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Audi changes Le Mans driver line-up

Lucas Luhr, Audi R15, Le Mans 2009Audi has made three changes to its sportscar line-up this year, as it attempts to regain the Le Mans 24 Hours crown from Peugeot.

This week's AUTOSPORT magazine revealed that three-time Le Mans winner Marco Werner has been dropped and Alexandre Premat will focus on the DTM, while former American Le Mans Series champion Lucas Luhr is not expected to feature.

The trio has been replaced by Marcel Fassler, Andre Lotterer and Benoit Treluyer, who will share one of the R15s at Le Mans this year.

Fassler raced twice for Audi in the ALMS in 2008 and raced at Le Mans for Chevrolet in 2009. Lotterer won last year's Japanese Super GT title and drove a Kolles-run Audi R10 at Le Mans, while Treluyer raced a Pescarolo-run Peugeot 908 in last year's 24 Hours.

"In view of our strong competitors, we have to be perfectly positioned in terms of drivers," said Audi motorsport boss Wolfgang Ullrich. "Marcel, Andre and Benoit attracted our attention during the past two years and we are convinced they are a very good combination for Le Mans."

"For the time being plans for them are fully focused on Le Mans 2010, but all three of them are still relatively young and may become part of our sportscar project over the long term."

"For me, having the chance to be part of the Audi team this year is incredible," said Fassler. "I'm looking forward to the challenge and expect the R15 to be competing for overall victory."

Lotterer added: "I'm proud about having been selected by such a successful team, this is a major step in my career. Last year as a Le Mans rookie I learned a lot, now I've got the chance to compete for a top-class team."

Treluyer said: "I'd never have expected to immediately get a slot with a factory team for Le Mans after my return from Japan. With Andre and Marcel, we've got a car in which we can clinch overall victory."

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