Initially, events at the Circuit Jules Tacheny seemed to be a repetition of the most recent rounds. Ekström and his teammates, Toomas Heikkinen and Reinis Nitišs, were struggling to keep pace with the front runners in the first sessions. Nitišs, in 13th following the four qualifying rounds, dropped out and missed the semi-final of the top twelve. Heikkinen and Ekström, in seventh and eighth, did better, although the starting bases were anything but outstanding.
While Heikkinen had to admit defeat in the penultimate session, Ekström, in third place, qualified for his eighth final in succession where the reigning world champion was surrounded by compatriots. Four Swedes in total plus two Norwegians decided victory among themselves in an all-Scandinavian final. “From the third row, I tried everything, but overtaking here is near-impossible. Fourth place was the best I could do,” says Ekström.