KYB Team JC driver change – Ekstrom to race in World RX at Holjes
Former World Champion Mattias Ekstrom is back in rallycross! He will compete in the first two rounds of the FIA World Rallycross Championship, joining Robin Larsson in the new Swedish team, KYB Team JC, this weekend (22-23 August) at Holjes in Sweden.
International rallycross will return with the opening rounds of World RX and the FIA European Rallycross Championship in Sweden. The first-ever World RX double-header will be run behind closed doors at the Varmland circuit, where KYB Team JC will compete with its Audi S1s, joined by the JC Raceteknik entries in Euro RX.
JC Raceteknik presented the new KYB Team JC 2020 World RX team at the end of last year. Now, the team will be joined by Ekstrom for the Holjes weekend. The two-time DTM Champion has won twice before on his home circuit, in 2014 and 2015, and won the World RX Drivers’ title in 2016. Ekstrom has previously raced twice with JC Raceteknik, at World RX in Belgium and RallyX Nordic in Tierp last year.
The current situation surrounding Coronavirus [Covid-19] has meant budget problems for Janis Baumanis, who was entered for the full World RX season, and KYB Team JC. The Latvian will therefore not race in the full season with the team, Ekstrom racing the car at Holjes.
In Euro RX, JC Raceteknik will start with two drivers: Mats Ohman and Ben-Philip Gundersen. Swedish driver Ohman has raced in the three opening rounds of RallyX Nordic and showed good pace. Norwegian Gundersen however is making his Supercar debut this season. He impressed in the opening two rounds of RallyX Nordic, also at Holjes, and will make his Euro RX Supercar debut at the same track.
Joel Christoffersson, KYB Team JC Team Principal:
“Since we have a vacant Audi S1 EKS Supercar for Holjes, I contacted Mattias. He has been a guest driver in the team twice before and thought, just like us, that it would be great fun to drive in his home race. Mattias will be a strong addition to KYB Team JC. He is a driver with many tips and tricks and if there is anyone who knows these cars, it’s him. It will definitely be an advantage for both Robin and us as a team to have him with us.
It’s sad that Janis won’t race in the full World Championship with KYB Team JC this year, I and the whole team had really looked forward to this collaboration. But given the situation around Covid-19, I think everyone understands that something like this could happen and I hope we can take up the collaboration with him again."
Mattias Ekstrom, KYB Team JC, Supercar (SWE):
“It's always fun to compete. Rallycross has, and has always had, fast and fun cars that I enjoy driving. So, competing with Joel and JC again feels good, especially after the final round of RallyX Nordic at Tierp last season where I had the opportunity to give Robin some support. Robin has already won an event at Holjes this year, so is already in the groove.
My biggest priority this weekend is to have as much fun as possible. But of course, the day I do not dream of winning is the day I stop competing. The goal is always a trophy, but then we will see what is realistic according to the conditions. Holjes is always special, but this year it will be something completely unique without the fans. It’s a strange feeling, but still exciting.”