Audi Sport has announced that it will enter the 2017 FIA World Rallycross Championship (WRX) by providing full-factory support to Mattias Ekstrom's EKS racing team. Set up in 2014 by Ekstrom, the team had access to Audi suppliers and partners but full factory support was not available until now. As part of the factory backing, Audi's motorsport department will provide full technical support in developing the Audi S1 EKS RX quattro.
Ekstrom's hard work in developing the team finally paid off in 2016 when he clinched both the WRX drivers and constructors championship. Ekstrom won four out of 12 races to win the titles.
Realising Ekstrom's potential and his need for factory backing, Dieter Gass, head, Audi Motorsport decided to extend support "We realize that it's going to be increasingly difficult for EKS to hold its own against the factory teams, so we chose to intensify our World RX commitment"
Mattias Ekstrom was elated on receiving the support, given his dedication towards the team and the sport. "We laid a lot of groundwork as a team in the first three years, gathered important experiences and set new standards with EKS. But it was also clear to us that we'd need support for the future in order to be able to continue on this level. That EKS is now receiving factory backing by Audi makes me very happy. I'm convinced that rallycross has a great future, also with respect to potential electrification."
Ekstrom will compete in all 12 rounds of the 2017 championship that begins in Barcelona, Spain on April 1, 2017.
Besides WRX, Audi also announced that Mattias Ekstrom will race for the team at the 2017 DTM Championship.