Ekström with frustration and hope:”Have luxury problems”.
Mattias Ekström with lots of DTM frustration and a great passion for WRX: Audi swordsman dreams of “800 hp weapons” and grinning, exhausted drivers at the wheel
“Go hard or go home” – this personal motto adorns the helmet of Audi DTM warden Mattias Ekström. According to this intention, the Swede usually acts mostly, which could possibly lead to a withdrawal from the DTM already in the season 2018. Ekström has been thinking about saying goodbye to the scene for months. The decision was originally to be taken before Christmas, but in the background negotiations are still underway between the 39-year-old and his employer Audi.
I’m sure everyone understands that:”At some point in your life, every chapter of the season is over,”said Ekström at the DTM season finale in Hockenheim and then said goodbye to the winter break – the thoughts of resignation always in your head.”Whether this will come soon depends on the situation. Everyone knows that I have a great passion for rallycross. On the other hand, I have been fighting for a third DTM title for ten years now. That makes it clear that that means a lot to me, too.”
“I really do have luxury problems in my life. Others are sitting in Saint Tropez and have nothing to do except bathing,”says Ekström jokingly,”You have to appreciate your luxury problems. And I know that very well” The DTM has given the Swede a lot in his long career. Twice he crowned himself champion, not only for Audi the Swedish sly man is a frontman, but also a figurehead for the entire series. A man with corners, edges and clear words.
DTM cars too slow, drivers are hardly heard
“We have actually been driving the same DTM cars for ten years. Yoo-hoo… it’s really not tingly anymore. Honestly. I’m not saying that the DTM is too easy. Winning is always difficult. But it has to be more fun,”Ekström criticises the DTM:”You have to get out of the car and grin, ask whether you are allowed to drive another five laps,” The 500-hp cars with numerous standard cars and lots of fragile aerodynamic gimmicks are too boring for the Swede.
“If my company car – an Audi RS6 – has a better sense of acceleration than my DTM car, then I have to ask myself whether it really is possible to keep up with the times in racing,”says Ekström. Only in 2019 will the new cars be produced on the basis of the Class-One regulations, then at least with 600 hp “I would like to see a real DTM car. I still have the hope that something like this will happen. Either you throw all the aerodynamics away, or you hit 300 horsepower on it. Or both!”
Not only Ekström, but also many DTM colleagues such as Timo Glock, for example, have been making the same criticism for years now “When it comes to the opinion of the drivers, some of them are resistant to consultation. But what do they say in Germany? Whoever pays, gets there. And I get paid. On the other hand, you have to listen to the drivers when it comes to driving pleasure. If all the drivers grin and say,”This is the burner!”, then everything’s okay. No one would say that, or he’d have to lie.”
“I’m still hoping that there’s a hot DTM car before I stop. So far, I’m not so upset,”says Ekström. This statement makes it clear that the departure from the German touring car series is by no means a done deal. But there must be the right perspectives for the Swede:”In a rallycross car, you do a few laps and are wet sweating because it is a weapon. That’s how it must be in the DTM!”
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