Ekstrom defends title in Race of Champions
DTM champion meets his role model Michael Schumache Motorsport stars select their champion in London Show programme with Audi A4 DTM and Audi R10 TDI Exactly two months ago Mattias Ekstrom clinched the title in the DTM to celebrate one of his biggest exploits. This weekend the Audi driver has the great opportunity to make 2007 a "dream year" for sure: At the new London Wembley Stadium the 29-year-old Swede will defend his triumph from last year in the "Race of Champions" as well as competing in the classification of nations as "Team Scandinavia" together with his Audi teammate Tom Kristensen.
It has become a tradition for the stars of all motorsport disciplines to meet on the specially created tarmac circuit to match their strengths at the end of a racing year. In addition to the Formula 1 drivers Jenson Button, David Coulthard and Sebastian Vettel as well as other great names from touring car and rally racing, Ekstrom is particularly keen on competing with one particular rival: Michael Schumacher.
"Like Walter Rohrl, Michael is a role model for me. He managed to build a team around himself and to continuously re-motivate it over the period of many years. Without a doubt, he is one of the greatest racers of all time. I can hardly wait to compete against him," says a delighted Mattias Ekstrom, adding: "Of course it's my goal to beat Michael Schumacher."
Last year Mattias Ekstrom managed the feat of beating World Rally champion Sebastien Loeb in Loeb's own car, thus capturing the crown of the motorsport champions. A year before, he had won the "Nations Cup" together with Tom Kristensen. The seven-time Le Mans winner will be partnering with the Swede this year as well when it comes to beating the competition from Europe and the USA.. "The 'Race of Champions' is a highlight of the racing year for me -- and huge fun at that. There's an opportunity for exchange with drivers from many other disciplines and for matching one's strenths using identical material," says the Dane.
Michele Mouton, the founder of the event, is responsible for the organisation. The Frenchwoman is a former Audi factory driver and to this day the only female to have ever won a round of the World Rally Championship. Before the high spot on Sunday night the spectators in London will have the chance to witness the performance of two winning cars: Mattias Ekstrom in his champion's car, the Red Bull Audi A4 DTM, will be doing a few demo laps while Tom Kristensen will pilot the Audi R10 TDI, the victor's car of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Eurosport will broadcast the race live on Sunday, starting at 6 p.m.