Mike Rockenfeller says he’s hopeful of returning to IMSA full-time in 2023 with Audi in LMDh.
The DTM veteran has spent the last 14 years primarily in the German touring car championship and with the series evolving to GT3 machinery for 2021, sees new opportunities, particularly with Audi’s recently announced LMDh effort.
Rockenfeller has not raced full-time in the U.S. since 2006, when he was part of Porsche’s factory lineup in the GT2 class of the American Le Mans Series, prior to becoming an Audi works driver and winning the 2010 Le Mans 24 Hours in an R15 TDI plus.
However, the 37-year-old German has made multiple starts in both ALMS and the WeatherTech Championship since — most recently with Corvette Racing — and will return to top-flight prototype racing in next month’s Rolex 24 at Daytona at the wheel of the No. 48 Action Express Racing Cadillac DPi.V.R as part of an all-star lineup.
“Any race is important,” he said. “Daytona is obviously one race the whole world in motorsport and in endurance racing is watching.
“Everybody will keep their eyes on what everybody is doing.
“If they’re looking for drivers or teams in the future, over here, it for sure makes a difference how you perform.
“Personally one of my goals is to come back [to the U.S.] full-time. I would love to show my potential and do my part in the team and see what happens.
“It’s still a bit of time until LMDh is happening.
“Obviously testing starts very soon. With the news about Audi I’m very happy and confident there will be something for me as I’m connected to them.
“Right now I’m just focused on [next month’s Rolex 24] and doing the best.”
Rockenfeller said his 2021 program — beyond Daytona — has not yet been defined although he expects to be part of Audi’s lineup in at least several key GT3 races.
“We haven’t really talked about it yet,” he said. “The DTM season was pretty long until November. Now I’m focusing really on Daytona.
“As there is a new structure in Audi and things are changing, I think right now it’s a bit too early to go into detail there.
“But we will definitely sit together after Daytona.
“I’m sure I will do [some] GT3 events, probably Nürburgring 24. There’s a lot of big races with the GT3 races. But [for the future] I see myself more in a prototype.”