Audi, Q Motorsport, Red Bull

2023: 14th
2022: 9th (1 stage win)
2021: ab. Stage 7 (T3 Yamaha)

2023: Extreme E, Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge (T3), Sonora rally (T3), Desafio Ruta 40 (T3), Baja Aragon, Rally du Maroc (8th)
2022: ETCR, Rally du Maroc
2021: WRC
2016 : World Rallycross champion
2009 : Race of champions (1st)
2007 : DTM champion / Race of champions (1st)
2006 : Race of champions (1st)
2004 : DTM champion


“The Dakar is unforgiving”

He declares with determination that doing and winning the Dakar is the most daunting challenge of his career. That goes to show the importance of the event for this virtuoso jack-of-all-trades. When he finds himself behind the wheel of a car, whatever the terrain, Mattias Ekström knows what he's doing. Born in Sweden, this lad forged his passion for motorsports with all sorts of vehicles while enjoying the wide-open spaces of his country. Glory came later with two DTM titles, followed by a Rallycross World Championship, three victories in the Race of Champions and his first title in the Pure ETCR series. Ekström's presence on the Dakar was a given. A pure Audi product, the Swede has spent his entire career with the legendary German manufacturer. Before sitting in the driver's seat of the RS Q e-tron, the 43-year-old had a taste of the Dakar in 2021 when he raced a Yamaha T3. Although the experience was complicated, it opened his eyes. Although he didn't finish the rally, he appreciated the difficulties involved. A year later, for Audi's big debut, the Swede put in the best performance of the clan by finishing in the Top 10 (9th). His latest Dakar outing, like the overall performance of the Audi team, remains a disappointment. Although he was the only one of the three drivers to finish, his 14th-place result was a huge disappointment. With his trusty navigator Emil Bergqvist, a former rally driver, he went back to work. While the Audi team was fine-tuning the RS Q e-Tron in its German facilities, he preferred to get back behind the wheel of a CanAm T3 to gain even more experience in Abu Dhabi, Mexico and Argentina (W2RC rounds). The crew had to wait until the end of July and the Baja Aragon to climb back into their Dakar mount before finding it again on the Rally of Morocco in October, where they finished eighth. There is still a long way to go in Mattias Ekström's mad quest to win the Dakar, and time is running out.

M.E.: “I grew up in Sweden, where there's so much space and opportunities to drive a car if you like it... We have an enormous amount of land. On top of that, there was also my father's garage. Throughout my career as a circuit driver, I've always tried to do different things. I have raced in the WRC and NASCAR. I have tested an LMP car at Le Mans and did a lot of rallycross in the world championship. One of my favourite trophies is the Race of Champions, which I won three times as an individual, twice against Michael Schumacher and once against Sébastien Loeb.”
“Being part of the Dakar project was, and still is, the greatest challenge of my career. Everyone would like to win it, but once you realise the work involved in getting there, I'm sure many people would give up before even trying. You can't win with luck. You win with talent, experience, the right attitude and mindset. The last Dakar was very difficult for the Audi team and myself. We thought we were ready. There were a few minor problems with my car. Then Stéphane (Peterhansel) and Carlos (Sainz) both crashed, preventing them from contending for the general classification. The Dakar is unforgiving. The two weeks have to go smoothly, without the least little problem. It's time to try again. We've done the work and hope it's enough to win the rally. I think we are more humble but also better prepared. The Dakar is similar to those great races like the Indy 500 or Le Mans, where everyone only remembers the winner, and nobody cares who finished second or third”.

E.B.: “If you are young and motivated, you have a fair chance of getting a decent result on the Dakar. Of course, you have to prepare for it. On the last Dakar, we hit a stone in the middle of a track that cost us more than three hours. Fortunately, thanks to help from Carlos (Sainz) and Lucas (Cruz), we managed to continue. Then, on the stages in the Empty Quarter, we finished second, third and second. So, the second week went well, and we were happy to take our Audi to the finish. I'm so lucky to have the best team and an excellent driver. It gives me a lot of motivation for the future.”
“The Rally of Morocco wasn't my best rally. I made some navigation mistakes while Mattias was driving perfectly. I'll do everything I can to be ready for the Dakar.”




  • AUDI
  • RS Q E-TRON E2
  • Audi Sport
  • Audi Sport
  • T1.U: "Ultimate" Prototype Cross-Country Cars

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