9 June 2009
Lotterer completes Kolles' squad.
Le Mans debutant Team Kolles has confirmed the 'pairings' that will pilot its brace of Audi R10 TDis at this weekend's 24 Hours, revealing another new face among the six-strong line-up.
Having added sportscars to its DTM operation this season, Kolles has endured mixed results in the Le Mans Series - with sixth and seventh at Spa-Francorchamps a marked improvement on the 27th and DNF that it recorded on debut with the Audi in Barcelona - but has been unable to retain a settled squad of drivers through the two rounds.
After Michael Krumm was replaced by Giorgio Mondini in Belgium, the team makes another change for La Sarthe, with former British F3 racer Andy Meyrick's LMS place going to Andre Lotterer. Kolles has confirmed that the German sportscar star will slot into the #14 line-up alongside Narain Karthikeyan and Charles Zwolsman, while the #15 entry will be driven by Christijan Albers, Christian Bakkerud and Mondini, maintaining the team that raced together at Spa. Meyrick's schedule did not include the 24 Hours, and the Briton should return for the next LMS round in Portugal.
Lotterer has made sportscar racing his home in recent years, notably since moving to Japan. The 27-year old was highly rated as he came through the ranks, and was added to Jaguar's F1 programme with a view to him graduating to the top flight, only to be passed over when Eddie Irvine defected from Ferrari. That led to the German heading to Japan to race in F3 and, later, Formula Nippon.
Sportscar racing, in the form of the Super GT category, is a frequent by-product of a successful open-wheel career in Japan, and Lotterer seized the opportunity presented to him by winning the title in 2006. However, despite his experience in F1 and Champ Car - where he made a one-off appearance with Dale Coyne Racing in 2002 - the Kolles opportunity will be his first in a contemporary sports prototype.
“I'm very pleased with this line-up, as we have very talented and ambitious drivers in both our cars," team owner Dr Colin Kolles commented, "We have prepared ourselves properly the last few months and hope that the potential of the three-time Le Mans-winning Audi R10 TDI will be shown again.”
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