Auer about Ekström:”Eki was one of my first supporters!”
Lucas Auer talks about his friendship with Mattias Ekström and why he will miss the Swedes in the DTM:”He is a living legend”.
On the track they are opponents, apart from good friends: Friendships between racers are rare, but not unusual. Friendships can quickly develop among team colleagues who fight for success all year round. In the DTM, however, they are mostly limited to manufacturer-internal relationships. The fact that drivers of different brands are friends with each other is unusual in the politically shaped German touring car series – and yet, as Mercedes driver Lucas Auer reveals in a conversation with’ Motorsport-Total. com’,”Mattias (Ekström; Note:” I’m not sure whether they are friends with each other. d. Red.) is a good friend”, the Tyrolean talks about the DTM-primal rock that announced his resignation at the end of January.”He was one of the first to support me.”
“He was one of the first to speak well about me and believe in me in interviews,”says Auer about his friendly relationship with Ekström. The connection between the two racers may seem unusual at first glance, as they competed in the DTM for two competing manufacturers and were never team-mates. They are also far apart from each other in terms of age: The two-time DTM champion is an old hand in motorsport at the age of 39 and Gerhard Berger’s nephew is still relatively early in his career at the age of 23.
But why this special connection has developed between Auer and Ekström of all people cannot be explained by the Austrian:”I think I like him because of his character”. Ekström also joined the DTM at the tender age of early 20s and had to fight against “real guys” such as Bernd Schneider, Klaus Ludwig, Uwe Alzen and Co. enforce.
Both drivers have a similar background: Ekström and Auer both won their first race in their second DTM season. In the fourth year the “old Swede” won his first DTM title. Auer will contest his fourth season in the German Touring Car Masters in 2018. Can he do the same as his buddy and win his first DTM championship this year?
Another thing they have in common is their love for the country of Austria. Auer lives in his homeland Kufstein and Ekström in Ellmau am Wilden Kaiser, only 18 kilometres away. On the weekends off, the former competitors could meet in their home country, but for the time being they will not meet each other at the race track. Auer regrets the fact that Ekström is nailing his DTM helmet to the nail:”That’s sad, but it was very cool for me that I could still drive against him. As a racing driver, he’s a living legend to me. I only wish him the best,”said the Tyrolean to the electoral Tyrolean.
The insight that Auer gives about the relationship with his former DTM opponent Ekström shows that friendships in motorsport are possible beyond the boundaries of the manufacturers. The fact that the Swede takes care of the youth and helps them with words and deeds shows of the true greatness of Mattias Ekström and makes him an even bigger DTM hero.
© Motorsport-Total. com