Audi DTM driver line-up for 2017 features two new faces
Three days after the announcement of the BMW driver line-up for the 2017 DTM season it was Audi’s turn to announce their drivers for 2017. And other than their rivals from Munich, Audi added two new signings to their line-up for next year: Frenchman Loïc Duval and their previous DTM reserve driver René Rast will contest the coming season with the Audi RS 5 DTM. Mattias Ekström, Jamie Green, Nico Müller and Mike Rockenfeller will complete the line-up of the Ingolstadters.
“In Mattias and Mike, we have two DTM Champions on board who in my book will be among the favourites next year, not least due to the new rules and tires,” says Dieter Gass, Head of DTM at Audi Sport. “Jamie, no doubt, is one of the strongest campaigners in the DTM. Nico convinced us with consistently good performances and his first DTM victory last season. Not only on delivering a strong race in the finale at Hockenheim, René has shown that he’s also going to be in contention at the very front in the DTM. And in Loïc, we’ve integrated one of our best drivers from the Le Mans programme into our DTM squad. I’m convinced that we’re in a top position with our driver line-up for the 2017 season and have six strong characters in our team.”
DTM newcomer Loïc Duval raced from 2012 to 2016 for Audi in the FIA World Endurance Championship, WEC, and won both the Le Mans 24-Hour Race and the World Championship in 2013. And he also made it to the top step in Audi’s last WEC race in Bahrain. Furthermore, the 34-year additionally brings experience from Formula E and the Japanese Super-GT Championship to DTM. old has got Formula E and Japanese GT Championship experiences under his belt. Duval executed his first DTM tests in early December, in the Young Driver tests at Jerez, Spain, and delivered in truly convincing style right away.
30-year old René Rast has been representing the Audi colours since 2011 and established as one of the best and most successful GT drivers in the world. Furthermore, Rast confirmed these impressions in his three DTM races in the 2016 season: in his second DTM race, in October, Rast finished sixth at Hockenheim, thus scoring his first championship points and underling that he would be an asset to Audi’s DTM squad.
No longer part of the Audi line-up will be Miguel Molina, Edoardo Mortara, Timo Scheider and Adrien Tambay. “I thank Miguel, Edo, Timo and Adrien for the joint years we had in DTM and wish them all the best for the future,” says Audi Motorsport Director Dr Wolfgang Ullrich. “Our cooperation always was good and we jointly celebrated many successes. Consequently, saying farewell to each of them was really difficult.”