Sweden’s Mattias Ekstrom is looking forward to racing at his home round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship at Holjes next week, more so than ever after he was forced to miss the event last season due to clashing commitments.

EKS Audi Sport’s Ekstrom finished second at round five of World RX in Norway two weeks ago, fighting back from 10th in the Intermediate Classification. The 2016 World RX Drivers’ Champion in fourth in the points, in the middle of a close battle for second with Team Peugeot Total’s Sebastien Loeb and Timmy Hansen, PSRX Volkswagen Sweden’s Petter Solberg and his EKS team mate Andreas Bakkerud all locked in a battle for second position behind Championship leader Johan Kristoffersson.

“I did not have a chance to go to Holjes last year, I don’t have the experience of the new tarmac corner, but for me it’s paradise to go there,” he said. “It’s the club I race for so it’s like a home event and I’ve always enjoyed going there many times. I’m looking forward to it.”

Sweden’s PG Andersson deputised for Ekstrom at Holjes last season, but none of the EKS cars made the semi-finals. “Last year somehow we were not that competitive with the cars so for sure we have a challenge there as well to try and improve. I’m very much looking forward to the race and seeing if we can be more competitive this year verses last year. It’s always a pleasure to go to there, if we can have good weather I think it’s even better because Sweden is always a pleasure in the summer to see the party and staying for those days is a highlight if the year for me.”

Ekstrom made his FIA European Rallycross Championship debut at Holjes in 2013 and won his first World RX event at the Swedish round in 2014. “We are analysing the last race in Norway to try and find some more pace and then we will go there to give it a go,” he said.

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