Lucas di Grassi has been promoted to a full-season drive in the FIA World Endurance Championship with Audi, it was announced Monday.
The 29-year-old Brazilian driver, who has served a factory driver for the German manufacturer for the last two years, will share the wheel of the No. 1 Audi R18 e-tron quattro with defending World Champions Tom Kristensen and Loic Duval.
Di Grassi takes the seat vacated by Allan McNish, who announced his retirement from top-level motorsport in December.
Audi’s second full-season lineup remains unchanged, with 2012 FIA WEC champions Marcel Fassler, Benoit Treluyer and Andre Lotterer returning for the entire eight-round championship, which kicks off at Silverstone in April.
A third R18 e-tron quattro will be fielded at the Six Hours of Spa and 24 Hours of Le Mans for Oliver Jarvis, Marco Bonanomi and Filipe Albuquerque, who was confirmed last month as the newest LMP1 factory driver, replacing Marc Gene.
Gene, meanwhile, will serve as reserve driver for the Spa and Le Mans races.
“Of course its not easy to replace a driver like Allan McNish, who drove for Audi for 14 years. But Lucas di Grassi has delivered convincing performances in all of his runs for Audi so far,” said Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, Head of Audi Motorsports.
“For Filipe Albuquerque, the switch from the DTM to the WEC is happening at the ideal point in time. Hes ready for the next career step.
“Our current sports car squad will cause a sensation in a season that poses a great challenge due to the new technical regulations and new rivals.”