Britain's Mark Blundell will drive an Audi R8 LMS sports car for United Autosports in the Spa 24 Hours in Belgium this summer.
The 44-year-old, who won the 1992 24 Hours of Le Mans but stepped away from active motorsport after finishing second in the French marathon seven years ago, makes a one-off return to the cockpit for the high-profile American-owned, British operated 'customer' Audi team.
Blundell netted three podiums during a four-year F1 career and will compete in the annual twice-around-the-clock GT race around the legendary 4.35-mile Spa-Francorchamps track in the heart of the Ardennes.
“I'd thought about returning to the cockpit but wanted to do so at a race I had not done before but also in an environment where it would be fun and professional,” remarked Blundell. “I feel that United Autosports ticks those boxes after being given the opportunity by team co-owner Zak [Brown] which has re-ignited the fire in my belly again.
“I now have time to commit and focus on the occasional race after eight years involved in 'live' television as part of the ITV
F1 presenting team and building up my motorsport and soccer management companies while the Spa 24 Hours makes perfect sense with my previous successes in 24 Hour racing.”
Blundell, who drove for Brabham, Ligier, Tyrrell and McLaren in F1 before competing in the American CART World Series for five years, raced at Spa for the first time in 1987, posting his best-ever result at the Belgian track with a second place in an FIA International Formula 3000 race.
“My last Spa race was at the wheel of an F1 McLaren [in 1995],” Blundell continued. “It's one of my top-three track's in the world because it offers a massive challenge to a race driver.
“My last race [meanwhile] was in 2003 with Bentley at Le Mans where I finished second overall having led much of the race. I love long distance, round-the-clock racing.”
Yorkshire-based United Autosports, formed last winter and co-owned by American Zak Brown and Leeds-born Richard Dean, is concentrating on successfully defending the FIA GT3 European Championship title for Audi this year but will additionally enter two, Audi R8 LMS sports cars at Spa.