Andreas Bakkerud has been named as Mattias Ekstrom’s team mate at EKS Audi Sport for the 2018 FIA World Rallycross season.
At the end of 2017 Ken Block’s Hoonigan Racing Division team withdrew from the championship leaving the 26 year old Norwegian driver Bakkerud without a seat for the upcoming season. He will be joining the newly named EKS Audi Sport team who will be running two new Audi S1 EKS RX quattro cars, “I am incredibly proud and pleased to be part of EKS.”
Ekstrom himself announced on Monday that he would be retiring from DTM and putting his full efforts into World RX for the 2018 season, looking to repeat his 2016 season where he won both the drivers and team titles.
Bakkerud, who has won six World RX events, made the announcement on his YouTube channel ‘Bakkerud Life’. Where he revealed he had been in talks with Ekstrom since 2013 with Ekstrom trying to sign him for the 2014 season. Now the time is right for both parties.
“It is a pro contract and in motorsport that doesn’t come often. So I am a very lucky person. I am basically living now the dream that I had when I was a little kid.”
“I am happy continuing staying in FIA World Rallycross championship, continuing fighting, this time with Mattias Ekstrom which I am super keen to compete against, to work with and to learn from.”
Head of Audi Motorsport Dieter Gass, said this on Audi’s continuation in the series, “We gathered very positive experiences in the World RX last year and are convinced of the series’ growth potential. In the medium run, we hope to see electric cars being fielded in this racing series because electrification is a focus topic as Audi also in motorsport.”
This news comes a day after 2017 World Rallycross champion, Johan Kristofferson announces that he will be competing at Rally Sweden in a Skoda Fabia R5.
The World RX championship starts in Barcelona on April 14-16.