|PHOTO CREDIT: Audi Sport|
Mattias Ekström and his teammate, Andreas Bakkerud, both performed very well throughout the race weekend, setting strong lap times and outstanding starts: On the extremely fast track, they both made it into the semi-finals and finished the intermediate classification in second and third overall.
First, Mattias Ekström won his semi-final in commanding style and in the second heat, Andreas Bakkerud followed suit with a second triumph.
Heading into the race weekend in France, Audi announced their official withdrawal of factory support for EKS Audi Sport after two-years
EKS Audi Sport responded positively by locking out the front row in the final. "Huge thanks to EKS for putting both of the cars on pole position in the final," said Bakkerud. "All the volunteers here in Lohéac for doing a great job, all of our partners. We want to come back next year."
Both Audi drivers started to the final from the front row. Andreas Bakkerud took the lead in front of Ekström. The Audi drivers defended their top two positions up until the final lap. However, on returning from the Joker lap, Bakkerud had to get in line between Johan Kristoffersson and Petter Solberg and missed victory by a mere 0.34 seconds.
“I’m disappointed about us having missed a one-two result by such a narrow margin, but am taking a lot of positives home from France,” said Bakkerud. “We had good results in the preliminary races, managed to win our semi-finals and now I’m in second place of the drivers’ standings.”
Mattias Ekström took fourth place. In the teams’ classification, following the race in France, EKS Audi Sport advanced to second place behind Volkswagen.
“We had competitive cars and started from the front row, but in the end our pace wasn’t quite enough to take victory home," said Ekström. "Now we’ve got our second place in the teams’ classification back and are going to fight even more intensively for victory in the last four rounds.