Marcel Fässler has been called up by Team Audi Sport North America to partner seasoned veteran Emanuele Pirro in the American Le Mans Series events at Road America and Detroit next month.
The 32-year old Swiss driver is the latest addition to Audi's US squad, and replaces another veteran Frank Biela as Pirro's co-driver. Biela relinquished his role alongside the Italian ahead of the Lime Rock round, where he was replaced by two-time ALMS champion Rinaldo Capello, and Fassler marks the latest experiment by the German marque as it tries to fashion future line-ups.
"We have the task of rejuvenating our sportscar driver line-up," confirms head of Audi Motorsport, Dr Wolfgang Ullrich, "We have already successfully integrated Lucas Luhr, Alexandre Prémat and Mike Rockenfeller in the sportscar project, and we now continue this route with Marcel Fässler."
Former German F3 champion Fassler made a strong impression during tests with the 650+hp R10 and, having enjoyed a strong privateer showing with Courage ORECA at Le Mans before mechanical failure sent him off track, now gets his opportunity to race the diesel machine.
"It's a great honour for me that I can drive the R10 TDI for Audi," the former single-seater and DTM pilot admitted, "The car is very impressive. What most impressed me during the tests was just how quiet the engine is from inside the cockpit. Because of this you don't feel the true sensation of speed - but I immediately realised the hi-tech level of this car.
"I've never been to America and therefore I'll also contest my first race on American soil, so I'll be bombarded with a huge amount of new impressions: The circuits and the people in the team are all new to me, and I'll also have to familiarise myself with the procedures in the American Le Mans Series. I'm not putting myself under pressure but, of course, I'd like to make as good an impression as possible and be quick."