Christian Bakkerud has become the first driver to sign up with Colin Kolles' privateer Audi team for the 2009 Le Mans Series campaign.

The Dane will make the move into sportscars having seen his single-seater aspirations hit by a recurring back injury which forced him to miss large parts of recent GP2 seasons.

Bakkerud will now move into sportscars for the first time in the Audi R10 TDi and he admitted that he was excited by the new chapter in his career.

"I'll start a new chapter this season," he said. "After some hard months, I'm happy to be back in racing and looking forward to the new challenge. I'm really pleased to start this collaboration with Team Kolles, and I'll give my very best to use this chance.

"The Le Mans Series and especially the 24 hour race in Le Mans are fascinating races in impressing cars, challenging for both man and machine. These are great opportunities for me to prove that I'm not retired yet, still ready to fight, and hopefully good for some surprises."

Team boss Kolles said he was pleased to bring Bakkerud into the team and was confident that he would be a success in the sportscar arena.

"I've already been watching Christian's way for some years," he said. "I consider him to be a really big talent, who's not only fast, but also fits into the team perfectly. This is very important for our close collaboration, as we will promptly compete in a new series together.

"All of us enjoyed working with him during the winter test and we're looking forward to spend many race weekends with him in the forthcoming 2009 season."