TEAM REVIEW: EKS
Car: Audi S1 RX quattro
Drivers: Mattias Ekstrom (SWE) #1, Toomas Heikkinen (FIN) #57
Teams’ Championship Points: 380
Teams’ Championship Position: 3rd
EKS entered the 2017 season as FIA World Rallycross Champions in both the Teams’ and Drivers’ Championships, and maintained its 2016 line-up of Sweden’s Mattias Ekstrom and Finland’s Toomas Heikkinen. Ekstrom was forced to miss the Swedish round at Holjes due to clashing commitments, where the team’s individual entrant, Latvia’s Reinis Nitiss, took his place as a points scoring driver. EKS finished the season third in the Teams’ Championship.
Here’s how Ekstrom and Heikkinen fared head-to-head:
Qualifying Race Wins
ME 16 – 13 TH
Ekstrom won at least one qualifying race in every round he started in 2017 and won two races on five occasions. Heikkinen won at least one race everywhere except Sweden, but won two races in the UK and Latvia.
Quickest Qualifying Times:
ME 4 – 3 TH
Despite the difference between the pair in overall results, Ekstrom and Heikkinen were only split for quickest qualifying times by one. Ekstrom set a quickest time at Barcelona, Norway, France and Germany as Heikkinen set quickest times in Barcelona, Canada and Latvia.
ME 11 – 11 TH
Ekstrom made the semi-final on each of his starts. He missed out on the full set by skipping his home event at Holjes, where both Heikkinen and Nitiss also failed to make the semi-finals. Aside from Sweden, Heikkinen made the semis everywhere else.
ME 10 – 3 TH
Apart from at Trois-Rivieres in Canada, Ekstrom qualified for the final in every event he raced at in 2017. He won the first three rounds of the season in Barcelona, Portugal and Hockenheim, and round 11 at Estering. The Swede was on the podium a further three times. Heikkinen made the final three times, including finishing third at Estering.
ME 255 – 125 TH
Ekstrom’s consistent points scoring ability by almost always making the final, even when it wasn’t his weekend, meant he constantly accumulated solid scores and finished more than 100 points ahead of Heikkinen. At Barcelona and Estering, Ekstrom was just one point shy of event maximum scores.
ME 2nd – 7th TH
Ekstrom dropped one position on wining the Drivers’ Championship in 2016, but he claimed second at the final round in South Africa, taking the position from Norway’s Petter Solberg by finished on the podium. Heikkinen matched his 2016 result of 7th in the points.
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