EKS Sport continues its World RX commitment, signs Szabo for 2019
The Swedish racing team EKS Sport, funded by Mattias Ekström, announced that it will continue to compete in the FIA World Rallycross Championship in 2019. The team has chosen Hungarian Krisztian Szabo as a full-time driver of their Audi S1 EKS RX quattro, the car that captured both drivers’ and team’s World RX titles back in 2016.
After five World RX seasons with Ekström as leading driver, EKS Sport was faced with Audi’s withdrawal from the championship at the end of 2018 but, however, the team would stay committed to the world major rallycross championship with fresh blood.
After making his European debut at the end of the 2014 season in Italy, Szabo finished third in S1600 class of the 2015 FIA European Rallycross Championship before taking the European S1600 title twice consecutively in 2016 and 2017. The Hungarian already raced in an Audi S1 last year at Euro RX events in France and Latvia. He was second in France and reached the Final in Latvia.
Krisztian Szabo said: “Since the beginning of my career, I have been dreaming about racing in the World Championship. Mattias Ekstrom announced last year that he will stop racing in 2019, which means he has more time to focus on managing the EKS Sport team. It is going to be different in 2019 with a much more balanced championship. Everyone has a bigger chance, including me. I have one of the best teams and cars behind me. I have the right background – a world championship-winning team, the professional support of Mattias and I feel well-prepared.
I know most of the tracks but Abu Dhabi and Spa are unknown for me too. I can’t wait to take on the legendary Eau Rouge. I am also excited to travel to Canada and South Africa, because I have not raced outside of Europe in the past couple of years. It is a now or never for me in 2019 and I start my first World Championship season with title hopes.”
Mattias Ekstrom added: “I wanted to work together with Krisz this season because his results were quite promising last year and I predict a bright future for him. The World RX field has changed for 2019 and I think Krisz has a big chance to be one of the best and win many races.
This is why I suggested that he races in the World Championship instead of the European Championship. I will help him as the team leader, I still have vivid memories from last year and I believe it will be useful for the team. I think that Krisztian will surprise many people because they still don’t know what he can do.”