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Lotterer to Make Audi Return with WRT at 24H Spa

Andre Lotterer rejoins Audi, WRT for 24H Spa…

Photo: WRT

Andre Lotterer is set to make his return to Audi machinery at this weekend’s Total 24 Hours of Spa, as a last-minute replacement for Will Stevens at Audi Sport Team WRT.

The three-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner left Audi for Porsche ahead of this season but returns to Audi for Spa, joining Dries Vanthoor and former LMP1 co-driver Marcel Fassler in the No. 5 Audi R8 LMS.

“It’s a nice surprise and I am very happy,” Loterer said. “When Vincent [Vosse, WRT team boss] called me to check if the challenge could interest me, the answer has been immediate!

“To be in a lineup that aims at winning the Spa 24 Hours, and to be part of Team WRT and the Belgian Audi Club, is an offer you cannot refuse.

“On top, I will be again associated with my friend Marcel Fassler, and Benoit Treluyer will also be in the team, although on another car.

“I am very motivated and want to thank Porsche, my employer, for giving its go-ahead to this one-off with for a sister brand of the Volkswagen family.”

It will be Lotterer’s  attempt at the race since 2015, and he will be aiming for his first victory.

“It’s true that I haven’t driven an Audi R8 LMS since 2015,” he explained.

“At the beginning of the week, I’ll be in Barcelona for tests with the Porsche LMP1. I will arrive at Francorchamps on Wednesday only, but I am not worried.

“It is not like starting from nothing: I know well the track, I know well the team and I have already driven the car. I know I will be involved and committed 100 percent, especially in analyzing all the data, in order to be fast as soon as possible.”

Lotterer will be in one of five factory backed Audis for the race, with a total of ten R8 LMS cars entered for the Belgian endurance classic.

Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist who is Sportscar365's European Editor and also Managing Editor for e-racing365. He is a student of Politics and International Relations. Contact Jake

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Toni

    July 24, 2017 at 7:22 am

    That is pretty cool! But a bit strange as well. I always thought that Porsche factory drivers were not allowed to compete against Porsches? Is Porsche’s hope of an overall victory that small, or is he set to gain experience for a Porsche effort next year??;) (I’m kidding)

    • thomas

      July 24, 2017 at 10:33 am

      Probably makes no difference given it’s all VAG

    • FlyingLobster27

      July 25, 2017 at 12:30 pm

      Lotterer’s title challenge in the WEC has been halted by his own team at half-season, so he can be let go to do other things.

  2. BarnOwlLover

    July 24, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    I believe that Lotterer might either still be under contract with Audi Sport or his contract dating back to the Audi LMP1 program has been with Volkswagen Group as a whole. There were already several instances of Audi Sport and Porsche Motorsport personnel going back and forth between their LMP programs.

    Also, I think that Audi Sport LMP drivers did have contracts that allowed them to transfer to other Audi Sport supported/VAG supported programs/privateer or programs that didn’t directly compete with VAG should something happen to the LMP1 program like when it was cancelled at the end of the last WEC season.

    That’s why Jarvis is at JC/DCR’s LMP2 team and driving for Bentley, and why Fassler has been splitting his time between WRT in BES and Corvette Racing in IMSA.

    We also have to be mindful of Porsche’s upcoming board meeting to decide the fate of their LMP1 program as far as it being ended a year early (like Audi’s last year). Andre might end up back in the Audi fold again, but full time in a GT3 car should Porsche kill their LMP1 program.

  3. Andy Minett

    July 25, 2017 at 1:14 pm

    No one has reported on why Will Stevens is out at WRT. Anyone know? He just won a sprint race with them so seems a bit odd to leave him on the sidelines.

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