WTCC pays a visit to Sweden - Ekblom on the starting grid for BMW. Munich: Set to take place in Anderstorp, the next two races of the FIA World Touring Car Championship will see the BMW national teams reinforced by the addition of Frederik...
WTCC pays a visit to Sweden - Ekblom on the starting grid for BMW.
Munich: Set to take place in Anderstorp, the next two races of the FIA World Touring Car Championship will see the BMW national teams reinforced by the addition of Frederik Ekblom (SWE). Sweden's local hero will be driving alongside defending champion Andy Priaulx (GBR) for BMW Team UK in a BMW 320si WTCC sporting the Swedish national flag.
As a newcomer to the WTCC, Ekblom will carry just 10 kilograms of ballast in his BMW. Most of his fellow BMW drivers, however, will be heavyweights, having notched up a total of six wins so far this season: current world championship leader on 58 points is BMW Team Germany's Jorg Muller (GER), who will race with 60 kilos extra weight. Just two points behind him, team-mate Augusto Farfus (BRA) and Priaulx lie in joint second place and are also set to carry maximum ballast. BMW Team Italy-Spain's Felix Porteiro (ESP) will take an additional 20 kilos on board, while team-mate Alessandro Zanardi (ITA) will contest two relatively lightweight races with a 5 kilogram handicap. At this stage of the season, BMW has a comfortable lead in the manufacturers' championship with 167 points to its name.
The "Scandinavian Raceway" in Anderstorp is at the heart of northern European motorsport. In the 1970s the 4.025-kilometre circuit hosted a total of six Grands Prix and to date it remains the only Formula 1 venue in Scandinavia. Muller and Priaulx first raced there in 2002 and 2003, achieving victory and second place respectively in the FIA European Touring Car Championship.
Ekblom last raced at Anderstorp just over month ago, on 17th June 2007, when he finished fourth in the Swedish Touring Car Championship (STCC) race at the wheel of his BMW 320si. He currently leads the hotly contested STCC with 41 points. Like Muller, Ekblom too drove at Anderstorp in 2002, finishing third for BMW Team Belgium in the ETCC. He joins the battle for points once again for Bart Mampaey's RBM Team.
Fredrik Ekblom (BMW Team UK):
"It is fantastic to be able to join the World Touring Car Championship - and especially in front of my home crowd. Anderstorp is not exactly the circuit I have driven most in Sweden, but I like it. It is not particularly tricky, but it is still challenging and not really comparable with many other tracks. I have been in this business for quite a while now, but I am still looking forward to picking up one or two tricks from Andy Priaulx, who is the king of touring car racing. Back in 2002 things didn't go too badly at all in the European Championship for RBM and me - I made it onto the podium in Anderstorp. This year I want to achieve another good result for BMW and the team, so I have to get used to the high standards of the WTCC quickly."