Tuesday, September 30, 2014

World RX: Fight-back for EKS Audi in Italy

EKSRX Press Release

The return of international Rallycross to Italy was a huge success for the FIA World Rallycross Championship with the organisers of the Italian World RX round declaring the weekend in Franciacorta a sell-out event. EKS experienced a tough weekend missing the semi finals by a single point.

The young Swedish team had a lot of support from Italian Audi fans and friends on the packed grandstands in Franciacorta including Audi’s Le Mans driver Marco Bonanomi who even checked out the cockpit of the Audi S1 EKS RX. But after setting promising times in Open Practice, both EKS drivers hit bad luck in the first of the four qualifying heats. Wildcard driver Edward Sandström reported a power-loss on his S1 that also affected his second heat. Pontus Tidemand retired from his first race with a broken right rear suspension dropping him to the very end of the 38-car strong Supercar field.

By finishing 5th and two times 7th in the remaining three heats, Pontus was able to fight back and move up to 13th position overall missing the semi finals by just one point or 0.016s he finished behind former Formula One World Champion Jacques Villeneuve in his final heat. “It’s been a quite hard weekend,” said the 23-year old Swede. “We struggled in the first heat and retired, and that’s not good with the points system we have in World Rallycross. However, I’m quite happy with the top seven times we got in all the other heats, practice and warm-up. We missed the semis by one position and that’s not what I was looking for. But it has been a great event in Italy with a great atmosphere. The team has done a fantastic job.”

Edward was 26th after day 1 and able to move up to 20th position on Sunday finishing 12th in both heats. “I got stuck behind Derek Tohill in Heat 3 and my start wasn’t good enough in Heat 4,” he explained. “I followed Robin Larsson for the rest of the heat but wasn’t quick enough to be there, really. It was a very, very difficult weekend, but I’ve learnt a lot. I feel more confident in many areas.”

EKS will be back in action at round 11 of the FIA World Rallycross Championship on 11/12 October in Istanbul. By the way: congratulations to Petter Solberg for being a worthy World Champion and to IMG for another cool RX event in Italy. We are already looking very much forward to #TurkeyRX.

Photo credit: EKSRX