Mattias Ekström: “I’ll continue racing as fast as I have to keep the margin”

Cupra Zengo X Motorsport driver Mattias Ekström finished the fourth round of the PURE ETCR season at the Hungaroring in third place, with a points haul allowing him to head to the final round of the year as the championship leader.

The Swede finished his Super Final A in second place behind Romeo Ferraris’ Philipp Eng.

Cupra team-mate Mikel Azcona’s performance in the other Super Final B allowed the Spaniard to be crowned King of the Weekend, with Ekström in third place

“To win the championship you have to choose your battles,” explained Ekström. “In the beginning you risk because you need to score the points but now, in Round 5, it’s better to be smart, especially in my position and challenging Philipp (Eng). He’s here coming late into the championship, so he has a different target than I have.”

The Cupra driver still had words of praise for his former DTM rival, who has proven to be a tough contender in the ETCR: “I have to say we spoke this morning and the base he has in his car and with his team is good, he’s a good competitor, especially with the 500kW where there is no excuses, you have to go flat out to win it. And Mikel again showed he was really fast.

“So I think our three laps were the fastest this morning and it’s no coincidence that the three of us are sitting here,” added the Swede.

Ekström heads to the last round of the season as points leader with 273 points, 29 over Hyundai Motorsport N’s Jean-Karl Vernay and 35 ahead of team-mate Mikel Azcona.

“For the championship it’s good, because I extended the championship lead by a couple of points, so I look forward to the final and I’ll continue racing as fast as I have to keep the margin,” added the Cupra driver.

The season finale is uncharted territory for Ekström, who remains upbeat about his chances: “I don’t know the Pau Arnos circuit, so I’ll do like everybody else, a bit of Google and try to learn about the track and a possible setup and do it the best I can.”