Two-time DTM champion Mattias Ekstrom will be joined by Toomas ‘Topi’ Heikkinen in the Swede’s EKS World Rallycross team for the 2016 season, the duo driving a pair of Audi S1s.
Both Ekstrom and Finn Heikkinen won rounds of the World Rallycross Championship last season, the former triumphing at Holjes in Sweden for the second year in a row in his Audi, while Heikkinen claimed victory at Mettet in Belgium for the Marklund Motorsport team.
“I’m delighted to be on the World RX grid again,” said Ekstrom, who will again race in both the DTM and World RX this year. “It was a very long winter break with a lot of preparation. Finally, we are back and I would like to give a huge thanks to all of our partners who made that happen.
"Topi is not only a super fast guy on the track, but also a very good character with a waggish sense of humour. This is unusual for a Finn. For sure one of his first tasks is to learn proper Swedish.”
Heikkinen finished second in the World RX championship in 2014 in the first of two years with the Marklund Motorsport team.
That year, he was was partnered by Anton Marklund, who then drove for EKS last season. For 2016, the pair have effectively swapped places, Marklund returning to the team owned by his father while Heikkinen will drive and Audi S1 alongside Ekstrom.
“I think EKS is a great bunch of guys and one of the most professional teams in the entire World RX," Heikkinen said.
"I’m gloating over the chance to be fighting for trophies at the wheel of the Audi S1 EKS RX quattro. Mattias has been a quite good friend of mine since 2013, when we competed in X Games. Our idea about motorsport is the same: We want to win races."
Heikkinen began his rallycross career with Eklund Motorsport and won the Finnish Rallycross Championship in 2010.
He raced an Eklund-run Saab 93 in the European Rallycross Championship in 2011 and finished on the podium in Sweden before switching to the American-based Global Rallycross Championship, which he won in 2013.
He has twice won events in the World Rallycross Championship, both times at the wheel of a Marklund-run Volkswagen Polo.