skills of driving on various surfaces.

"The WRC event at Arctic Rally Finland is a perfect event for me to stay sharp, to drive hundreds of kilometres on ice and snow and also to renew my passion for rallying."

While the Rovaniemi event will provide a totally different challenge to the Dakar, Ekstrom is setting his sights high.

"For sure it will be great fun, but anyone, who knows me, knows that I like to win and I plan to put up a fight against the class regulars, although I know, they have spent so much more time in rallying. We will do a couple of days testing before the rally," he said.

Former Rally Finland winner, Esapekka Lappi, who has been left without a drive in the WRC's headline category this year, will also compete on the Arctic Rally Finland, driving a Volkswagen Polo R5. The Finn drove for M-Sport in the WRC last season.

shares
comments
Solberg says WRC Hyundai car switch "easier" than expected

Previous article

Solberg says WRC Hyundai car switch "easier" than expected

Next article

Lappi open to WRC test role for manufacturer to earn 2022 return

Lappi open to WRC test role for manufacturer to earn 2022 return
Load comments

About this article

Series WRC
Author Hal Ridge
How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally Plus

How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally

Ott Tanak made up for a disastrous Monte Carlo Rally by leading all the way on the snow-kissed stages of the Arctic Rally Finland and in the process hit back at an event Toyota had been expected to dominate

WRC
Mar 1, 2021
What to expect from the WRC's venture to the Arctic Plus

What to expect from the WRC's venture to the Arctic

This week's Arctic Rally Finland will bring the World Rally Championship into new territory. And, almost without exception, the service park can't wait for the subzero challenge to commence

WRC
Feb 25, 2021
How Ogier achieved a fitting Monte Carlo farewell Plus

How Ogier achieved a fitting Monte Carlo farewell

Against pandemic-shaped odds, the World Rally Championship season opener went ahead in Monte Carlo last weekend as a familiar face again took top spot. But for an emotional Sebastien Ogier, his record-breaking eighth win meant more than most

WRC
Jan 25, 2021
What to look out for in the 2021 WRC Plus

What to look out for in the 2021 WRC

As the 2021 World Rally Championship prepares to launch amid tight COVID-19 restrictions in Monte Carlo, here are the eight things unrelated to the pandemic that you should keep an eye on this year

WRC
Jan 21, 2021
Evans on the talking points of WRC 2021 Plus

Evans on the talking points of WRC 2021

He came close to the title last year, and now Toyota's Elfyn Evans gives his verdict on what to expect from 2021 as the World Rally Championship prepares to reconvene for the Monte Carlo season opener

WRC
Jan 20, 2021
Why Britain's continued WRC absence is a wake-up call Plus

Why Britain's continued WRC absence is a wake-up call

OPINION: With Rally GB dropping off the World Rally Championship calendar for the second year in a row, one of Britain's best-attended sporting events faces an uncertain future. It's an unfortunate situation that points to troubling times ahead

WRC
Jan 12, 2021
The top 10 WRC drivers of 2020 Plus

The top 10 WRC drivers of 2020

A drastically-shortened 2020 season gave the World Rally Championship protagonists precious little stage mileage to strut their stuff, but as ever the cream rose to the top across the seven events. Autosport ranks the year's best performers

WRC
Jan 4, 2021
The twists and turns of a turbulent 2020 WRC season Plus

The twists and turns of a turbulent 2020 WRC season

The World Rally Championship was hit hard by the pandemic, but the organisers and teams pulled together to deliver an enthralling campaign that produced five winners and a shock twist in the tail

WRC
Jan 1, 2021