Q&A WITH ANDREAS BAKKERUD
The biggest surprise of the winter so far was announced recently. Six time FIA World Rallycross Championship race winner Andreas Bakkerud has been signed by the EKS team for 2018.
Now the news has had time to sink in, we caught up with Bakkerud to find out how he’s feeling ahead of the new season.
Q. Now you’ve had some time where you’re able to talk about it publicly, how does it feel to be preparing to drive for EKS this season?
AB. “Very good in fact. Everything that’s new is always fun to work with. It’s gonna be good to meet the whole crew and start racing again!”
Q. When did you agree terms with the team?
AB. “We have been speaking with EKS since 2013. Already the first week after the announcement that Ford pulled out we knew that there was a good chance to go for EKS, but the last details took a while to get in place.”
Q. What was the most difficult part about keeping the secret?
AB. “Not telling friends and partners about it, when they just want the best for you and I can’t tell them it’s ‘nothing to worry about’.”
Q. You’ve already tested an EKS Audi Supercar, what were your first impressions?
AB. “Very different. It was a big turnaround on how to drive a Supercar, but I liked it. It will take some laps to get up to consistent good speed.”
Q. What do you expect Mattias Ekstrom to be like to work with, and as a team mate?
AB. “I think Mattias is one of the hardest working motorsport athletes out there. The results are often in the details, that’s where I can learn the most from Mattias.”
Q. The Swedes and Norwegians are known for being big rivals. As a Norwegian, how will it be to work so closely with a Swede?
AB. “Haha, that’s true. Normally they are on different teams, so that’s different, but in this case I think it will be ok. I have huge respect for Mattias and what he has delivered in his motorsport life. I think I can learn a lot from him.”
Q. So far in World RX you’ve only raced Fords. What will it be like to be representing a completely different brand in EKS and Audi going forward?
AB. “I’ve never thought about that before! It will be something new, but very interesting..”
Q. How’s your German?
AB. “Better than my Finnish.”
Q. Every driver’s goal is to be World Rallycross Champion, but what are your personal targets for the early part of 2018?
AB. “For me personally, it is to get back to speed and fighting in the top ASAP with what is a new car for me. It will take some time, but hopefully I can find the pace early in the Championship.”
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