Five-time FIA World Rally Champion Sébastien Ogier is set to make his suprise DTM début at the penultimate race weekend of the season Spielberg in Austria in September.
The Frenchman will be making a guest appearance with Mercedes as he explores options for continuing his racing career outside of rally.
“This is a very exciting experience,” said Ogier. “The DTM is something completely new for me, but I’m trying to learn as much as possible with each lap. I see it as an opportunity to broaden my racing horizons and gain more experience.
“Up to now, I haven’t driven much on permanent racetracks – only a couple of times in a GT car. A DTM car is obviously faster. Of course, you can’t expect to be competitive as a guest starter right away. I’m expecting a difficult first weekend at Spielberg, where my target will be to keep up with the other drivers as much as is possible.”
Ogier has already had a small taste of DTM machinery when he drove the Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM race taxi with his wife, TV presenter Andrea Kaiser alongside him.
While that opportunity only gave him three laps, he is set to take to the circuit in anger during testing at Vallelunga in Italy today (7 August) and tomorrow.
“Sébastien is a real racing driver. He has demonstrated his ability more times than enough all over the world on gravel and tarmac by winning five world rally championships,” said Head of Mercedes-AMG Motorsport DTM Ulrich Fritz.
“So it comes as no big surprise to me that he would now like to tame a DTM car. He will be making his DTM debut on a proper race circuit at Spielberg, and I know for sure that he and his fans will have a lot of fun as he does so. However, it’s also very apparent that it will be no walk in the park for Sébastien as a guest starter in such a hotly contested field. Still, that’s what drives a champion like him to put on a good show for the fans.”