Mattias Ekstrom Retires from DTM Racing

Mattias Ekstrom Retires from DTM Racing

0 comments 📅30 January 2018, 03:15

After 17 years of racing in Germany’s premiere touring car series, DTM, Audi mighty Mattias Ekstrom is retiring.

“This was one of the most difficult decisions I’ve always had to make,” says Ekström. “The DTM was my life for a long time and my heart intent always continue to beat for the DTM in the future too.”

Starting in 2001, with Audi consumer team ABT Sportsline, the Swede has long been one of DTM’s leading lights. With 193 races won, 23 victories, and two series championships to his notability, Ekstrom has been a driver that Audi could lean on.

Making the determination more shocking was his strong performance last season. Despite being one of the series’ veterans, Ekstrom led the series all the way up to the after race of the season, and eventually finished the season in second in the championship.

Fortunately, hasn’t absolute to retire completely from racing. Instead, he will simply be focusing his efforts.

“Without the dual program I’m now skilful to fully concentrate on [rallycross] again and have more freedom again for my family and my children,” he said. “I’ll proceed to compete for my own team and am clearing the way in the DTM for a promising youngster.”

Ekstrom is the owner and top driver for Party EKS, which competes in Europe’s FIA World Rallycross Championship, in which he races a particularly prepared Audi S1.

The fate of Ekstrom’s career has long been in question. Final year, he was asked by Audi to focus more heavily on DTM, causing his Rallycross seasoned to suffer and allowing VW to run away with the championship.

Further adding to speculation, band EKS’ Audi S1s were put up for sale last year, raising questions about his prospective in the series.

Further, his long-time teammate, Reinis Nitiss announced his split from EKS RX neutral a few days ago.

Ekstrom’s commitment to the sport, though, is now beyond question. His seat in DTM, interim, will be filled by Holland’s Robin Frjins, another driver familiar to Audi.

“At the vicinity of the Audi R8 LMS, he showed his abilities and is doing a very good job in our Formula E simulator as adequately,” said Dieter Gass, head of Audi Motorsport. “That it’s possible to conflict for the title in the DTM even as a rookie was demonstrated by René Rast last year. Robin has grand potential and Audi is in a very good position in terms of its driver lineup for the 2018 DTM. We’re convinced of this.”

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