09 July 2013 ~ 0 Comments

Silver for Ekström at European Rallycross Championship in Sweden

2013 FIA European Rallycross Championship, Sweden: Mattias Ekström

After just two weeks behind the wheel of Marklund Motorsport’s guest driver rallycross Polo R, Mattias Ekström took second place at his home track of Höljes in round six of the FIA European Rallycross Championship last weekend. The three-times Race of Champions winner and DTM star placed fourth at the X Games Munich in the Red Bull-liveried Polo the weekend before Sweden, and the Swede was first in heats three and four, with the fastest times of the meeting. In the semi-final, Ekström started third, played his joker on the first lap, chasing down the rest of the pack from last place. As every other driver played their jokers, the Swede crept ahead, stealing the lead from Timmy Hansen, and finishing one second ahead.

Ekström started from third in the final, behind Andreas Bakkerud and Petter Solberg, dropping to fourth behind Hansen as he played his joker. Ekström stayed close behind, keeping tight to Hansen as they both moved forward a position when Solberg pulled out on lap three. Shortly after Bakkerud took his joker, Ekström flew past Hansen, continuing to hold him back for the remaining two laps, awarding the DTM regular a well-deserved second place in only his first RallycrossRX competition. ‘The whole experience of this weekend has really been 10 of 10 – the way the event is run, the spirit of the spectators, and the passion and commitment of the Marklund Motorsport team is incredible. I’ve said it before but the way the car handles is amazing, I’ve never felt the way I have this weekend in my entire career, and I really hope I’ll be back on a rallycross track soon,’ enthused Ekström.

As in Munich, it was a more disappointing weekend for Marklund Motorsport’s lead driver Anton Marklund. A knock with Kristoffersen lead to a puncture on the first lap, putting Marklund in 28th place after heat one and then 32nd overall as he was driven off the track by a race-ending crash with Valle in heat two. Although he set fast times on day two of the meeting – winning his third heat and placing second in his fourth – Marklund was unable to reach the semi-finals in Höljes. ‘What a great result for the team – Mattias had amazing pace, he’s an incredible driver and really showed how awesome the Polo R Supercar can be! I had a tough weekend, and was knocked out of the running in my first two heats, but even though I had a better day today it just wasn’t enough to get me any further,’ commented Marklund.

[Imnages: Johnny Loix, QBA/Qnigan.com]

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