The newly released electric touring car series, PURE ETCR, has made sure to have heavy weights behind the wheel. This is the case of Mattias Ekström, with great experience on the slopes, who was signed by CUPRA to start the road in the competition.
Although the category is just beginning, he joined the team at the end of 2019 as an EV ambassador and as such has played an important role in the development of the e-Racer alongside his teammate Jordi Gené.
Ekström was born in Sweden on July 14, 1978, and is the most successful motorsport competitor in that country for the past 20 years. He has an excellent career in terms of touring cars, since just turned 22 years old, he became a national champion.
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He started karting in 1993. A year later, he also began to compete in the Swedish Renault 5 Turbo Cup, where he was runner-up in 1995 and champion in 1996. He made the leap to the Nordic Touring Car Championship, where he won the 1997 runner-up at the wheel of a Volvo 850, with four victories.
In 1998, he went on to use a Ford Mondeo, with which he achieved four podiums and a final eighth place. With new equipment, the driver added four victories and ten podiums in the 16 races of 1999 at the controls of an all-wheel drive Audi A4, to win the championship against Fredrik Ekblom.
Among his most important international achievements are two Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) titles in 2004 and 2007. In addition, he took victory in the 24 Hours of Spa with Audi.
Rallycross is one of his favorite tournaments, where he achieved glory as World Champion in 2016 with his own EKS team. The good path in this series is inherited from his father, Bengt Ekström, who was a rallycross driver at the European level.
A new electrified challenge
Mattias Ekström will have several major challenges in the coming months. Along with his arrival at the PURE ETCR, the pilot will be at the Dakar Rally with Audi, a team that will revolutionize the tournament with the bet on an electric vehicle. He will share the squad with Carlos Sainz and Stéphane Peterhansel, two pilots with experience.
“The Dakar is undoubtedly one of the most exciting adventures of my career. Tackling this exciting project together with the team, with whom I have celebrated my greatest successes, is something fantastic.Mattias Ekström
“Even though I’m going to be 43 years old, compared to Carlos and Stéphane I feel like a junior. In this sport you need a lot of experience in every way, and I still have a lot to learn. But I’m really looking forward to it,” he added.
Audi aims to break the mold by being the first car manufacturer to fight for victory in the general classification of the legendary Dakar Rally with a vehicle equipped with an electrified powertrain.
Written by I Jhonattan González