Date: October 13–14, 2018
Track: Estering in Buxtehude, 35 km southwest of Hamburg
Track length: 0.925 km (Joker Lap: 0.890 km)
Surface: 60 % tarmac, 40 % gravel
Turns: 3 left, 6 right
Longest jump: –
Top speed: approx. 174 km/h
Lap record: Johan Kristoffersson (S), 34.357s (2018)
Average speed: approx. 97.29 km/h
Winner in 2018: Johan Kristoffersson (S), 3m 33.568s
The Estering brings back many fond memories to Mattias Ekström. This is where, in 2016, the Swede clinched the drivers’ world championship title early. In 2017, he won the race. The tradition-steeped track near Hamburg features one of the most spectacular turns in the motorsport circus. The tight turn 1 on the short circuit that merely measures 952 meters in length separates the men from the boys and keeps delivering impressive maneuvers. Further into the lap, the track is marked by flat-out sections in which overtaking is practically impossible unless the competition makes mistakes. All the more important are a perfect start and the right tactics in turn 1 and a good Joker Lap strategy.
In the World RX season’s penultimate round at the Estering, Mattias Ekström and Andreas Bakkerud in positions two and three celebrated the first two podium finishes in a single event for EKS Audi Sport in the 2018 season. Ekström in the Audi S1 EKS RX quattro only had to admit defeat to World Champion Johan Kristoffersson by 1.849 seconds. In the preliminary heats, the two EKS Audi Sport drivers had previously created a good base for the final races: On Sunday, Mattias Ekström won the third qualifying session and placed fourth in the intermediate classification. As a result, Bakkerud and Ekström started to the semi-finals from the front row. In the turbulent action both showed strong starts, maintained the lead and celebrated a one-two result. In the final, Andreas Bakkerud and Mattias Ekström were in positions two and four when the race was stopped due to an accident. Following the restart, Mattias Ekström clinched second place ahead of Bakkerud.