Audi remains committed to rallycross in the 2018 season. The Ingolstadt-based brand will continue to provide factory support to Mattias Ekström’s project. Under its new name, EKS Audi Sport, the team will compete in the FIA World Rallycross Championship (World RX) with two newly prepared Audi S1 EKS RX quattro cars. Andreas Bakkerud, one of the most successful rallycross campaigners, is joining team principal and driver Ekström on the grid in the second car.

Looking at the new season, long-standing Audi factory driver Mattias Ekström is full of zest for action: “With support from Audi we’re able to go for all-out attack,” says the Swede. “Our aim for 2018 is clear: We’re battling for the drivers’ and teams’ world championship titles.” In the 2016 season, EKS had been successful in the Audi S1 EKS RX quattro, having clinched both titles. Last year, Ekström had to settle for finishing the World RX season as runner-up. EKS placed third in the teams’ championship. “It was clear that we needed to make some changes. That’s why we’re preparing two new cars and putting the competition from Volkswagen and Peugeot in their place.”

Norwegian Andreas Bakkerud is joining Ekström in the battle for trophies and titles. The 26-year-old ranks among the world’s best rallycross drivers. He has contested all 49 rounds in World RX history, claiming 18 podium finishes and six race wins. In the 2016 season, he placed third in the drivers’ championship – trailing Ekström and the reigning World RX Champion Johan Kristoffersson. “It’s a great honor for me to be driving in Mattias’ team. We’ve had good rapport with each other for many years and I’ve been closely following the development of EKS. Together with the team I’d now like to make the next step in my career and be in contention for the title.”

Head of Audi Motorsport Dieter Gass is delighted about the continuation of the commitment as well: “We gathered very positive experiences in the World RX last year and are convinced of the series’ growth potential. In the medium run, we hope to see electric cars being fielded in this racing series because electrification is a focus topic at Audi also in motorsport.”

2018 FIA World Rallycross Championship calendar

  • April 14–15: World RX of Catalunya – Barcelona (E)
  • April 28–29: World RX of Portugal – Montalegre (P)
  • May 12–13: World RX of Belgium – Mettet (B)
  • May 26–27: World RX of Great Britain – Silverstone (GB)
  • June 9–10: World RX of Norway – Hell (N)
  • June 30–July 1: World RX of Sweden – Höljes (S)
  • August 4–5 World RX of Canada – Trois-Rivières (CDN)
  • September 1–2: World RX of France – Lohéac (F)
  • September 15–16: World RX of Latvia – Riga (LV)
  • September 29–30: World RX of USA – Austin (USA)
  • October 13–14: World RX of Germany – Estering (D)
  • November 24–25: World RX of South Africa – Cape Town (ZA)