DTM aces Mattias Ekström and Tom Kristensen are going to contest the Race of Champions as Team Scandinavia.
For the fourth consecutive time, DTM aces Mattias Ekström and Tom Kristensen are going to contest the Race of Champions as Team Scandinavia. In this year’s enthralling event held in London’s Wembley Stadium, the Audi aces want to make it to the highest step of the podium in both the team and the drivers’ rankings, thus even excelling their 2005 success when they prevailed in the team competition. The 21st edition of the Race of Champions will be held on 14th December. Apart from the two DTM aces, Michael Schumacher and Germany’s up-and-coming Formula One star Sebastian Vettel also have confirmed to contest the event.
Ekström will travel to Wembley with just one goal: the Swede wants to defend his title in the drivers’ ranking to win the event for the third consecutive time. In 2006, Eki defeated multi-time World Rally Champion Sébastien Loeb and in 2007, he prevailed against seven-time Formula One World Champion Michael Schumacher. ‘It looks as if winning this year will be extremely difficult,’ admits Ekström. ‘The entry list already features several renowned names. But I’m a racer and like the title ‘Champion of the Champions’. Therefore, you shouldn’t expect me surrendering without a tough fight.’
Tom Kristensen made his first Race of Champions appearance several years ago – back in 2001. The eight-time Le Mans winner celebrated his biggest success in 2005 – together with his fellow Audi driver Ekström. As Team Scandinavia, the pairing prevailed in the nations’ ranking finals again Team France, represented by Sébastien Bourdais and Stéphane Peterhansel. In the same event, Kristensen made it to the drivers’ ranking finals but was defeated by Sébastien Loeb. ‘Contesting this event always is big fun,’ says Kristensen. ‘It’s the perfect event to conclude the season and the stadium atmosphere is just fantastic.’
One factor will represent an advantage for both Ekström and Kristensen: their diversified skills. To succeed in the Race of Champions, being able to shine in different disciplines is a must as the two-driver battles will be contested with different vehicles. In the 2006 finals, for instance, on the way to his maiden ROC win, Ekström defeated World Rally Champion Sébastien Loeb at the wheel of the Frenchman’s WRC Citroën.