Three-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner Marcel Fässler will contest the opening round of the Australian GT Championship at Albert Park.
The former Audi LMP1 star will partner reigning champion Geoff Emery in the #1 Audi Sport Customer Racing Australia R8.
It is hoped the Swiss driver will be able to contest all three endurance rounds of the Australian GT championship at The Bend, Phillip Island and Hampton Downs, in addition to the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix from March 22-25.
Fässler was part of a distinguished trio of Benoit Treluyer and Andre Lotterer which took out the Le Mans 24 Hours for Audi in 2011, 2012 and 2014.
The 41-year-old former DTM driver played a key role in Audi’s successful LMP1 sportscar program from 2010 until 2016 when the marque abandoned its project.
Last year he returned to Le Mans in a factory Corvette alongside a campaign in the Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup for factory Audi operation Team WRT.
“It’s really great for me to join Geoff Emery and and his team Audi Customer Racing Australia for the Race at Melbourne,” Fässler told Speedcafe.com.
“I’m highly motivated and looking forward to my first race experience in Australia.
“Sure there will be a lot new things to get learned and known in a very short time, but I really like this kind of challenge.”
A decision regarding further Australian GT outings this year will be made after Albert Park.
“I got the request in a short notice and we didn’t have time to talk further races yet,” he added.
“But for sure I would love to race more in Australia. Let’s see after the first race.”
The signing has been seen as a coup for the Melbourne team as it prepares to defend its Australian GT title.
“We are mega excited to have someone of his calibre join the team,” Audi Sport Customer Racing Australia boss Troy Russell told Speedcafe.com.
“He is an Audi Sport Customer Racing driver so it is great to have that support from them with the guys sending out one of their best drivers.
“Marcel ran in the Blancpain GT series last year with a couple wins so we are looking forward to having him.
“We hope to have him for the enduros too.”