|EKS: Massive step forward in Riga|
Mattias Ekström is still on top of the world at least in the FIA World Rallycross Championship.
At round ten in Riga, the leader of the drivers standings finished second behind Sébastien Loeb. With his sixth podium finish of the 2016 season, Ekström extended his lead in the drivers championship to 27 points. EKS fought hard to defend its top spot in the teams standings as well. With two rounds to go, the team is now leading by 8 points over Team Peugeot Hansen.
"It was another incredible weekend. Saturday was for sure the most exciting day in my entire Rallycross career", says Ekström. "Not only because of the battle with Petter Solberg, but also thanks to the awesome racing at this great track here in Riga. On Sunday, the conditions changed completely with the heavy rain in the morning, but I was happy with my pace. The semi-final went really well and I secured pole position for the final. When you are starting from the top spot, you want to win the big trophy, but my start was not perfect and Sébastien Loeb had the better pace. Fair enough! P2 feels a bit like a victory. In the drivers standings, I increased the gap and we are also battling for every point in the teams championship. To sum it up in one sentence: Riga was a massive step forward."
Toomas Topi Heikkinen secured a spot in the semi-final for the eighth time this season, but failed to advance to the final by finishing fourth. "It was close, but not enough", says Heikkinen. "My start from row three was nearly perfect, but I wasnt able to stay in third position after turn one, but I leave Latvia with positives as well. Two race wins, good pace and also nice memories. It was one of the best-organized events ever and I liked the track from the very beginning. Really cool! In the end its a bit frustrating that I missed my fourth final of the season."
What you should also know from Riga
The second edition of the EKS/Audi Sport experience took place at Latvia RX. Three weeks before World RX entered Riga for the first time, fans were called to apply for the Facebook competition on Facebook Audi Latvija to become mechanics of EKS. The interest from the media was massive. Nearly 400,000 people were reached 20 per cent of the Latvian population. The winners, brothers Peteris and Kalvis Peips, were overwhelmed with emotion and worked flat out from the beginning to dismantle the paddock on Sunday evening.
2016 World RX Rd 10, Riga Result of Final
01 Sébastien Loeb (F) 5m 27.665s
02 Mattias Ekström (S) +02.305s
03 Timmy Hansen (S) +05.429s
04 Andreas Bakkerud (N) +11.104s
05 Johan Kristoffersson (S) +14.751s
06 Timur Timerzyanov (RUS) +6 laps
2016 World RX Drivers standings (after 10 of 12 rounds)
01 Mattias Ekström (S) 228 Pts.
02 Johan Kristoffersson (S) 201 Pts.
03 Petter Solberg (N) 194 Pts.
04 Andreas Bakkerud (N) 192 Pts.
05 Sébastien Loeb (F) 180 Pts.
06 Timmy Hansen (S) 165 Pts.
07 Toomas Heikkinen (FIN) 125 Pts.
08 Timur Timerzyanov (RUS) 101 Pts.
2016 World RX Teams standings (after 10 of 12 rounds)
01 EKS 353 Pts.
02 Team Peugeot Hansen 345 Pts.
03 Volkswagen RX Sweden 265 Pts.
04 Hoonigan Racing Division 247 Pts.
05 World RX Team Austria 187 Pts.
06 Olsbergs MSE 97 Pts
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