Ekstrom to return to WRC in Arctic Rally Finland

Former World Rallycross Champion and double DTM title-winner Mattias Ekstrom will return to the World Rally Championship for the Arctic Rally Finland later this month, driving a Skoda Fabia R5.

Ekstrom to return to WRC in Arctic Rally Finland
Listen to this article

The 2016 World RX champion is contesting selected events in preparation for his 2021 programme with the ABT Cupra team in the new Extreme E series, and drove in the Dakar Rally last month.

He will compete in the second round of the 2021 WRC with a car run by Ekstrom's co-owned EKS JC squad, and will be co-driven by former FIA Junior WRC champion Emil Bergkvist, who also navigated for Ekstrom in the Dakar rally.

The Swede is no stranger to rallying, having made his WRC debut in a Group N Mitsubishi in 1999 on the Swedish Rally.

He won the Group N class in Sweden and on Rally Catalunya in 2004, and made selected top-flight appearances in the top-tier WRC class with a works-run Skoda Fabia in 2005 and 2006.

"Rally has been a life-long passion of mine and going to the Arctic Rally Finland is a bucket-list dream, that I finally get to tick off," said Ekstrom.

"For 2021 I have committed to the Extreme E series, that requires very diverse set of knowledge and skills of driving on various surfaces. The WRC event at Arctic Rally Finland is a perfect event for me to stay sharp, to drive hundreds of kilometers on ice and snow and also to renew my passion for rallying."

While the Rovaniemi event will provide a totally different challenge to the Dakar, Ekstrom is setting his sights high.

"For sure it will be great fun, but anyone, who knows me, knows that I like to win and I plan to put up a fight against the class regulars, although I know, they have spent so much more time in rallying. We will do a couple of days testing before the rally," he said.

Former Rally Finland winner, Esapekka Lappi, who has been left without a drive in the WRC's headline category this year, will also compete on the Arctic Rally Finland, driving a Volkswagen Polo R5. The Finn drove for M-Sport in the WRC last season.

shares
comments

Related video

Solberg: Hyundai WRC car "easier to drive" than I thought
Previous article

Solberg: Hyundai WRC car "easier to drive" than I thought

Next article

FIA and WRC promoter to run World Rallycross from 2021

FIA and WRC promoter to run World Rallycross from 2021
Load comments
The former WRC star playing the unsung hero role for Rovanpera Prime

The former WRC star playing the unsung hero role for Rovanpera

Kalle Rovanpera’s 2022 World Rally Championship displays have been spectacular, with the Toyota driver benefitting from a secret weapon in his crew to win two of the opening three rallies. But while the former challenger to Sebastien Loeb won’t take credit for his fellow Finn's performances, a key bond has been formed which could prove key to Rovanpera’s title charge

WRC
Apr 29, 2022
How Rovanpera's Croatia turnaround sent a message to his WRC rivals Prime

How Rovanpera's Croatia turnaround sent a message to his WRC rivals

After a dominating Rally Croatia, a wrong tyre choice on the final day looked to have undone all Kalle Rovanpera's hard work and left him with a mountain to climb heading into the power stage. That he emerged the winner all the same has surely quelled any lingering doubts that the Finn is the man to beat in the 2022 WRC

WRC
Apr 25, 2022
How M-Sport's faith in Loubet led to a WRC reprieve after a dismal 2021 Prime

How M-Sport's faith in Loubet led to a WRC reprieve after a dismal 2021

It's fair to say 2021 was a year to forget for Pierre-Louis Loubet. A maiden full World Rally Championship season offered hope but soon turned into a nightmare that ended in hospital, after being hit by a car in a road traffic accident. Now handed a lifeline by M-Sport, the Frenchman is desperate to rebuild his career

WRC
Apr 20, 2022
Why WRC mechanics deserve more respect Prime

Why WRC mechanics deserve more respect

The drivers get the glare of attention, but it’s the mechanics who are key to the operation of any World Rally Championship car. Motorsport.com donned a set of overalls and joined M-Sport on a Belgian national rally event to get an inside look into the life of a rally mechanic.

WRC
Apr 17, 2022
The African McRae aiming to become a WRC pioneer Prime

The African McRae aiming to become a WRC pioneer

Taking his first step into the Junior World Rally Championship category, McRae Kimathi - named after 1995 world champion Colin - found himself in the unfamiliar climes of Sweden's snow and ice. Having impressed, Kimathi hopes to blaze a trail to the top level of WRC and help other African drivers to step onto the ladder

WRC
Mar 8, 2022
How Rovanpera grabbed the Rally Sweden spotlight Prime

How Rovanpera grabbed the Rally Sweden spotlight

After a blockbuster opening act to the new era of the World Rally Championship with the battle of the Sebastiens at Monte Carlo, Rally Sweden would be the first chance to assess the next superstar of rallying. While teething issues with the new hybrid power thwarted some of the cast, Kalle Rovanpera’s display gave him headline billing

WRC
Feb 28, 2022
The "painful" journey behind the WRC's generational tech innovation Prime

The "painful" journey behind the WRC's generational tech innovation

As the company selected to provide the hybrid kits for the 2022 World Rally Championship, the pressure was on Compact Dynamics at the Monte Carlo season opener. Needing to treat all three manufacturers equally, it wasn't a straightforward process, but its first big test was a resounding success that bodes well for the future.

WRC
Feb 25, 2022
The mentality shift key to Lappi’s shot at WRC redemption Prime

The mentality shift key to Lappi’s shot at WRC redemption

He appeared poised to become the World Rally Championship’s new bright young star five years ago, but Esapekka Lappi's fortunes since his 2017 breakthrough win offer a cautionary tale of how the tables can turn. Now having rebuilt his career, the Finn is determined to make the most of his second shot at the big time with Toyota.

WRC
Feb 23, 2022