Mortara, Albuquerque And Frey Join Audi Lineup

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Audi has announced its driver lineup for the 2011 Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters season, with the addition of three newcomers to the series.

Edoardo Mortara joins the setup after winning the Formula 3 Euro Series in 2010 as a factory Volkswagen driver. The Swiss-born 24-year-old Italian driver also became the first driver to win the Macau Grand Prix twice. His links with the Volkswagen Group made the Audi DTM switch look likely. He will race for Audi Sport Team Rosberg.

Felipe Albuquerque raced in GP2 and A1 Grand Prix during his single-seater career, before switching to the Italian GT Championship in 2009 to race an Audi R8 LMS for Audi Sport Italia, finishing as runner-up in 2010. The 25-year-old Portuguese driver returned to prominence by taking a shock win in the Race of Champions in November. During his spell with Audi Sport Italia, he also performed well during two outings in their Audi A4 Superstars Series car at the Portimao circuit. Albuquerque will join Mortara at Audi Sport Team Rosberg.

Rahel Frey completes the newcomers to the team. The 25-year-old Swiss female racer previously competed in the German F3 Cup, before contesting the 24 Hours of Le Mans last year for Matech Ford as part of a trio of Swiss female racers. She will race for Audi Sport Team Phoenix.

The three newcomers replace Markus Winkelhock, Katherine Legge and Alexandre Premat (who was dropped ahead of last season's final race) in Audi's DTM lineup.

All three made an excellent impression during our driver sighting tests in December,” explained Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. “I'm convinced that they will be a genuine reinforcement to our driver squad and that we are in a good position for the 2011 season.”

Audi have also made another alteration to their lineup, with Mike Rockenfeller getting a promotion to a latest generation Audi A4 DTM after four years driving older generation cars. He will join Mattias Ekstrom, Timo Scheider and Oliver Jarvis at Audi Sport Team Abt Sportsline. Martin Tomczyk, who has raced with the top Abt team for ten years, is relegated to Audi Sport Team Phoenix as a result of Rockenfeller's promotion. Miguel Molina will continue to race an older-spec car for Abt.

“The last DTM season did not run according to plan for Audi,” said Ullrich. “Which is why we tried over the winter to improve in every area – this also includes the driving squad. I see it as a chance for Martin Tomczyk that he races in an older car and in a team other than Abt Sportsline for the first time. British race drivers Jamie Green and Gary Paffett are examples of the fact that you can certainly win races with a last year's car and give his career new impetus.”

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Peter joined the TCF team in September 2010 and covers GP2 and GP3 along with WTCC and Formula Two. You can find him on twitter at @PeteAllen_
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