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Retiring Fassler “Proud” of Achievements in Long Career

Retiring Le Mans winner Marcel Fassler “proud” of achievements over long racing career…

Photo: Audi

Triple 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Marcel Fassler has said he’s “proud of what I was able to achieve” during a decorated quarter-century racing career from which he has retired.

The Swiss driver announced his retirement from professional racing yesterday in a social media post.

Fassler, 44, won Le Mans three times driving for Audi in 2011, 2013 and 2014. All of those victories were earned alongside Andre Lotterer and Benoit Treluyer.

The 2012 win contributed to that iconic Audi Sport Team Joest crew’s title triumph in the inaugural FIA World Endurance Championship season.

In addition to his Le Mans triple and world championship crown, Fassler won the 12 Hours of Sebring with Treluyer and Oliver Jarvis in 2013. Three years later he became a GT Le Mand class winner at Sebring and the Rolex 24 at Daytona with Corvette Racing.

“As a boy I had this dream to become a racing driver,” Fassler wrote as he announced his retirement.

“Full of passion and commitment I went this long way with many ups and downs but finally arrived in the league where I was racing with the best.

“This experience was more than I have ever dared to dream of. It makes me proud of what I was able to achieve.

“Along others, the biggest highlights of my career definitely were the three victories of the 24 hours of Le Mans! Being the first Swiss who ever won that legendary race made me super proud.

“This feeling standing on top of that podium will always be deeply remembered.”

After a junior open-wheel career that included finishing second in the 1999 German F3 standings to Christijan Albers, Fassler progressed to the DTM at the turn of the millennium and represented both Mercedes and Opel in the German touring car series.

He turned his attention to sports cars in 2006, marking the first of 14 Le Mans participations.

One of Fassler’s early Le Mans outings came with the Chevrolet factory Corvette Racing team, off the back of an FIA GT season driving a C6-R from the American manufacturer.

In the same 2008 season as his race-winning GT1 spell, Fassler joined Audi for a couple of American Le Mans Series races sharing an R10 TDI LMP1 car with Emanuele Pirro.

That formed the start of a long on-track association with the German brand, capped by a remarkable tally of five visits to the Le Mans podium in seven Audi appearances.

Fassler remained with Audi beyond the closure of its LMP1 program at the end of the 2016 WEC season, representing the brand in the 24 Hours of Spa and Nürburgring 24.

In recent years he also rekindled his affinity with Corvette as one of the team’s specialist long-distance recruits for the IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup and Le Mans.

His last race as a professional driver was the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring in November, sharing a Chevrolet Corvette C8.R with Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner.

“In all those years I was able to work with so many teams, colleagues, competitors and friends and each and everyone added a piece to this precious experience I will take along for my future life,” said Fassler.

“I want to deeply thank all the people who went all this way together with me, who fighted [sic] for places with me, who shared the passion as well as the highs and lows, who believed in me, who supported me in every kind of way. You are great!

“Finally I want to thank my family, most of all my wife Isabel and my daughters for all your love and support. I couldn’t have done any of this without you.”

Following Fassler’s retirement announcement, Audi posted on social media: “We shared many great races with Marcel: three Le Mans victories, the FIA WEC title and success in GT racing. Wishing you well, Marcel! All the best with your future projects.”

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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