Monday 6 August 2018

A weekend of highs and lows for EKS Audi Sport.

PHOTO CREDIT: Audi Sport Media.
It was a weekend of highs and lows for EKS Audi Sport at round seven of the FIA World Rallycross Championship at Trois-Rivières, Canada. Mattias Ekström qualified for the final and took fourth place, while teammate Andreas Bakkerud could not make any further progress after sustaining damage in the semi-final. 

At the Trois-Rivières round, the Audi S1 EKS RX quattro featured improvements to the suspension and the engine. 

Ekström occupied second place overall at the end of day one (Saturday). 

After a racing incident between Mattias and Sébastien Loeb’s (Peugeot), the Swede was unable to finish Q3 (on Sunday). With an impressive second place in the semi-finals, the Swede clinched a place in the final, but missed the podium there by 1.2 seconds.

From third on the grid, Andreas Bakkerud had a rocket start in the second semi-final and advanced to the front of the field. “Unfortunately, Sébastien Loeb touched the rear of my car which resulted in damage to a suspension component,” said Bakkerud. Even with the damage, the Norweigen did not give up. Lap-after-lap, he struggled to get into Turn 1 but impressively fought his way across the finish line in fourth position but missed out on making it into the final.
Andreas Bakkerud suiting up for the semi-final.

After six days of testing, EKS Audi Sport arrived in Canada on a stronger footing. The team worked on launches (starts) and testing upgrades, which helped both drivers close the gap to PSRX Volkswagen Sweden (championship leaders). “We had a really good base,” said Ekström

“For instance, we strongly improved our starts since the beginning of the season. Obviously, we’re disappointed about not being able to take home any trophies from the first overseas race of the season, but the gaps here were very small and the competition worked hard as well so that a few small mistakes had major consequences," he added. "We need to continue to prepare at full throttle in order to strike back in the next race at Lohéac.”

In four weeks’ time, World RX will return to Europe for round eight of the championship at Lohéac (France).

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