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Ekstrom realistic on Bathurst chances

Tom Howard

Friday 31st January, 2014 - 4:00am

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Ekstrom put in a sterling performance at Bathurst in 2013

Ekstrom put in a sterling performance at Bathurst in 2013

Swedish touring car ace Mattias Ekstrom is keen to return to the Bathurst 1000 this year, but will need a wildcard entry in order to do so.

The two-time DTM champion left a resounding impression on The Great Race in 2013, finishing 10th on his debut in the Triple Eight Xbox One wildcard entry alongside World Touring Car champion Andy Priaulx.

Ekstrom has since penned a deal to remain in the German DTM series with Audi this season, but the 35-year-old is keeping his ears open to the chance of a Bathurst return.

The DTM series calendar will prevent him from securing a full Pirtek Enduro Cup drive as the Lausitzring round collides with the Sandown 500 on September 14.

The Bathurst 1000 and Gold Coast 600 do not coincide with the DTM schedule, leaving a wildcard in the former race his only realistic option.

“I would be happy to race at Bathurst again this year, but its not so easy to get a deal like the one I had last year,” Ekstrom told Speedcafe.com.

“The enduro races, in particular the Sandown 500, collides with the DTM so it is not so easy to get a deal for all three.

“It would be nice but I don’t have such big hopes with the way the situation is at the moment.

“The wildcard entry was fantastic but I don’t know if that will happen again.

“If it happens again then I would be interested. I enjoyed every second last year.”

The Bathurst 1000 is already guaranteed to have a Swede on the grid this year with new Volvo Polestar Racing GRM recruit Robert Dahlgren set to drive full-time in the championship.

Volvo is thought likely to run a second Swede in its endurance line-up, with Dahlgren’s fellow Polestar regular Thed Bjork a strong possibility.

Another Swede, Fredrik Lestrup, will meanwhile fly his country’s flag in this year’s V8 Supercars Dunlop Series.

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