When Red Bull driver and two-time DTM champion Mattias EkstrÃ¶m visited Red Bull Racing Team in 2008, he "dreamed" of driving a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car. Fast-forward two years, and EkstrÃ¶m finally gets his chance. The 31-year-old Swede...
Fast-forward two years, and Ekström finally gets his chance. The 31-year-old Swede will drive the No. 83 on Tuesday at Virginia International Raceway to provide the team testing support for the upcoming road race in Sonoma, Calif.
Both of the Red Bull Toyotas will test at VIR -- a road course of varying configurations and distances in southern Virginia. Considering Ekström's current résumé, the No. 83 team expects to have its car dialed in come June 18-20 at Infineon Raceway.
"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 Jay Frye, RBRT vice president and general manager. "We appreciate Mattias' willingness to help out and we look forward to his insight."
Ekström, a Red Bull-backed driver for the past nine years, heads to the States after claiming his first victory of 2010 in Sunday's second round of the DTM Championship in Valencia, Spain. The Audi factory driver currently sits second in the DTM standings. In addition to his success in the Germany based touring car series -- only twice in nine seasons has he finished outside the top five -- Ekström has proven his versatility and class in other motorsports disciplines. He's an active rally racer and three times has won the individual title at the Race o - f Champions.
"It's no secret that the NASCAR series fascinates me," Ekström said. "It's been a long-harbored dream of mine to drive such a car."
Tuesday's test at VIR is private and not open to the public.