Mattias Ekström: “Level in the RCCO has risen enormously!”
29.10.2018 On the occasion of the World Rallycross Championship you again put in a guest performance in the “big small” racing series. What was your impression?
Slot racing is one of my hobbies and competing in the “big small” racing series is always great fun again. I noticed that since my last run (DTM Oschersleben 2013, editor’s note) the level has risen enormously once again.
Do you still remember your first run in the “big small” racing series?
Oh yes, I actually remember it really well! That was in 2005 in the Slot Car Grand Prix at the Essen Motor Show. At that time, nobody knew that I have these skills and my victory came as a surprise to everyone.
You once said in jest that this was the second-biggest success in your career after winning the World Rallycross Championship …
My victory back then was indeed really cool. In the final, I defeated a certain Sebastian Vettel whom hardly anyone knew at the time – and of course all the slot car pros.
And in 2006, you scored another win in Essen straightaway.
Yes, in the final against record champion Thomas Voigt. With that, I proved that 2005 wasn’t a fluke …
In 2011, at Oschersleben, you won another RCCO race. Why didn’t it work out this time at the Estering?
Unfortunately, I had a lot of commitments and wasn’t able to stay until the end, which was a shame because the slot racing was great fun again. Without practice I immediately won my first qualifying race and had a couple of cool duels with the leader of the standings. I don’t know if that would have been enough for victory in the end. As I said: the level is enormously high and my Audi e-tron Vision RCCO had a little too much oversteer.
Is there anything you’d change about the “big small” racing series?
As the field is so balanced and the racing so close the rules would have to be tightened. Whenever someone is kicked out there should be penalties or warnings. Like in the DTM, you should let the driver on the outside lane live as well. Plus, I’d set the digital switches so that the faster car keeps the better lane while overtaking. Plus, the track should perhaps be cleaned a little better at the beginning so that all lanes have a similar grip level. But these are just minor details. Generally, RCCO is really cool.
On 17/18 November the 24-hour race of the “big small” racing series will be held at Autostadt in Wolfsburg. Feel like running as a guest?
Always, but, unfortunately, time is in extremely short supply for me at the moment. I’m fighting to secure the future of my EKS rallycross team but I’ll definitely watch the race on social media. And maybe I’ll be on the grid myself at some point in time.