Rallycross-podium-for-EKS-Audi-Sport-in-season-opener.jpg

Rallycross: EKS Audi Sport heads to the mountain
heights of Portugal

• World Championship round at Montalegre attracts tens of thousands of fans
• Mattias Ekström: “The track’s unique character is challenging”

Neuburg a. d. Donau, April 24, 2018 – It is one of the toughest race tracks in the FIA World
Rallycross Championship (World RX): this weekend (28/29 April) the circuit in the mountains
of Montalegre (Portugal) awaits the EKS Audi Sport team and the Audi S1 EKS RX quattro.

The circuit, located 1,000 meters above sea level and close to the Spanish border, has a unique
character – with fast corners on tarmac, a long straight and a tight and twisty gravel section
featuring high curbs. “To find the best set-up compromise for this is a real challenge every
time,” says Audi factory driver Mattias Ekström. In 2016 he managed this successfully even
though he missed the final due to being involved in somebody else’s start line accident. “Last
year, we were not the fastest in Montalegre but as team still took the win in the end. I love this
track and the Portuguese spectators, who are mega enthusiastic about motorsport and
rallycross.”

The classic rallycross circuit attracts tens of thousands of fans every year to the remote
mountain region. They turn the event into a real festival. Ekström’s new team mate Andreas
Bakkerud is also a big fan of Montalegre. “It is one of my absolute favorite tracks. I’ve always
felt completely at home on it,” says the Norwegian. “The track has a fantastic layout. When you
really get going there’s nothing better.”

At the season opener in Barcelona, Bakkerud claimed a podium finish in his first outing for EKS
Audi Sport in the World Rally Championship. “I’m slowly getting accustomed to the Audi S1 EKS
RX quattro. Hopefully I’ll be even faster in Montalegre,” he says. For Mattias Ekström there is
anyway only one goal: “We want to fight for victory again.”

After the first of twelve World Championship rounds, Bakkerud and Ekström lie in third and
fourth in the Drivers’ World Championship behind the two Volkswagen drivers Johan
Kristoffersson and Petter Solberg. In the team classification, EKS Audi Sport holds second place
between Volkswagen and Peugeot. The two Audi drivers prepared themselves for the World
Championship round in Portugal last week with an unconventional training method: they drove
karts. “This heightens the senses and strengthens the muscles,” says Ekström.

About Montalegre RX

Circuit: Circuito Internacional de Montalegre, 150 km northeast of Porto
Circuit length: 1.010 km (Joker lap: 1.130 km)
Surface: 60 % tarmac, 40 % gravel
Corners: 5 left, 7 right
Top speed: approx. 168 km/h
Average: approx. 96 km/h
Longest jump –
Lap record: Johan Kristoffersson (S), 37.802s (2017)
Winner 2017: Mattias Ekström (S), 3m 59.345s
Race length: 4 laps (qualifying), 6 laps (semi-final and final)
Event Hashtag: #MontalegreRX

Schedule (Local Times, CET +1 hour)

Saturday, 28 April
10:00 Free practice
13:30 Qualifying 1 (Q1)
15:00 Qualifying 2 (Q2)
Sunday, 29 April
09:00 Warm-up
10:20 Qualifying 3 (Q3)
12:00 Qualifying 4 (Q4)
15:00 Semi-final and final
15:50 Winners’ ceremony

– End –

The Audi Group, with its brands Audi, Ducati and Lamborghini, is one of the most successful manufacturers
of automobiles and motorcycles in the premium segment. It is present in more than 100 markets worldwide
and produces at 16 locations in 12 countries. 100 percent subsidiaries of AUDI AG include Audi Sport GmbH
(Neckarsulm), Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. (Sant’Agata Bolognese, Italy) and Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A.
(Bologna, Italy).

In 2017, the Audi Group delivered to customers about 1.878 million automobiles of the Audi brand, 3,815
sports cars of the Lamborghini brand and 55,900 motorcycles of the Ducati brand. In the 2017 fiscal year,
AUDI AG achieved total revenue of €60.1 billion and an operating profit of €5.1 billion. At present,
approximately 90,000 people work for the company all over the world, more than 60,000 of them in
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