2004 DTM Champion Mattias Ekstr?m is always game for unusual activities, and the Audi star has warmed up for the forthcoming tin-top campaign by participating in one of the coldest sports around - ice-skating.

The 28-year-old did not hesitate for a second when ERC Ingolstadt invited him to a trial practice at the Saturn Arena. 'Panthers' John Tripp, Yannic Seidenberg and Michael Waginger were guests at the presentation of the Audi Motorsport Programme in Munich, and 'puck meets horsepower' was a fitting way to describe how Ekstr?m and the ice-hockey aces made friends with each other after the official part of the event, and spontaneously arranged a meeting.

"These guys must have tremendous power to stand their ground on the ice," the Swede remarked afterwards, clearly impressed. "Wearing the protective suit almost made me feel like an astronaut. It's really not easy to move around in this gear.

"A couple of times body checks catapulted me into the banners, but that's okay. I invited John, Yannic and Michael for a racing taxi ride in the Audi A4 DTM - and then I'm going to take my revenge..."

The pros of ERC Ingolstadt, who will be contesting their first play-off quarter-finals against the 'K?lner Haie' (Cologne Sharks) on 16 March, were equally satisfied with their impromptu new team-mate's showing.

"Mattias tackled the practice with incredible ambition," praised forward Tripp. "You can immediately tell that he's bound and determined to give his best - a real winner for sure."

And having starred on the ice, Ekstr?m will now be aiming to prove those winning credentials on the race track too, when the upcoming DTM season gets underway with a vengeance at Hockenheim from 20 - 22 April.

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