Ekstrom was announced on Monday as the male driver for Cupra’s new Extreme E programme for 2021, in a collaboration with German team ABT, but having contested the opening two weekends of the World RX series, the double DTM champion has been given permission by his employer to race in the fifth and sixth rounds in Riga.
Racing one of the Audi S1s built and developed by his own EKS squad, and now operated by the JC Raceteknik team’s world championship effort, Swedish driver Ekstrom made a stunning comeback to the series in the opening weekend at Holjes and beat pre-season favourite Johan Kristoffersson in a straight fight in round two of World RX’s first double-header.
While Kristoffersson leads the Drivers’ championship with a pair of wins under his belt, three podiums have put Ekstrom in title-contention, currently 17-points behind his compatriot.
Ekstrom hadn’t intended to race in World RX this season, having stepped down from full-time rallycross driving at the end of 2018, but the opportunity to join Robin Larsson in the JC squad for the opening two weekends of the season arose when Janis Baumanis, who had entered World RX as a permanent driver with the team, ran into Coronavirus-related budget issues.
“It’s been a pretty cool week for me, with the launch of the Extreme E programme…