In an attempt to pry the Le Mans 24 Hours trophy back from Peugeot this year, Audi has completed a major driver reshuffle in their third R15.
Marco Werner and Lucas Luhr have been dropped completely by Audi, and Alexandre Premat will focus solely on the DTM this season. This has lead to three new drivers being hired to share the final works car together.
Marcel Fassler competed in last year’s 24 Hours for Chevrolet in the GT1 class, but already has experience as an Audi sportscar driver – he competed in two ALMS round in an R10 back in 2008.
“Having the chance to be part of the Audi team this year is incredible,” said Fassler. “I’m looking forward to the challenge and expect the R15 to be competing for overall victory.”
Andre Lotterer gains promotion from the Kolles Audi squad, who ran a pair of R10s at Le Mans last year. He finished an impressive 7th despite only having a single co-driver for the entire 24 hours – after Narain Karthikeyan dislocated his shoulder pre-race. He is also the reigning Japanese Super GT champion with Lexus.
“I’m proud about having been selected by such a successful team,” he said. “Last year as a Le Mans rookie I learned a lot, now I’ve got the chance to compete for a top-class team.”
The final driver chosen was Benoit Treluyer, who drove a Pescarolo-run Peugeot 908 at last year’s race. However he failed to finish after having a monster shunt halfway through that saw him finish the race in an ambulance. Like Lotterer, he was also a works driver in Super GT, but at rivals Nismo.
“I’d never have expected to immediately get a slot with a factory team for Le Mans after my return from Japan. With Andre and Marcel, we’ve got a car in which we can clinch overall victory.”