March 20 (UPI) -- Russian curling enthusiasts kicked the sport up a notch with an exhibition tournament that slid cars across the ice instead of stones.
The tournament, sponsored by a local auto insurance company and held in the Urals city of Ekaterinburg, featured four teams of 10 people pushing compact Oka cars across the ice toward the curling markings.
The cars were stripped of their window glass for safety and their engines to make them more lightweight.
The players had drivers inside the vehicles to steer -- a replacement for the use of brooms that usually steers a stone in a game of curling.
The winning team was the one that managed to get their car the closest to the center of a painted circle.
Galina Kirkach, an insurance agent, masterminded the event and convinced the company to sponsor it as a means of both building enthusiasm for curling and raising awareness of the need for auto insurance.
"Curling looks boring on TV, but I played it once with friends and realized what a great sport it was," Kirkach told Tass. "Then we decided to combine the idea of curling with cars. We constantly see accidents on the road, and we thought that this would attract people's attention to the need for insurance."