Audi DTM Star Mattias Ekstrom Rumored to Race Red Bull Toyota in NASCAR Round at Sonoma
by, 06-02-2010 at 11:29 AM (4798 Views)
We knew Red-Bull sponsored Mattias has been testing Red Bull Racing's Toyota NEXTEL Cup Car last week at VIR and that Mattias is a whiz with tin topped racers, so maybe we weren't that surprised when we heard rumor that it took him little over an hour to get up to speed in the much heavier Toyota Cup Car. However, we were a bit more surprised to read today on Red Bull Racing's website that the Swedish driving ace is being considered to fill in for an injured Brian Vickers in Red Bull's #83 car at the June 20 Sonoma round of the 2010 NASCAR season.
Here's the Red Bull Text:
Given the grueling NASCAR schedule and likely conflicts with Ekstrom's own Audi ride in the DTM series we doubt Mattias will try to fill in all season. Further, the Swede has little oval track experience but we have no doubt that he'll tear it up on a road course like Infineon. Even better, the track in Sonoma is the Audi Driving Experience's home circuit complete with Audi Forum Sonoma just beyond pit row. We wonder if Audi will plan any viewing parties from the spot regardless of his Toyota ride for the day.There may be a different driver behind the wheel of the No. 83 Red Bull Toyota for the NASCAR Sprint Cup in Sonoma, California, on June 20.
It became clear during the last race in Charlotte that Mattias Ekström’s stock car stock is rising with the NASCAR team following a successful Sprint Cup test last week at Virginia International Raceway.
When the two-time DTM champion got into the car in Virginia, the team expected him to take a day to acclimatise to his new ride. Instead, he impressed Team Red Bull with his adaptability by getting up to speed in about an hour.
With Brian Vickers ruled out for the rest of the season, team general manager Jay Frye confirmed in Charlotte on Saturday that he was seriously considering putting the 31-year-old Swede in the No. 83 Red Bull Toyota later this month when the series makes the stop at California’s Infineon Raceway road course.
Ekström has raced in the DTM Series for the past 10 seasons for Audi and took the title in 2004 and 2007. He has 14 wins in 95 starts in the hugely competitive German touring car series. He has also won the prestigious Race of Champions three times, twice by defeating seven-time Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher in the final.
While he may race in Sonoma, Ekström would not be available later this year when the Cup series races at Watkins Glen, New York. The Audi driver is second in the DTM standings after winning his first race at the last outing in Valencia, Spain.