Lucas Auer re-signed by Mercedes in GT3 roster for 2022

DTM race winner Lucas Auer has been re-signed by Mercedes as part of its GT3 roster for 2022.

Lucas Auer re-signed by Mercedes in GT3 roster for 2022

The Austrian, who took four DTM victories with the German manufacturer in 2015-18, has been named as an Mercedes-AMG performance driver for this season.

The move follows Auer's return to the cockpit of a Mercedes in the new-look DTM last year after a season with BMW in 2020, which followed a brief return to single-seaters in Super Formula in 2019.

He raced a Mercedes-AMG GT3 for the HTP Winward team, adding a further two DTM victories to his CV on the way to fifth place in the championship.

Christoph Sagemuller, head of Mercedes-AMG Motorsport, said the return of Auer to Mercedes was down to "logical consequence" of his performances in the marque's machinery last year.

Auer, who is the nephew of DTM boss and former Ferrari and McLaren Formula 1 driver Gerhard Berger, is one of a 17-strong squad announced by Mercedes for 2022.

There are a further two newcomers, Canadians Mikael Grenier and Daniel Morad.

Grenier, 29, becomes a AMG Mercedes AMG junior driver after a season with HTP Winward racing in the IMSA SportsCar Championship and the GT World Challenge Europe and America.

Morad has been signed as what AMG calls an 'expert', which means his programme will be focused on the Nurburgring 24 Hours and the Nurburgring Long-Distance Series.

Swiss Philip Ellis has been upgraded from junior status to a full performance driver for 2022.

Philip Ellis, Mercedes AMG Team Winward

Philip Ellis, Mercedes AMG Team Winward

Photo by: Alexander Trienitz

There are now 10 full performance drivers: Raffaele Marciello, Daniel Juncadella, Maro Engel, Maximilian Buhk, Jules Gounon, Maximilian Gotz, Luca Stolz, Thomas Jager, Ellis and Auer.

Grenier joins Arjun Maini, Fabian Schiller and Patrick Assenheimer in the junior ranks.

Adam Christodoulou, who until the end of 2020 was a full performance driver, continues as an expert along with Manuel Metzger and Morad.

Sagemuller said: “In 2022, we want to be successful in each of the major race series [for GT3 machinery], something that is also reflected by our driver line-up.

"Personally, I am also very pleased that not only our drivers of many years remain loyal to us, but new top-notch drivers also want to be part of the Mercedes-AMG family."

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Mercedes will begin announcing programmes for its drivers next week when the wraps come off its DTM campaign.

Auer is expected to continue with HTP Winward, where he is set to be joined by reigning champion Gotz.

Stolz looks likely to fill Gotz's former seat at the Haupt Racing Team, with Engel taking one of the slots at GruppeM.

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