Norway’s Andreas Bakkerud has this morning confirmed that he will join Mattias Ekstrom in the newly-named EKS Audi Sport team for the 2018 FIA World Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy.
Both drivers will compete in all 12 rounds of the World Championship in two new Audi S1 EKS RX quattro cars. This news follows hot on the heels of an announcement earlier in the week that Ekstrom will quit his career in DTM to fully concentrate on rallycross.
Ekstrom explained: “With support from Audi we’re able to go for all-out attack. Our aim for 2018 is clear: we’re battling for the drivers’ and teams’ world championship titles. It’s 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.”
Bakkerud, who has spent the last two seasons driving alongside Ken Block in the Hoonigan Racing Division team, spoke positively about his move to EKS Audi Sport. “It’s a great honour for me to be driving in Mattias’ team,” explained 26-year-old Bakkerud. “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 step in my career and be in contention for the title.”
Head of Audi Motorsport Dieter Gass concluded: “We gathered very positive experiences in the World RX last year and are convinced of the series’ growth. 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.”
Round one of the 2018 World RX season will kick off in Barcelona (14-15 April).