Mattias Ekström makes WRC comeback
FIA World RX Champion and Double DTM Champion Mattias Ekström will make a historic return to the FIA WRC later this month at the Arctic Rally Finland.
Despite his great success in circuit racing and rallycross, Swedish motorsports star has a long history of rallying under his belt. 1999 Rally Sweden marked Ekström’s first appearance in WRC with a Group N Mitsubishi. In 2004 he won the Group N in Sweden and Catalunya rallies – the only two WRC events he attended that year. In 2005 and 2006 Ekström joined Škoda squad and drove a WRC car on selected events, once again proving his speed and capabilities in various forms of motorsport.
“Rally has been a life-long passion of mine and going to the Arctic Rally Finland is a bucket-list dream, that I finally get to tick off,” says the 42-year-old Swede. “For 2021 I have committed to the Extreme E series, that requires very diverse set of knowledge and skills of driving on various surfaces. The WRC event at Arctic Rally Finland is a perfect event for me to stay sharp, to drive hundreds of kilometers on ice and snow and also to renew my passion for rallying.”
Mattias Ekström will drive a Škoda Fabia Evo Rally2 car, serviced by the EKS JC team. Former FIA Junior WRC champion Emil Bergkvist will join Ekström in a co-driver seat – a role that the duo already tested in a recent Dakar Rally adventure.
“Going from Dakar Rally in the desert of Saudi Arabia to the arctic conditions of Northern Finland is the biggest contrast anyone can imagine. The WRC event is the sporting pinnacle of my Arctic Adventure road-trip. For sure it will be great fun, but anyone, who knows me, knows that I like to win and I plan to put up a fight against the class regulars, although I know, they have spent so much more time in rallying. We will do a couple of days testing before the rally and we will be giving our fans the behind the scenes view of the rally on our social media platforms,” says Ekström.
“Returning to the WRC is a great feeling, but this time I will be in a different role. This is really exciting and it will be a massive challenge. I have been working with Mattias for some time now and I hope I can deliver on my duties with pace-notes and maybe even help him with some advices,” says Emil Bergkvist.
FIA WRC Arctic Rally Finland will take place on 26th-28th of February in a Northern part of Finland, near city of Rovaniemi.