Audi driver Andreas Bakkerud’s wild ride onto the podium

Both EKS Audi Sport drivers had made their way into the final with strong performances in the preliminary races: team owner Mattias Ekström held second in the intermediate standings after the first day, and won third qualifying as well as the semi-final on Sunday. With consistently good times in the qualifying sessions and a third place in the semi-final, Andreas Bakkerud also made the final. In the decisive race for the best six, the Norwegian drove a flawless race in the hot and humid temperatures of over 30 degrees to finish third behind the two Volkswagen drivers Johan Kristoffersson and Petter Solberg.

“I’m delighted about the podium because the weekend was really hard. I started in the difficult outside lane in all the qualifyings and we did our best together with EKS Audi Sport,” said Bakkerud. “Unfortunately here we were unable to beat Volkswagen. But it’s great to compete against the world’s best drivers. Congratulations to Johan Kristoffersson, who won the World Championship title here with races to spare. I’m looking forward to the next race in Buxtehude where I’ll continue to fight with Mattias (Ekström), Petter Solberg and Sébastien Loeb for the World Championship runner-up title.”

Mattias Ekström was not totally satisfied: after his victory in the semi-finale, the Swede started the decisive race from the front row, lost valuable seconds after a touch from Timmy Hansen and crossed the finish line in sixth place. After Hansen was given a time penalty, Ekström moved up to fifth place. “I’m definitely disappointed that I couldn’t get on the podium, we landed in the wall in a hard fought final and didn’t score many points,” said Ekström, who is still defending second place in the World Championship.

After the trip to the US, Audi travels in second place in the teams’ classification to Germany, where in only two weeks (October 13 – 14) the eleventh and penultimate round of the season is held at the Estering near Hamburg.