Posts Tagged ‘audi’
Audi driver Lucas di Grassi is the new champion of the worldwide Formula E electric racing series. After taking the lead of the standings with a lights-to-flag victory in the first of the two final races in Montreal (Canada), the Brazilian from Team ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport wrapped up the title on taking seventh place on Sunday.
Di Grassi had arrived in Canada for the final weekend with a ten-point deficit to Renault driver Sébastian Buemi. While the Swiss was ostensibly tense and, following an accident in free practice, had a horrible day on Saturday, di Grassi made no mistakes and converted his deficit with his pole position and lights-to-flag victory in an 18-point advantage.
On Sunday, di Grassi and his teammate Daniel Abt started from the third row while Buemi only took position 14 in qualifying. Following a turbulent starting phase, di Grassi and Abt dropped to positions nine and ten some of the time but, also thanks to clever energy management, were able to fight back to positions six and seven. As a result, Team ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport secured the vice-championship in the teams’ classification as well.
“Today is the best day in my career,” the new Formula E Champion enthused after the race. “I’ve believed in Formula E from day one because the world, including motorsport, is changing. Three years ago, we won the first Formula E race in Beijing and now finally the title as well. ABT Sportsline, Schaeffler and Audi Sport have done a perfect job – not least after the races in New York where we weren’t so strong. Here in Montreal, on the best race track Formula E has ever seen, we were fast from the beginning.”
Following third place in Formula E’s inaugural year and the vice-championship last year, Lucas di Grassi is the third champion in the world’s first all-electric racing series and, with a total of six victories and 20 podium results in 33 races, one of the most successful Formula E campaigners. In the 2016/2017 season, the Audi driver won two races, clinched three pole positions and seven podium places in twelve races. Only in Paris, di Grassi scored no points. In the end, this consistency was decisive in the title race, although his comebacks at the season opener in Hong Kong and on clinching victory in Mexico will remain equally unforgotten.
“For me, Lucas di Grassi is currently the most complete driver in Formula E,” says Head of Audi Motorsport Dieter Gass. “What he showed in Montreal on Saturday was simply fantastic. After New York, there probably weren’t a lot of people expecting him to be able to turn the tables in the title race anymore. But Lucas never gave up for even a second and continually motivated the whole squad to deliver top performances. The entire team around Hans-Jürgen Abt and Thomas Biermaier did an outstanding job and Daniel Abt, who was beaten a little below his potential this year, drove strong races in Montreal too. This has been a tremendous finale and a good week on the whole for Formula E. That, after BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche are going to follow us into this forward-thinking racing series underlines the growing importance of fully electric motorsport. I’m already looking forward to the opener of the new Formula E season in Hong Kong in December when our factory-backed commitment opens up a new chapter in Audi’s motorsport history. With ABT and Schaeffler as our partners we’re in a very good position in the increasingly tougher competition.”
Lucas di Grassi was born in São Paulo on August 11, 1984 and lives in Monaco together with his wife, Bianca. The Brazilian won the prestigious Formula 3 Grand Prix in Monaco in 2005 and was active in Formula 1 as a test and race driver before joining Audi in the World Endurance Championship (WEC) in 2012 and mounting the podium in the Le Mans 24 Hours three times. As a test driver from day one, he helped make Formula E reality. Now, he is its new champion.
The latest Audi Q2 now available at the Audi Showroom at Kiarong
The latest Audi Q2 now available at the Audi Showroom at Kiarong
Leading a new premium vehicle segment with an unmatched entry level pricing!
The new Audi Q2 is an urban-type vehicle for everyday driving and recreation, bundling a progressive design and great driving pleasure with a high level of functionality. Connectivity, infotainment and assistance systems are on par with the full-size category vehicles.
At the front, a strong image is created by the unique Singleframe grill in octagonal design that is positioned up high as well as by the large air inlets. Especially eye-catching is the low roof that descends and merges into the C-pillars with colour offset blades (optional)-this contrast accentuates the sportiness of the Audi Q2. The rear body terminates in a dynamic way with a long roof edge spoiler and a diffuser that has an underbody-protection look. In a side view, the high shoulder line is especially eye-catching as are the concave flanks in the door area. The vehicle measures 1.51 meters (5.0 ft) tall and 1.79 meters (5.9 ft) wide. The overhangs are short with a vehicle length of 4.19 meters (13.7 ft) and a wheelbase of 2.60 meters (8.5 ft).
The new Audi Q2 is as individualistic as its drivers. A variety of equipment packages as well as expressive colours for interior trim and seat upholstery allow plenty of creative space for personal configuration. One premium standard is the LED lighting package, in which the interior is staged in a particularly attractive way with illuminated trim elements available in 10 different colours.
The Q2 resembles a typical SUV, with high door sills, good visibility and a large luggage compartment (355 to 1,050 liters (12.5 – 37.1 cu ft) of capacity). The highlight is that the driver’s seat position is sporty and low in relation to the steering wheel, like in an Audi sedan.
The Brunei launch of the Q2 comes with a brand new TFSI powerplant which outputs 116hp and a healthy 200Nm of torque. 7-speed S tronic dual clutch transmission and progressive steering (standard) makes tough cornering a thing of the past. It varies the steering gear ratio as a function of the steering input; the ratio is made more direct with large steering movements.
The chassis with damper control is optionally available, as is the Audi drive select system (for high spec only) with which the driver can set an individual characteristic for their Q2. Installed at the rear on the Brunei front-wheel drive spec is a semi-independent suspension.
Infotainment and Audi connect
Standard in the Q2 is a 5.8-inch MMI screen that is positioned high up on the instrument panel. The infotainment system can be operated by a rotary/push-button control and two buttons on the center tunnel. In addition, the system can be conveniently controlled by natural language operation and the integrated MMI search.
High spec additional equipment
• 4-mode Audi Drive Select
• Comfort key including auto luggage door
• Parking system plus including rear-view camera
• B&O sound system
• Alcantara leather
• 5-spoke Y-design 18” wheels (17” wheels on standard spec model)
• S line sports package (including Sports suspension 10mm lowered)
The Audi Q2 is already available in the market and you can have closer view of the car at the Audi Showroom in Kiarong. You can have a look at their website for more details.
The rear view of the Audi Q2
The interior feel of the Audi Q2
My take for the Audi Q2: The first look already caught my eye when I was it on @audibrunei’s Instagram account. As I saw it with my own eyes, I was even more impressed with its design. It’s like a SUB but it’s not. All I can sense is that it looks pretty slick and rugged. I love the edgy feel and look and it stands out as its own character.
I took the Audi Q2 for a spin and it’s a pretty good ride and I was used to it even after a few minutes of driving. It has good acceleration and power, not forgetting the smooth ride on the highway as we headed to Roasted Sip for a cup of nice latte.
The one test drove was the standard model of the Audi Q2 which is still good enough for me. The interesting part is if you just fork out a few thousands, you will get so much more benefits in the high spec version of the Q2.
Now two things that I was amazed by what Audi Q2 offers – 1) it’s powered by 1 litre engine but when I drove it, it felt more than just a 1 litre engine. Impressive!!! Which means any owner will enjoy the economical value of driving the Audi Q2. The thing is the value in price. Just imagine for the high spec (refer above) of the Audi Q2, you can get for less than BND 50,000. Now isn’t that very affordable, considering it’s a Q version of the Audi series.
An hour of test drive has given me more reasons for potential buyers to give the Audi Q2 a shot. Do test drive it and you will get what I mean. The Audi Q2 could be just the best deal of the season with the price and the quality that Audi has to offer. A big two thumbs up for me.
Audi Brunei Facebook page is also running the #untaggable contest relating to the Audi Q2 and it will end Tuesday, 4th July 4pm tomorrow. Have fun!!
His Excellency Mr. Roland Grafe, German ambassador to Brunei Darussalam and Mr. Teng Chee Khiong , managing director of TCY Motors during the launch of Audi Sport line at Audi Showroom at Kiarong
John Tan, marketing manager of TCY Motors, being the emcee for the launch
TCY Motors this evening hosted exclusively invited customers and guests to the brand launch for Audi Sport Brunei and subsequent unveiling of two performance models- the S3 Sedan and S6 Sedan V8 at its showroom/headquarters in Kiarong recently.
Part of a global strategy by Audi, the new sub brand serves as a platform to showcase Audi’s performance models which inherit innovations & traits from their motorsport equivalents. Audi Sport’s foundation is also the brand’s successful dominance in motorsports such as Formula E, World RX, the European DTM and GT3 customer racing. Audi also left a huge legacy in the 23 Hours of Le Mans championship with 13 title wins.
For Brunei, the refreshed Audi S3 Sedan (290hp/380Nm) with B&O sound system and 19” ‘star’ design sports wheel will be the entry level model followed by the powerhouse Audi S6 Sedan V8 (450hp/550Nm) which features Cylinder on Demand technology where half of the 8 cylinders can be switched off during normal drive for fuel efficiency. BOSE sound system, Valcona leather, air suspension Sport and massive 21” 5-spoke ‘blade’ sports wheels are just some of the equipment that comes standard. All S models also come with quattro permanent all wheel drive as standard. Future performance models to be introduced under Audi Sports Brunei will be the Audi S7 Sportback and the Audi S5 Coupe.
Mr. Teng Chee Khiong the managing director of TCY Motors was on hand to present a memento to the German ambassador to Brunei HE Mr. Roland Grafe who attended as guest of honour. Other corporate guests from BIBD Perdana, Baiduri Bank berhad and BETTER also attended.
A prize presentation for winners of a weeklong Facebook quiz was also held.
For more interest and upcoming model introductions under Audi Sport Brunei, go to AudiSportBrunei/facebook.com
The Audi S3
The Audi S3
They were going live on social media
The Audi S3
My recent trip to Kota Kinabalu and the dinner theme was colourful cultural
The Brunei contingent was very united as usual
Another short hiatus from me as I was away from Brunei. If you have been following me on social media, I was away in Kota Kinabalu to support my friends who were competing in speech contest in English and in Mandarin. Even though I brought my notebook with me, it wasn’t easy for me to update my blog. The schedules were packed but I had still a great and fruitful time nonetheless.
Last weekend was one of the highlights of the year. Almost 30 from Brunei toastmasters (Area K6) left for Kota Kinabalu to support our representatives from Brunei – Allen Ang, Pooja Shivanand, Sandy Tan and Theressa Chong and featuring our humour master Jidun Dollah. Though we only brought one trophy back, it was still a surreal feeling to witness the closeness and the family nature of the Brunei contingent whenever we travel as a pack. Nothing can top how we are in the district. Now I’m back in Brunei and nursing a runny nose (I wonder who gave it to me mmmm) and a tummy bug where I frequented the toilet. It’s time for me to get into second gear and soon it will be the fasting month.
I have been missing a few events also during the weekend in Brunei and it could just be the final weekend before Ramadhan kicks in. I was contemplating back then if I want to continue and do food reviews and collaborate with Filterworks once again for Sungkai promotion but I finally come to a decision that I will take a break for this time round. Nonetheless, I will still help to promote eateries her and there but not in depth. I still have my existing clients so there will be some coverage on their sungkai buffets. You can follow @bruneifoodies @kurapak @thanislim @marul69 who will be quite active during Ramadhan promotion.
Before my trip to KK, I had the privilege to attend a few car launches and test drives. Awesome, awesome!! This is definitely the best time to try out new cars in time for the Hari Raya season – the Audi Q2, the Mini Country Man and the Mazda CX-5 to name a few and Jati Transport also had their Hari Raya Special Event where they will be giving BND 1,000 gift certificate to new buyers for the ex-stock vehicles and the offer is valid until 30th June. There are also pre-owned Mercedes-Benz models such as the S 350L, E 300, E 200 and CLA 200 on offer.
I’ve been out of the movie scene because normally I catch a movie at least once a week. A few movies to be caught this week – Pirates of the Caribbean (not expecting much) and maybe, just maybe the Tagalog movie but definitely giving The Circle a miss and also Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Looks like Baywatch will be showing soon in Brunei and it will be showing next week along with Wonder Woman. Something to look forward to.
Of course, another to look forward to is Ramadhan. The fasting season is just around the corner and it could fall this Saturday or Sunday depending on the moon sighting. Nonetheless, it’s one of the better months in 2017.
I will posting some late news by tomorrow and hopefully I’ll be in better shape (thanks runny) by this week or before Ramadhan.
Test driving the Mini Countryman. Reviews soon.
I also had a test drive of the Audi Q2. Reviews soon.
During the roadshow of the Mazda CX-5 at The Mall last week. I can’t wait to test drive the MX-5 soon.
Audi R8 LMS #6 (Team Audi R8 LMS Cup), Alex Au/Alex Yoong
The Audi R8 LMS Cup will start its sixth season in Sepang (Malaysia) on the weekend from May 5–7. It has established itself as one of the leading motorsport platforms for young talents in Asia. The Cup is even more attractive this year: thanks to an agreement with the Blancpain GT Series Asia, Audi’s customer teams are able to compete in two different series under profitable conditions.
This year, the teams in the Audi R8 LMS Cup will compete in ten races at five events in Malaysia, Japan, Korea and China. There will also be a premiere: for the first time, the Audi R8 LMS Cup will cooperate with another racing series, the Blancpain GT Series Asia. The series have aligned their calendars so that the teams can compete in all races. There are no additional costs for the teams to transport the cars between both racing series. The winner of the amateur classification in the 2017 Audi R8 LMS Cup will also be able to line up in the 2018 Spa 24 Hours without an entry fee.
There is a diverse grid for the one-make cup: from professionals like former Formula 1 drivers Will Stevens from Great Britain and Alex Yoong from Malaysia, to ambitious junior talents and local gentleman drivers. The amateurs in particular are the backbone of the Audi customer racing program and therefore will enjoy special support this year. The organizers will reimburse the winner of the amateur rankings with the total of their tire budget at the end of the season. In addition, the amateurs will receive privileges in every race. For example, the “Push-to-Pass” technology will return for the 2017 season, which will release additional power from the V10 engine for a limited time, thus facilitating overtaking. The amateurs are allowed to use this function twice as often as the pros. Interested parties can compete with their own teams in the Audi R8 LMS Cup or make use of the turnkey application concepts from the four service providers, Absolute Racing, Phoenix Racing Asia, KC Motorgroup (KCMG) and Team WRT.
Audi R8 LMS, Blancpain GT Series Asia 2017
While the first race of the Audi R8 LMS Cup is imminent, the Blancpain GT Series Asia season has already started for Audi in April – and very well too: the Australian-Indian driver duo Mitchell Gilbert/Aditya Patel from the OD Racing Team celebrated a historic first victory with an Audi R8 LMS at Sepang in the new racing series. After second place in the second race, the two drivers now lead the table in front of Marchy Lee/Shaun Thong, who are competing for Audi Hong Kong in the R8 LMS. The squads from Milestone Racing, Team Audi R8 LMS Cup, Team WRT and KCMG are also lining up with four additional Audi R8 LMS cars.
But not only these two championships offer the Audi customer teams exciting applications in Asia. The Super GT series is the most prestigious program of events in Japan. With the Audi Team Hitotsuyama and the Taisan Sard team, two teams with an Audi R8 LMS each will face tough competition with 28 other competitors in the GT300 class.
A still young field of action for the Audi GT3 sports car is the China GT Championship, which is about to hold its second year. For this, Phoenix Racing Asia prepares two Audi R8 LMS, whilst customer teams 300+, JRM, Kings Racing, Linky Racing and Shan Xi Tian Shi Racing will line up with additional Audi GT3 sports cars. Additional clubsport platforms in Japan, China and Taiwan open up further opportunities for Audi customers. In Thailand, the team B-Quik Racing is presenting the Audi R8 LMS for the first time in the Thailand Super Series. The FIA GT World Cup will take place from November 16–19 in Macau. Here, Audi is the defending champion.
In addition to the Audi R8 LMS, the new Audi RS 3 LMS is now available for customers in Asian racing. In the TCR Asia Series, Jasper Thong from Hong Kong has already recorded the first victory for Audi Hong Kong in this model at the Zhuhai race in April.
The moon rover Audi lunar quattro celebrates its film debut in Ridley Scott’s sci-fi blockbuster “Alien: Covenant” which premieres worldwide this May. Audi experts have developed the Audi lunar quattro in cooperation with the German start-up “Part-Time Scientists”. It will soon embark on an actual mission to space.
Director Ridley Scott has integrated the Audi lunar quattro into “Alien: Covenant,“ a new chapter in his groundbreaking “Alien” franchise. The crew of the colony ship Covenant, bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, discovers what they think is an uncharted paradise, but is actually a dark, dangerous world. When they uncover a threat beyond their imaginations, they must attempt a harrowing escape. In its film debut, the Audi lunar quattro is an integral part of the Covenant mission and is deployed to help Faris (Amy Seimetz) navigate and assess the challenging, unknown terrain of a new planet.
Incorporating the Audi lunar quattro into the film is part of the collaboration between Twentieth Century Fox and Audi. “The ‘Alien’ franchise is the best way for us to garner suitable attention for the moon rover developed by Audi, and to showcase Audi’s intelligent technologies in a visionary environment,” explains Giovanni Perosino, Vice President International Marketing Communication at Audi.
“Fox’s partnership with Audi on ‘Alien: Covenant’ is an opportunity to bring to the forefront the innovative work Audi is doing in exploration,” said Zachary Eller, Senior Vice President Marketing Partnerships at Twentieth Century Fox. “We’re happy to continue our long relationship with Audi that has allowed our filmmakers to incorporate authentic, leading-edge technology into their futuristic worlds.”
As part of the collaboration, a short film created by Twentieth Century Fox, 3AM and Audi was captured on one of the movie’s biggest sets. It shows the Audi lunar quattro patrolling the Terraforming Bay when it detects an unidentified lifeform and goes to investigate what lurks in the dark. Watch “Alien: Covenant x Audi lunar quattro” below
Alien: Covenant x Audi lunar quattro
The Audi lunar quattro is preparing for an actual mission to the Moon. Since 2015, the premium manufacturer from Ingolstadt has worked with a team led by Robert Böhme, founder and CEO of “Part-Time Scientists”, on developing the rover. Audi experts have supported the Berlin-based start-up, in particular with Audi’s all-wheel drive expertise (quattro technology), expertise in lightweight construction, experience in developing vehicles with electric and plug-in hybrid motors (e-tron), and with design optimization.
By selecting the finest materials, the developers have managed to reduce the weight of the exploration vehicle to just 30 kilograms. The Audi lunar quattro is 85 percent aluminum, produced by the 3D metal printer at Audi’s headquarters in Ingolstadt. A pivoting solar panel supplies the rover with energy. On top of that, you have intelligent quattro drive technology and the efficient e-tron motor. The car manufacturer’s Mission to the Moon is nearing completion: In the very near future, we can expect to see the advanced Audi lunar quattro set its course for the Moon.
For more on the story of the Audi lunar quattro’s origins and the cooperation with Twentieth Century Fox, visit on www.audi.com/mission.
German automaker Audi plans to produce eight performance models for the U.S. market in the next two years under a new brand introduced recently at the New York International Auto Show.
The aim is to bring all elements of racing—including its professional motorsports and products geared for retail customers—under one new brand called Audi Sport.
The Audi R and RS models will fall under the Audi Sport brand along with performance parts, customer racing, professional motorsports, and a collection of associated gear such as clothing and accessories. The 2017 R8 V10 Spyder, the RS 5 Coupe, and the 2018 TT RS will all be under the Audi Sport brand. Other models in the Audi Sport portfolio include the R8 and RS 7 as well as the 2017 and the 2018 RS 3, which will launch this summer for the first time in the U.S.
The automaker unveiled the GT4 version of its R8 LMS race car—the newest addition to the Audi Sport customer racing program—ahead of the New York International Auto Show. The R8 LMS GT3 race car was first introduced in 2009, followed by the second generation of this model in 2015, and the RS 3 LMS for the TCR category in 2016.
Audi unveiled the GT4 version of its R8 LMS race car, the newest addition to the Audi Sport customer racing program
“Audi is a brand built on progress, and for us, racing has been the lab where so much of that progress has been made,” Audi of America President Scott Keogh said in a statement. “With the launch of Audi Sport in the U.S., we are excited to offer our customers even more products that benefit from the same developments and technologies first used in motorsport.”
Automakers that participate in professional racing often take innovations developed for the race track and put them—in some form—into production cars. Audi is no different. The company, which has a motorsports history that can be traced back to the 1930s, developed the R8 production vehicle in parallel with the GT3 race car called the R8 LMS.
Today, the R8 LMS shares about half of the same parts with its production vehicle cousin, the R8.
Customers of the Audi Sport brand will have access to exclusive materials for the interior as well as custom paint jobs to let customers personalize their vehicles. These Audi exclusive offerings are available on the A6, A7, A8, R8 and RS 5 model lines.
More than half of Audi dealers have made the investment to become specialized Audi Sport dealers, according to the automaker. Article by Kirsten Korosec, Fortune.com.
Stephan Winkelmann, former boss of Lamborghini, is now the new CEO of Audi Sport GmbH (Audi Sport GmbH: based in Neckarsulm, built on four business areas). Its core business is the manufacturing of the Audi R8 and RS models.
quattro GmbH, established in Neckarsulm in 1983, has been operating as Audi Sport GmbH since the end of 2016. With Stephan Winkelmann at the helm, this fully owned subsidiary of AUDI AG currently has around 1,200 employees.
Since 1983 quattro GmbH, with its headquarters in Neckarsulm, has been building high-performance sports cars and delivering high-tech automotive concepts. And now the Audi subsidiary has changed its name to Audi Sport GmbH. It is built on four business areas. In addition to developing and manufacturing the Audi R8 and Audi RS models, it is responsible for customer motorsport – Audi Sport customer racing. Other areas of business include car customization options via the Audi exclusive program, plus lifestyle articles marketed as the Audi Sport collection.
The name Audi Sport is inspired by a long and successful tradition of motorsport. As far back as the 1930s, the legendary “Silver Arrow” models of Auto Union were the ultimate benchmark on racing circuits worldwide. In the 1980s, the Audi quattro with permanent all-wheel drive proved outstandingly successful in rally competition. Today the brand with the four rings is involved in the World RX, DTM, Formula E, GT racing and in the TCR category. Young racing talent is being fostered in the Audi Sport TT Cup. The production models benefit from developments and technologies first used in motorsport. The Audi R8 and the Audi RS models represent the sporty vanguard of the brand, combining superlative performance with exclusiveness and prestige.
The abbreviation RS stands for the most powerful engine version within a particular Audi model series, for impressive dynamic performance, for understated sophistication coupled with comprehensive everyday usability, and for quattro permanent all-wheel drive. The brand’s RS tradition started in 1994 with the appearance of the Audi RS 2 Avant.
It was a trendsetter – a genuine high-performance sports car with five seats and a large luggage compartment. Since then, quattro GmbH has steadily expanded the portfolio of RS models, which now range from the compact Audi RS 3 Sportback to superior cars such as the Audi RS 6 Avant or Audi RS 7 Sportback. The subsidiary’s focus is to create the most prestigious models in the portfolio of AUDI AG.
The Audi R8 is the pinnacle of the product range. The first generation appeared on the market in 2007 with an innovative vehicle concept: mid-engine, systematic lightweight construction featuring Audi Space Frame technology, and quattro drive. The high-performance sports car provides a typical driving experience, but is also perfectly suited to the racetrack thanks to its optimum power-to-weight ratio.
The Audi subsidiary doubled its sales over the past five years. Over the next 18 months, Audi Sport GmbH will be launching eight new models, which will further consolidate the company’s position in the market. The number of specialized Audi Sport dealers will increase from 370 at present to around 600 by the end of 2017.
Stephan Winkelmann has been Managing Director of the company since March 15, 2016. Audi Sport GmbH has around 1,200 employees at locations in Neckarsulm and Ingolstadt.
Mattias Ekström of Audi and EKS won the season opener at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya of the 2017 FIA World Rallycross Championship
The 2017 FIA World Rallycross Championship could not have been off to a better start from Audi and EKS’s point of view. The season opener at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya saw Mattias Ekström triumph. In the final, the reigning world champion relegated Timo Scheider (D) and Andreas Bakkerud (N) to positions two and three. This victory immediately puts Ekström back at top of the drivers’ standings. In the teams’ classification, team world champions EKS are in the top spot tied on points with Team PSRX Volkswagen Sweden.
The start to the season’s first race weekend had ups and downs in store for Ekström and his teammates, Toomas Heikkinen (FIN) and Reinis Nitišs (LV). “Saturday was incredibly difficult,” says Ekström. “The weather situation kept changing – sun, rain, sun, rain … In rallycross with its many single races, that’s extremely complicated – at one time you have an advantage and others a disadvantage.” Ekström caught a rain shower in his second race and at the end of day one was only in position eleven of the overall classification. Heikkinen had better luck. The Finn did the best job of coping with the changeable conditions and was leading after day one.
On Sunday, the prerequisites changed. In bright sunshine and on a dry track, Ekström was able to fully use the strengths of his 560-HP Audi S1 EKS RX quattro and at the end of the four qualifying sessions was trailing Timo Scheider in second place. For the semi-finals of the twelve best drivers, Heikkinen (P7) and Nitišs (P10) qualified as well. However, both EKS campaigners were eliminated in the penultimate session. Ekström on the other hand dominated the action, took the top spot after having started from pole position and in the final prevailed with a lights-to-flag victory as well. “All in all, it was a terrific weekend,” says Ekström. “I won at Barcelona in 2016, and now I did it again. My whole team did a fantastic job and we scored important points for both classifications.”
EKS will be traveling from Barcelona some 1,000 kilometers to Montalegre in Portugal to prepare for round 2 of the World Rallycross Championship on April 21–23. Ekström still has a score to settle with the shortest track on the calendar. Last year, following a collision in the semi-final, the 38-year-old had to bury his hopes for victory early.
2017 FIA World RX – round 1, Barcelona – results of final
1 Mattias Ekström (S) 4m 32.260s
2 Timo Scheider (D) +0.362s
3 Andreas Bakkerud (N) +1.868s
4 Petter Solberg (N) +2.625s
5 Timmy Hansen (S) +3.251s
6 Johan Kristoffersson (S) +3.976s
Drivers’ standings, 2017 FIA World RX (after 1 of 12 rounds)
1 Mattias Ekström (S) 29 points
2 Timo Scheider (D) 26 points
3 Andreas Bakkerud (N) 22 points
4 Johan Kristoffersson (S) 21 points
5 Petter Solberg (N) 19 points
6 Timmy Hansen (S) 17 points
Reinis Nitišs (Audi S1 EKS RX quattro #15) in the FIA World Rallycross Championship
The fourth season of the FIA World Rallycross Championship is coming up. Twelve events on three continents are on the calendar this year, kicked off by the round at Barcelona on April 1 and 2, which marks a premiere in several respects. It will be the first race in which EKS receives factory support from Audi. The reigning world champion will be fielding three Audi S1 EKS RX quattro cars for the first time. Plus, Barcelona will be the venue of the season opener for the first time.
Mattias Ekström is looking forward to the race at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya with confidence. “Last week, we did another three-day test in France and are entering the season superbly prepared,” says the Swede, who is both a driver and the team boss at EKS. “I’m very happy with the development work that was done in winter and our aim for this season is clear: we’d like to win the drivers’ and teams’ titles in the FIA World Rallycross Championship again this year.”
The rallycross track at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is located in the stadium section of the circuit and includes two super-fast corners included in Formula 1 races as well – albeit in the opposite direction. It is one of the few tracks with very fast initial corners on tarmac, plus many flat-out sections. “Thinking about last year puts a grin on my face,” says Ekström. At Barcelona, the Swede celebrated his fourth victory of the season in 2016 and laid the foundation for his subsequent world championship win. The basis for the success has been the 560 hp Audi S1 EKS RX quattro, which was technically modified once again for this season.
The FIA World Rallycross Championship will be broadcast live in 180 countries. Each Sunday of the total of twelve events the channels are going to air a two-hour show with interviews, background reports and the highlights of all four qualifying sessions, plus live footage of the semi-finals and final. Coverage of the season opener at Barcelona will start on Sunday, April 2, at 14:00 CEST. A list of all TV channels is available at www.fiaworldrallycross.com/tv_listings. In selected markets a live stream of World RX will be available online at www.fiaworldrallycross.com/live. Images courtesy of AUDI AG.
Mattias Ekström (Audi S1 EKS RX quattro #1) in the FIA World Rallycross Championship
Toomas Heikkinen (Audi S1 EKS RX quattro #57) in the FIA World Rallycross Championship