|PHOTO CREDIT: EKS Sport/FIA World Rallycross Media.|
Mattias Ekstrom's team withdrew from the World Rallycross Championship in December, but the former World RX Champion did not fully close the door on his teams future.
Ekstrom announced his intention to sell the teams Supercars and offered support to the buyer. The end of EKS seemed near when JC Raceteknik announced the acquisition of two EKS Audi Quattro's, but the outfit purchased two 2017 Audi S1 Quattro's.
The team was formerly known as EKS, now EKS Sport finished second in the 2018 FIA World Rallycross Teams’ World Championship standings and in 2019 the team intends to continue with their Audi S1 EKS RX Quattro Supercar.
After making his European debut at the end of the 2014 season, Krisztian Szabo finished a strong third in the 2015 FIA European Rallycross Championship for Super1600 before sealing the European title twice consecutively in 2016 and 2017.
The Hungarian made an impressive debut for EKS Sport at the Euro RX of France in the Supercar category, racing to second place and subsequently reaching the Final on his second outing with the team in Latvia, in a year old S1 Quattro.
“Since the beginning of my career, I have been dreaming about racing in the World Championship," said Szabo. "Mattias Ekstrom announced last year that he will stop racing in 2019, which means he has more time to focus on managing the EKS Sport team."
“It is going to be different in 2019 with a much more balanced championship. Everyone has a bigger chance, including me," he said. "I have one of the best teams and cars behind me. I have the right background – a world championship-winning team, the professional support of Mattias and I feel well-prepared."
“It is a now or never for me in 2019 and I start my first World Championship season with title hopes,” the Hungarian concludes.
EKS Sport team owner Mattias Ekstrom predicts that Krisztian Szabo has a bright future and can have a successful season with his team
“I wanted to work together with Krisz this season because his results were quite promising last year and I predict a bright future for him," said Ekstrom. "The World RX field has changed for 2019 and I think Krisz has a big chance to be one of the best and win many races."
“This is why I suggested that he races in the World Championship instead of the European Championship."
"I will help him as the team leader, I still have vivid memories from last year and I believe it will be useful for the team," said the Swede. "I think that Krisztian will surprise many people because they still don’t know what he can do.”
Testing for the 2019 FIA World Rallycross Championship will begin shortly.
TEXT: Junaid Samodien