Whilst Europe began heading into winter, the FIA World Rallycross Championship travelled into the southern hemisphere for a summertime season finale on new ground: Cape Town, South Africa. A beautiful place and an apt destination for a season-ending adventure. 

The “Mother City” welcomed the FIA World Rallycross Championship to the Killarney International Raceway, where over 27,000 fans flocked through the gates to see the best that the world of rallycross has to offer at the African premiere of the world championship.

Mattias Ekström arrived in South Africa for the very first time in his entire life, but before the race, he lacked the time to enjoy the impressive scenery. His eyes were firmly set on clinching the drivers’ vice-champion honours in the 2017 World RX. His opponent? None other than his long-time rival: Petter Solberg. An exciting weekend under the African sun concluded with Ekström snatching the runner-up spot away from Solberg.

On top

The adventure did not stop at the race track. Being a popular tourist destination with much to offer, Cape Town has a feast of things to do. One of the most notable attractions is a giant landmark towering over the city, which also offers a great backdrop at the race track: Table Mountain, one of the New7Wonders of Nature. Whether you use the cable car or hike up, the breath-taking views are worth the trip. EKS drivers Toomas Heikkinen and Reinis Nitišs were among the many World RX stars who took the chance to see Cape Town from above.    

Beach boys 

Cape Town is the meeting point of the west and east coasts of the Rainbow Nation with beautiful coastlines stretching westward towards Namibia, and also to the east along the famous “Garden Route”. It was not hard to convince the EKS boys to head to the beach … With this scenery, who wouldn’t want to go? And after the event there was also some time to jump into the cold water of the Atlantic Ocean to enjoy some surfing. 

Famous guests

The race weekend also saw a visit from two local motorsport heroes who also drive Audi race cars: 2017 Nürburgring 24 Hours winner Kelvin van der Linde and his brother Sheldon, who won the GTD class of the 2017 Petit Le Mans. 

Fans were also treated by the sights offered in the fan area, where Audi South Africa was a showstopper with its selection of Audi Sport models. This included the new Audi RS 5 Coupé, the road-going sibling of Ekström’s Red Bull Audi RS 5 DTM. 

Homeward

As the champagne began to dry and the enthusiastic fans began heading home, the South African adventure and another season of the FIA World Rallycross Championship drew to a close. With the Audi S1 EKS RX quattro cars snuggly stored in the containers, the EKS team was ready for its journey back home to Europe. 


... But, Ekström was not alone with the promise of coming back, because there is so much more to explore in South Africa.