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Albers to race for Audi at Laguna

Christijan AlbersFormer grand prix driver Christijan Albers will make his sportscar debut in the American Le Mans Series finale at Laguna Seca next weekend as Audi continue to evaluate drivers for their 2009 programme.

The Dutchman, who has raced for Audi in the DTM this season, will partner Emaneule Pirro in the No.1 R10 TDi in place of Marcel Fassler, who has a prior commitment to the FIA GT round at Zolder on the same weekend.

Fassler impressed Audi with his performances at Road America and Detroit, but Audi's motorsport boss Dr Wolfgang Ulrich is pleased to be able to try out another driver.

"We are faced with the task of rejuvenating our sportscar driving squad for the future," he said. "Christijan has impressed us in the DTM and certainly has the potential to be successful in sportscars.

"He gets his first opportunity for this purpose at Laguna Seca."

Albers drove for Minardi and Midland/Spyker from 2005 to 2007 before returning to the DTM this season with Audi - a series he finished runner-up in with Mercedes in 2003. He's now looking forward to racing an LMP1 car for the first time.

"I'm delighted to be given this chance by Audi, I consider it a special treat to be able to compete in an Audi R10 TDi at Laguna," he said. "Together with Emanuele Pirro, I hope to be able to achieve the targets Audi set us at the season finale.

"My career in motorsport spans 16 years, but this race represents something completely new. I've never competed in a sportscar race and have never raced at Laguna Seca, so I'm happy to learn and really looking forward to the race."

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