Hot off his DTM Championship, Mattias takes his second ROC title! As mentioned below, there has been only one other driver to have defended his title. It’s not often you have the chance to beat Michael Schumacher!
For the second consecutive time, Mattias Ekström prevailed in the Race of Champions, held at London’s Wembley Stadium, this year. In the thrilling finals, the DTM Champion from Sweden defeated seven-time Formula 1 World Champion Michael Schumacher by winning two of the three final rounds. In the 20 years of ROC history, Ekström is the only second driver to successfully have defended his title, thus following the footsteps of Didier Auriol.
’In the Race of Champions it’s not about just knowing how to control a DTM car or a Formula 1 racer,’ beamed the winner after having crossed the finish line. ‘Here, I can make maximum use of my huge talent.’
The showdown between DTM aces Ekström and Tom Kristensen took place as early as in the round of sixteen. ‘Winning against Tom wasn’t big fun for me,’ admitted Ekström, ‘But when you want to make it to the very top you’ve got to start somewhere.’ After the DTM internal battle, Kristensen crossed his fingers for Ekström. ‘We had a deal,’ he revealed. ‘The winner of our battle had to make it to the finals.’ On his way to the finals, Ekström also defeated eight-time X-Games winner Travis Pastrana and touring-car ace Andy Priaulx. ‘Andy has secured four consecutive titles and definitely is a good driver’ said Ekström. ‘But today, the past doesn’t count.’
In the Nations Cup, however, the two Audi works drivers were eliminated by Team Finland as early as in round one. Kristensen was defeated by new McLaren Mercedes Formula 1 driver Heikki Kovalainen and Ekström was beaten by two-time World Rally Champion Marcus Grönholm. In the end, Team Germany with its drivers Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel won the finals against Team Finland.”