31/03–02/04 Barcelona (E) 21/04–23/04 Montalegre (P) 05/05–07/05 Hockenheim (D) 12/05–14/05 Mettet (B) 26/05–28/05 Lydden Hill (GB) 09/06–11/06 Hell (N) 30/06–02/07 Höljes (S) 04/08–06/08 Trois Rivières (CDN) 01/09–03/09 Lohéac (F) 15/09–17/09 Bikernieki (LV) 29/09–01/10 Estering (D) 10/11–12/11 Killarney (ZA)
World Rallycross Champion Mattias Ekström
The two-time DTM Champion after his early win of the 2016 FIA World Rallycross Championship at the Estering.
How does it feel to be a world champion?
I’m overjoyed! Becoming world champion even before the last race is a great feeling. And I’m incredibly proud of my whole EKS squad. I’d also like to thank my employer, Audi Sport. My bosses gave me permission to compete at the Estering in order to maximize my chances of winning the title. That couldn’t be taken for granted and I’m very, very thankful for it. Hopefully, I can put a smile on their faces with my world championship title, too.
How did things go at the Estering from your point of view?
My Audi S1 EKS RX quattro, just like it’s been the whole year, was fantastic again at the Estering. Our goal was to clinch the title early. That’s why I may have been driving a little more conservatively than usual – you could see that in the finale at the start and in turn one. But, fortunately, it worked out anyway because Petter (Solberg) only came in second place and Johan (Kristoffersson) had a puncture in the finale.
Is the world championship title worth more than your two DTM titles?
Becoming world champion is definitely really special – I’ve never been one before in my career. My titles and victories with Audi Sport in the DTM are extremely valuable too. But the special aspect of this world championship title is the fact that we started from scratch three years ago. There was nothing in October 2013. Only few people can imagine what my team, EKS, and I have built in this period of time.
Did you follow the DTM finale at Hockenheim from Estering as well?
Of course! I was in contact with my guys at Hockenheim the whole time. After the DTM race, they immediately sent me a photo with congratulations by WhatsApp. I’m happy that Abt clinched the teams’ championship without me and Audi Sport the manufacturers’ title. It’s a shame that Edo (Mortara) was lacking four points to clinch the drivers’ title in the end. Anyone who saw the way he drove at Hockenheim knows that he would have deserved the title. In any case, he’s champion of the heats in my book! I love the way he fights.
What’s coming up next?
We’re going to seriously celebrate the world championship title and recharge our batteries a little as well. Then we’re going to prepare our two Audi S1 EKS RX quattro cars for the finale in Argentina and try to become team world champions at Rosario on November 26 and 27 as well.
Further information about the official fuel consumption figures and official, specific CO2 emissions of new passenger cars can be found in the “Guide to fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and electricity consumption of new cars,” which is available free of charge from all sales outlets and from DAT (Deutsche Automobil Treuhand GmbH), Hellmuth-Hirth-Strasse 1, 73760 Ostfildern-Scharnhausen, Germany (http://www.dat.de).