Ekstrom keen on return to “extreme” Bathurst
Mattias Ekstrom is hoping to return to what he says is an “extreme” Mount Panorama circuit for another crack at the Bathurst 1000.
The Swede made a one-off 1000 start back in 2013 in a Triple Eight-run wildcard entry, finishing a credible 10th along with Andy Priaulx.
The experience left him blown away by the Mount Panorama circuit, which he likens to the famous Nurburgring Nordschleife in Germany.
“For me, what I have seen, Bathurst and Nurburgring are the ones standing out as being really extreme places,” he said.
“They are legendary tracks which I think definitely show the difference between a man and a boy. If you then go there with a car which is fitting the track, it’s really enjoyable.”
Now, Ekstrom is hoping for the opportunity to have another crack at Bathurst – but would prefer to do as part of a full Supercars enduro campaign, including Sandown and the Gold Coast.
“I have been following Supercars more than ever. I have a big interest in the championship and it is very entertaining to follow,” said the two-time DTM champion.
“I still have my contact with the Triple Eight guys so for sure it is something that I want to go back and do. I have some unfinished business there and I would like to do Bathurst and Gold Coast and have a bigger go at it.
“But it is a matter of time, you can’t do everything in life. If there was another chance then yes, but I suppose this year with Rallycross and DTM it was too much, there was realistically no chance.
First of all I will see what happens with my Audi programmes next year.”
Ekstrom added that the “natural” choice would be to return to the crack Triple Eight squad.
“If there is a chance to do it I will always keep my relationship with Roland (Dane, Triple Eight’s team principal). For me that is the only team I would like to drive for because I have a relationship with them.
“I shouldn’t say no to anyone else but it feels like that would be the most natural thing. I am not actively going to hunt anyone else.”
Don’t expect to see Ekstrom lining up for a Bathurst 12 Hour drive, though.
“Generally I don’t get involved in endurance races. I did a couple a few years ago where I won the Spa 24 Hours, but I feel that type of racing is not attractive to me,” he added.
“You would think it is quite natural [to be linked to an Audi 12 Hour seat], and if it was a one-hour race I would probably be there, but I’m not so interested in doing those longer races and sharing cars for the moment.”
GRM in race against time after Volvo court ruling
Words with Cam Waters: Full commitment equals maximum fun