Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Audi DTM driver Mattias Ekström to test with Red Bull NASCAR team in Virginia

. Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Following his DTM win in Valencia on Sunday, Mattias Ekström is fulfilling a long-time dream of driving a NASCAR Sprint Cup car. Invited by his team sponsor, Red Bull, Ekström will be performing track tests with the NASCAR Red Bull team today at the Virginia International Raceway.

The opportunity arose after Brian Vickers (driver of the #83 Red Bull Toyota) was unable to test due to health reasons. "It’s no secret that the NASCAR series fascinates me and that it’s been a long-harbored dream of mine to drive such a car,” said Ekström. In search for a driver to replace Vickers for testing, the Red Bull team remembered the interest shown by Ekström, who has been contesting the DTM in Red Bull livery for nine years. Once Audi Sport approved the excursion, 'Eki' hopped a flight bound for America Sunday night, just following a triumphant weekend in Valencia.

”The racers of the Audi family live motorsport with a great passion. That’s why we are pleased to support wishes like Mattias’ for a NASCAR adventure,” says Head of Audi Sport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. "Mattias has proven his versatility and class in many different motorsport disciplines such as in rally sport or at the ‘Race of Champions.’ We’re excited to see how he will do in a car and on a track that are both new to him.”

Although the chance to drive a NASCAR race car is a dream of Ekström's, the trip will not be all fun and games. The Red Bull NASCAR team hopes to gain valuable insight from the experience of a proven road course expert. "With Brian Vickers sidelined for the rest of the season, we needed a road-racing expert to help prepare the no. 83 for Sonoma,” said Red Bull Racing’s general manager Jay Frye. “We appreciate Mattias's willingness to help out, and we look forward to his insight.”

Source: Audi Motorsport and Red Bull Racing
NASCAR Photo: Red Bull Racing