Date: May 05–07
Track: Hockenheimring, 20 km south of Mannheim
Track length: 1.280 km
Surface: 60% tarmac, 40% gravel
Turns: 8 left, 4 right
Top speed: approx. 179 km/h
Lap record: Petter Solberg (N), 53.780s (2017)
Average speed: approx. 85.68 km/h
Winner 2017: Mattias Ekström (S), 6m 04.066s
Mattias Ekström and his Team EKS remain the measure of all things in the 2017 FIA World Rallycross Championship. In round three of the season at the Hockenheimring, the reigning world champion was again not to be beaten. In difficult weather conditions, the Swede, shortly before the DTM qualifying session for race two, prevailed against his compatriots Johan Kristoffersson and Timmy Hansen in a gripping final. In the drivers’ classification, Ekström has extended his lead. In the teams’ classification, world champions EKS continue to trail Team PSRX Volkswagen Sweden in second place.
At the Hockenheimring, Ekström continued last year’s success with a forceful drive. “Winning here at Hockenheim, in front of the many DTM and rallycross fans, is an incredible feeling,” said Ekström with a big grin on his face. For a long time it did not seem like the Swede would be able to celebrate another success. Although Ekström and his teammates, Reinis Nitišs and Toomas Heikkinen, had again qualified for the semi-final of the twelve best drivers, positions four, eleven and twelve were not a good starting base.
“On Friday and Saturday, we had a few problems keeping pace with the competition,” said Ekström. “Unfortunately, due to my double commitment in the World RX and the DTM, I wasn’t able to spend a lot of time with the team and to help getting a handle on these issues. But the guys burned the midnight oil from Thursday on and did another fantastic job.” In drizzling rain on an extremely slippery track, Heikkinen completed the good team result clinched by EKS.