Monday, June 7, 2010

Audi DTM driver Mattias Ekström to compete in NASCAR race at Sonoma

. Monday, June 7, 2010

Mattias Ekström apparently made quite an impression after testing for the Red Bull NASCAR team last month in Virginia. The U.S. team has invited the two-time DTM champ to pilot the #83 Red Bull Toyota during the NASCAR road course race at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma on June 20th. This opportunity comes as driver Brian Vickers is still unable to race do to health reasons. For Ekström, the opportunity is a dream.

"First of all, I’d like to express my sincere thanks: to Red Bull for inviting a Swede with zero NASCAR experience to compete in the United States. And to Audi for the possibility and approval that enable me to fulfill this dream. This trust by the Audi family gives me additional motivation to return to Europe with a good result and to step on the gas again in Audi’s home race at the Norisring in Nuremberg,” says Mattias Ekström.

Even head of Audi Sport, Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich seems happy to send Ekström to America for his NASCAR experience. "Mattias’ commitment as a guest entrant impressively shows the prestige which the DTM and the Audi drivers enjoy in the United States too. As early as in his test Mattias showed that he can stand his ground with a new team and a new car on a new track. Now, everyone at Audi is keeping their fingers crossed for him to be able to cause a bit of a sensation in the race with a great performance,” says Ullrich.

Mattias gave some insight on his plans for the race by saying; "tests are one thing and they were a good opportunity for me to get accustomed to a NASCAR vehicle. But contesting a race with 42 other cars is totally new territory for me. I’ll simply try and concentrate on my strengths and to stay cool for 350 kilometers.”

We're really excited to root for Mattias and hope all of you will too. Free practice and qualifying will start on Friday, June 18, with two additional practice sessions on Saturday before the 110-lap race starts at 12:00PM PST Sunday the 20th at the Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, CA.

Written/compiled by
Source: Audi Motorsport