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Di Grassi joins Audi for WEC

Lucas di Grassi will make a full-time switch to sportscars after joining Audi for the 2013 WEC.

F1 refugee Lucas di Grassi will compete in next year's FIA World Endurance Championship, having inked a deal with the crack factory Audi squad.

The Brazilian raced with the marque at Interlagos towards the end of the 2012 campaign and impressed enough in finishing third alongside Audi stalwarts Allan McNish and Tom Kristensen to be offered a full-time ride for 2013.

di Grassi only got one year in F1, racing with Virgin in its debut campaign back in 2010 but being replaced with Jerome d'Ambrosio the season after. Unable to land an alternative, he took up the reins as one of Pirelli's development drivers, working alongside Jaime Alguersuari in 2012, as well as fronting the new Formula E initiative, but jumped at the chance to drive one of the world's leading sports prototypes.

Audi will be defending its WEC title in 2013, with Audi Sport Team Joest fielding two updated Audi R18 e-tron quattros for much of the year, and adding a third at both the Le Mans 24 Hours and the WEC race at Spa-Francorchamps.

As a result, Audi will be banking exclusively on hybrid technology in 2013, having successfully introduced the concept this year, although the flywheel energy storage system is becoming even more powerful without any substantial increase in weight and size. In terms of its exterior, the Audi R18 e-tron quattro will hardly differ from this year's race-winning car, although numerous technical innovations are again assembled under the vehicle's ultra-light carbon fibre skin. Audi Sport, meanwhile, is already working on the R18's successor for the new LMP1 regulations that will come into effect in 2014.

The full line-up for the WEC and Le Mans in 2013 consists of the current world champions Marcel Fässler, André Lotterer and Benoît Tréluyer, with Loïc Duval, Marc Gené, Oliver Jarvis, Kristensen and McNish also joining di Grassi in the squad.

Tagged as: Lucas di Grassi , Audi , sportscars , WEC

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PJ - Unregistered

December 21, 2012 5:36 PM

sad for him... deserved better in F1... always thought he was a potental star.. looks like its game over now.. again, money rules over talent

David Chaste - Unregistered

December 22, 2012 1:04 AM

F1 is not the only form of motorsport. So it's not so bad. In 2010 he actually beat Glock at Virgin, so he is good enough for F1. This just shows that drivers should keep their career options open. F1 probably employs less than 5 percent of all race car drivers. Top notch race car drivers actually have better odds at finding a wealthy gentleman driver to partner with in a sports car series than making it in F1. a

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