Frijns replaces Ekstrom in Audi's DTM line-up

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Frijns replaces Ekstrom in Audi's DTM line-up
By: Matt Beer
Jan 29, 2018, 12:26 PM

Former Formula E racer and reigning Blancpain GT Sprint champion Robin Frijns will replace double champion Mattias Ekstrom in Audi's DTM line-up for 2018.

#15 Audi Sport Team Phoenix, Audi R8 LMS: Robin Frijns
Robin Frijns, Audi Sport Team WRT, Audi R8 LMS
Podium: second place Robin Frijns, Audi Sport Team WRT, Audi R8 LMS
Mattias Ekström, Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline, Audi A5 DTM
Champions Podium: second place Mattias Ekström, Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline
Mattias Ekström, Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline, Audi A5 DTM
Mattias Ekström, Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline, Audi A5 DTM

Ekstrom, the 2004 and '07 DTM champion, announced on Monday that he would leave the series after 17 years to focus entirely on his World Rallycross Championship programme with his EKS team.

Frijns tested an Audi DTM car in one of its winter young driver evaluation sessions back in 2013 and will now join the team for his debut in the series.

Audi Sport chief Dieter Gass said he was delighted to have been able to line up Frijns to immediately fill Ekstrom's vacancy.

"I'm very happy that we have been able to quickly find a replacement and at that level," said Gass.

"Robin is a driver who has won basically every single-seater competition he has been in, three years in a row with Formula BMW, Formula Renault 2.0 and Formula Renault 3.5 World Series.

"Expectations are very high. He has come into our customer racing programme with 2015 and he immediately won championships there as well."

Rene Rast won the DTM title with Audi in his first year in the series last year, and Gass is optimistic Frijns can perform from the outset as well.

"Last year we saw what the result was when we put Rene in the programme as a rookie and I'm curious to see what happens with Robin," Gass added.

He also underlined that Audi remained committed to the DTM for the long term despite the series facing question marks as Mercedes prepares to exit for FE after this year.

"With the arrival of Gerhard Berger as head of the [DTM organiser] ITR, we have seen a lot of things moving in the right direction," said Gass.

"I think that we are going to have a very long future in DTM."

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About this article

Series DTM
Drivers Mattias Ekström , Robin Frijns
Author Matt Beer
Article type Breaking news