Audi S1 driver Mattias Ekström continued his winning streak in the FIA World Rallycross Championship by pipping the Citroën DS3 of reigning world champion Petter Solberg to victory at Lydden Hill, Kent, today.
Swede Ekström, coming to the British round off the back of victories in Germany and Belgium, had to give best to Solberg (winner here last year) and Ford Focus RS driver Andreas Bakkerud during qualifying.
Ekström’s Audi suffered a puncture in his final heat and he could only set the 18th fastest time. With cumulative race times deciding grid positions for the semi-finals, it meant he was the fourth-fastest qualifier and would line up on the outside of the grid for semi-final 2.
Ekström came good, however, opting to take his mandatory, slower joker lap right after the start, and sneaking into the lead after pole man Bakkerud took his joker on the final lap.
Solberg, who had got through to the semi-finals as fastest qualifier, cruised to victory in his semi-final and looked favourite to repeat his victory at Lydden in 2015. Having come to the Kent track with improvements to his Citroën's engine and suspension, the Norwegian won three of his four heats before finishing second in the other.