With his LMP1 career likely in the rear-view mirror, Marcel Fassler could end up with a dual factory GT program on two continents next year with Corvette and Audi.
The 40-year-old Swiss driver, who is currently under contract with Audi for another two more years, said he remains in discussions with Corvette Racing for a potential return to the Detroit manufacturer in 2017.
Fassler contested three of the four Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup races for the factory Pratt & Miller squad this year, scoring GT Le Mans class victories at the Rolex 24 at Daytona and Twelve Hours of Sebring.
“We had been in contact anyway, even if it Audi’s exit had not happened,” Fassler told Sportscar365. “At the moment I cannot really confirm anything.
“We’re still under discussions what I might do with them, but it’s too early to say anything about that future with them over there.
“I’ve always said after the LMP1 thing I’d always like to do something in America long-term. That was always the dream because I really like the races in America. They’re really great.
“But also now, at the moment there’s nothing really done, at least not 100 percent.”
While a full-season seat within the team’s two-car IMSA program is unlikely, with all four of its full-season drivers expected to continue, Fassler would now be available to add the 24 Hours of Le Mans to his Corvette program.
The three-time Le Mans winner, meanwhile, said he could be “quite an option” to also end up with an extended Audi GT3 program in Europe, having previous experience and success with the Audi R8 LMS.
Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich told Sportscar365 that he expects factory Audi Sport drivers to continue to be loaned to Audi Sport customer racing despite the German manufacturer’s exit from LMP1 competition.
“I’m still contracted with Audi anyway, so as I always did GT next to the LMP project, I know the GT car pretty well as well,” Fassler said.
“I always was competing in the 24 Hours of the Nurburgring and Spa next to our other races, so there was always a link to the GT program.
“But at the moment, there’s nothing decided what I’m going to do with Audi.”
While Fassler said his Audi contract would likely leave him with only options in GT3, he’s hopeful of possibly being reunited one day with his longtime Audi LMP1 co-drivers Andre Lotterer and Benoit Treluyer, who are all expected to go their separate ways next year.
The trio delivered the most success for the German manufacturer in recent years, with three of Audi’s last four overall victories at Le Mans, as well as the 2012 World Drivers’ Championship.
“Not only the success, which was having us together, it’s more also the relationship we had on track but also next to the track,” Fassler said. “We really enjoyed working together and every single event we had.
“For sure this is something we’re going to miss heavily. It will be a bit weird next year that we’re not together anymore. A lot of things are going to change next year.
“In the beginning, I think it will be a quite new experience for us, but you never know. Maybe we’ll come together one time, or not.
“But for sure it’s a shame too with the also with guys we worked together pretty hard and close, it’s a shame too that we were quite involved in this program and we had a lot of contact with our guys.”