Audi Sport will provide Mattias Ekström’s title-winning EKS World Rallycross team with factory backing for the 2017 season, the firm's motorsport division has confirmed.
Reigning driver's champion Ekström headed up EKS for the team's first three years of World Rallycross competition, with access to Audi Sport via its suppliers and partners. Audi Sport’s new deal will give EKS direct access to the racing arm and means it is no longer a privateer entry.
Audi Sport will also increase its support of the development of the Audi S1 EKS RX quattro racing model that secured Ekström four race wins last year. The car is based on the S1 but has been substantially upgraded and uses a 550bhp turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine.
Head of Audi Motorsport Dieter Gass said his brand wanted to ensure EKS can retake the title this year. “We realise that it’s going to be increasingly difficult for EKS to hold its own against the factory teams, so we chose to intensify our World RX commitment,” he said.