EKS and Mattias Ekström to start as reigning world champions at Barcelona
First event of the team with Audi factory support
Ekström: “Our aim: to win both World RX titles again”
The fourth season of the FIA World Rallycross Championship is coming up. Twelve events on three continents are on the calendar this year, kicked off by the round at Barcelona on April 1 and 2, which marks a premiere in several respects. It will be the first race in which EKS receives factory support from Audi. The reigning world champion will be fielding three Audi S1 EKS RX quattro cars for the first time. Plus, Barcelona will be the venue of the season opener for the first time.
Mattias Ekström is looking forward to the race at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya with confidence. “Last week, we did another three-day test in France and are entering the season superbly prepared,” says the Swede, who is both a driver and the team boss at EKS. “I’m very happy with the development work that was done in winter and our aim for this season is clear: we’d like to win the drivers’ and teams’ titles in the FIA World Rallycross Championship again this year.”
The rallycross track at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is located in the stadium section of the circuit and includes two super-fast corners included in Formula 1 races as well – albeit in the opposite direction. It is one of the few tracks with very fast initial corners on tarmac, plus many flat-out sections.
“Thinking about last year puts a grin on my face,” says Ekström. At Barcelona, the Swede celebrated his fourth victory of the season in 2016 and laid the foundation for his subsequent world championship win. The basis for the success has been the 560 hp Audi S1 EKS RX quattro, which was technically modified once again for this season.
The FIA World Rallycross Championship will be broadcasted live in 180 countries. Each Sunday of the total of twelve events the broadcasters are going to air a two-hour show with interviews, background reports and the highlights of all four qualifyings, plus live footage of the semi-finals and final. Coverage of the season opener at Barcelona will start on Sunday, April 2, at 15:00 CEST. A list of all TV channels is available at www.fiaworldrallycross.com/tv_listings. In selected markets a live stream of World RX will be available online at www.fiaworldrallycross.com/live.
About Barcelona RX
Track Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, 25 km north of Barcelona
Track length 1,133 m (Joker lap: 1,284 m)
Surface 60% tarmac, 40% gravel
Turns 7 left, 4 right
Top speed approx. 171 km/h
Lap record Johan Kristoffersson (S), 45.212s (2015)
Winner 2016 Mattias Ekström (S), 4m 55.251s
Race length 4 laps (Qualifyings), 6 laps (Semi-finals and final)
Friday, March 31
16.00–16.15 Press conference (with Mattias Ekström)
Saturday, April 1
09.00–11.00 Free practice
12.00–13.30 Qualifying 1 (Q1)
14.30–16.00 Qualifying 2 (Q2)
Sunday, April 2
10.00–11.30 Qualifying 3 (Q3)
11.30–12.40 Qualifying 4 (Q4)
15.00–15.40 Semi-finals and final
15.50–15.55 Podium ceremony