Former series frontrunner Christijan Albers could be poised to return to the DTM this season, having lined up an outing in the TME Futurecom Audi at this week's Mugello test.
The Dutchman came close to winning the DTM title on a couple of occasions prior to heading for an unsuccessful crack at Formula One with Minardi, Midland and, for a part season, with Spyker, but has been on the sidelines since being dropped by the latter midway through 2007. His links with erstwhile Midland/Spyker team boss Colin Kolles haven't cooled so far as to prevent him being considered for a return to the tin-top series, however.
With the DTM holding its first official group test in Italy this week, former Mercedes favourite Albers has been slated to share the Kolles-run Futurecom Audi A4 with series newcomer Katherine Legge, with speculation rife that he is the favourite to partner the Briton in the one remaining vacancy on the grid.
Like former champion Gary Paffett, however, there will be no favouritism shown to Albers, despite his record in the championship, and the Dutchman, if he agrees terms with Futurecom, will have to return to the DTM in two-year old machinery. While Paffett showed that a twelve-month old Mercedes was still capable of winning races if the cards fell right though, Albers will have his work cut out to do so in the ageing A4.
Legge, meanwhile, got her first taste of a DTM test session when she joined fellow Audi newcomer Oliver Jarvis on track at the Mugello circuit. The test is scheduled to last for three days, with the race season getting underway on 13 April at Hockenheim.