Mattias Ekstrom is one of the most popular Swedish racing drivers. He is a former DTM champion and one of the most successful drivers in the series of all time.
Swedish Touring Car Championship winner
MattiasEkström was born in Falun, on 14th of July, 1978 and was exposed to the world of racing from a very young age because his father Bengt competed in rallycross. His first steps in racing were made in the Swedish Renault 5 junior series, but he had his first success in the Swedish Touring Car Championship. In his debut season of 1997, he was a runner-up in the overall standings and two years later he won the title claiming four victories and six podium finishes in 16 races.
On the top - Mattias Ekström
DTM debut with Audi in 2001
In 2001, he made a debut in DTM as the driver of Abt Sportsline team. His maiden season was full of ups and downs, but the next one was much better. Ekstrom won three out of 16 races and finished third in the overall standings.
Mattias Ekstrom won two titles in three years
Two years later, he became a DTM champion winning four out of 11 races in the season. In 2005, he failed to defend his crown and finished second mainly because he wasn't so good in the last two races. However, that year Ekstrom won his first title at the Race of Champions. The next year was far from perfect since he finished eighth at the end of the season.
Mattias Ekström is commited to Audi since his first day in DTM
In 2007, Mattias won his second career title in DTM and he showed his consistent form throughout the whole season. He won just one race that year but had six more podium finishes. He stayed loyal to Audi and Abt Sportsline, establishing himself as a true example of a trustworthy driver. In 2008, he finished third overall, while in 2011 and 2014 Ekstrom was a DTM runner-up. Audi driver did well again in 2015 when he finished third overall, confirming that he is definitely one of the series' trademarks.
Star guest in the WRC and the first Scandinavian in NASCAR
He has also been very active in the World Rally Championship, but he competed only in the races held in Sweden and Germany. In the FIA World Rallycross Championship, he achieved amazing results. He won in Sweden in 2014 and came second in Germany in 2015.
Mattias Ekström in NASCAR Sprint Cup, racing at Sonoma Raceway
Back in 2010, Mattias Ekstrom was also the first driver from Scandinavia who competed in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, substituting for Brian Vickers in the race at Sonoma Raceway. He also appeared in the Australian V8 Supercars Championship, driving Triple Eight Race Engineering's Holden VF Commodore at the famous Bathurst 1000. Although it was his debut, he was good and he managed to grab a solid 10th place.
Video - Mattias Ekström RX test in Sweden
Champion of the champions
Ekstrom is also one of the most successful drivers who competed in the annual Race of Champions event, where he confirmed his verastility. He won three ‘Champion of the Champions’ titles. In 2006, at Saint-Denis he won his first title, beating Sebastien Loeb in the final. Next year in London, he proved to be unbeatable again, this time outracing Michael Schumacher. In 2009, in Beijing, Ekstrom won his third title once again beating Michael Schumacher in the final.
Mattias Ekström and Michael Schumacher, Race of Champions
2016 World Rallycross champion
The season of 2016 was very good for the Swedish racer. In DTM he scored one win (Hungaroring) and played an important role in Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline's quest to win the Teams' championship title. However, Mattias missed the last round of the series as he was preparing for the FIA World Rallycross Championship title.
Mattias Ekstrom - 2016 WRX champion
Parallel to his DTM duties, Ekstrom competed in the FIA WRX, driving an Audi S1 RX. He scored four wins before clinching the title during the penultimate round in Germany. In 2017, the Swede continued to share his duties between DTM and WRX and after the first half of the season he is a title contender in both championships.
Mattias has two children with his partner Heidi - son Mats and daughter Hanna.