Dennis Marschall has been drafted into Audi Sport Team Tresor’s factory driver lineup for the Gulf 12 Hours in place of Ricardo Feller who is unwell.
Marschall will contest Sunday’s Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli round in the No. 66 Attempto Racing-run Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II alongside Kelvin van der Linde and Mattia Drudi.
The German driver was supposed to assist a customer team in the South African Endurance Championship this weekend but was instead given a late instruction to catch a flight to Abu Dhabi.
Luca Engstler in turn received a last-minute call to replace Marschall in Kwanda Mokoena’s SAEC points-leading Audi at the Killarney 9 Hour.
“On Tuesday I heard Ricardo is sick, and I got a call,” Marschall told Sportscar365.
“I should have flown to South Africa yesterday, so instead of that I went here. It was quite easy, actually.
“I’m looking forward to this event because it’s a full-Pro entry. With the lineup and the team, we have a good chance for the overall win, so I appreciate it.”
Marschall expects to slot comfortably into the Audi Sport Team Tresor entry considering he drove for car operator Attempto in Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS this year.
The 26-year-old plans to take this weekend “as it comes” considering it will be his first appearance at the Gulf 12 Hours and his first time racing at Yas Marina Circuit.
“It’s fine – I think we have enough practice sessions,” he said.
“We need to see after FP1 and FP2, or even qualifying. Even during the race, the pace of the car develops.
“You can start quick and maybe when it gets colder into the night, you lose lap time or the other way around. But of course we are confident because the team is good.”
Marschall added that this isn’t the first time that he has received a late change of plans that resulted in him contesting an IGTC race for Audi Sport.
“I also had it once or twice in the past,” he recalled.
“I remember my very first race for [an] Audi Sport [Team entry] in 2020. I was not an Audi driver then. Lots of Audi drivers didn’t attend Spa.
“They reshuffled the lineups, and I got a call from a random Belgian number on Sunday night while I was playing PlayStation I think. Vincent Vosse from WRT said, ‘come to Spa now’. Ten hours later, I was there.
“Back then it was more last-minute, but now it’s OK. You need less of these forms to fill out and stuff. It’s easier to travel.”