Audi announced this morning that Portuguese racer Filipe Albuquerque will switch from the firm’s DTM programme to their GT and prototype teams.
Albuquerque, who won the the 2010 Race of Champions, has raced in the German touring car series for three years, but now moves permanently into sportscars following a difficult DTM campaign.
The 28-year-old will race Audi’s new R18 e-tron at Le Mans and will be parachuted into teams running firm’s R8 GT car. His first race will be next weekend’s Daytona 24 hours where he will join ex-Porsche team Flying Lizard in the GT Daytona class.
He has previous in sportscars, impressing many with a run to 5th place in the Blancpain Endurance Series in 2011.
His place in the DTM will be taken by 21-year-old Swiss racer Nico Müller. Müller, who finished 5th in last season’s Formula Renault 3.5 series, is a race winner in FR3.5 and GP3.
It is not yet known where Alberquerque will fit into Audi’s LMP1 team with Allan McNish’s retirement causing a reshuffle in the squad.
Speaking after the announcement Alberquerque said: “I can hardly wait: I’m going to compete at Le Mans in the Audi R18 e-tron quattro, in other words in the best car in the biggest race of the world.
“Hybrid, quattro, traction control – I’m getting to know many exciting technologies that are new to me. It’s good that I’ll be able to draw on the know-how of experienced team-mates. That’ll accelerate my familiarization.”