Belgian David Saelens will join Keke Rosberg's team in the DTM as replacement for Pedro Lamy in the Service 24 h AMG Mercedes from round three at Oschersleben this weekend.

Lamy had left the team after the second round at the Nurburgring a week ago, citing the lack of opportunities to win in a 2000-spec CLK as reason for his disillusionment.

25-year old Saelens started his motorsport career at the age of eleven, in 1986, racing in the Belgian Karting Championship for seven years with two runner-up positions as best overall results. In 1993, he competed in the Belgian Touring Car Championship with a Mercedes-Benz 190E before, one year later, he moved to Formula Renault. This, in turn, led him to Formula Three in 1997 and, in 1998, he clinched the French and Marlboro Masters F3 titles.

The past three seasons have seen Saelens participating in the FIA F3000 Championship with various teams including the crack Super Nova outfit and, this season, with Paul Stoddart's European Minardi team.

"It's a great challenge for me to participate in the DTM, because this series' races are on a very high sporting level and I will have the opportunity to compete with the best touring car drivers," Saelens said, "I look forward to the co-operation with the 24 h Service AMG Mercedes Team, and I thank Mercedes-Benz that they believe in me - I will justify their trust by my performance.

"I also want to thank my Formula 3000 team owner Paul Stoddart who agreed to this engagement and made it possible for me to participate in the DTM, as well as in the FIA Formula 3000 International Championship."

"David Saelens is a promising young driver," commented Mercedes-Benz motorsport director Norbert Haug, "He attracted our attention by his performance in Formula 3 and Formula 3000, and well suited to our line-up of experienced drivers and young talents. In this team he has the chance to make a further mark for himself in this sport."



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