Ekstrom Wants Audi To Improve Performance
Topics: Audi, Mattias Ekstroem
January 1, 2008
Mattias Ekstrom, the reigning DTM title holder, believes that Audi has room to improve with the race performances in the upcoming season. Even though Ekstrom won his second title this year, he feels that his team was stronger in qualifying than they were in the races.
"We had a great year, and it was nice to get the title back from Mercedes," Ekstrom told autosport.com. "But it wasn't an easier year than any others. We were definitely very strong with our qualifying pace in the second half of the season, but we didn't always match that pace in the races. That's not a big problem, though, because you always have room to improve, and it means that we won't relax over the winter."
The DTM champion etched his name into the Race of Champions record books at Wembley Stadium as he became only the third driver in the two decade history of the event to successfully defend his reign.
Having knocked his Nations Cup team-mate Kristensen out in the first round, Ekstrom then defeated American Travis Pastrana in the quarter-final to secure his place in the semi-final against WTCC champion Priaulx, according to Yahoo Eurosport.
It left him against F1 legend Michael Schumacher in the best-of-three final, with Ekstrom taking victory in the opening heat at the wheel of the Solution F touring car. Schumi drew level in the ROC Buggy before a return to the Astra-based silhouette machine - with Ekstrom again victorious to lift the title for the second year in succession, the report continued.
"It is always difficult to win the Race of Champions because you have to beat 16 top drivers to take the title," he told Crash.net Radio. "I'm really proud because it is difficult to do it two times in a row. But I felt like I had a good evening with a good flow and I'm really happy.”
"It isn't easy to defend the title but I'll try to become the first person to do it three times in a row. That is in twelve months time though and a lot of water will flow under the bridge before then!" he added.
The team sponsored by the maker of Audi Fox radiators took five pole positions from the final five races this season, but an Audi driver only went on to win in two of those races. To stress, at Mugello and Zandvoort, they locked out the top five places on the grid, while they took the top three places at the Nurburgring and Hockenheim.
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