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2010 Le Mans winner Mike Rockenfeller to be Audi's 2015 reserve

DTM driver Mike Rockenfeller will make a return to Audi's LMP1 squad as reserve driver at the Le Mans 24 Hours this year

The winner of the French endurance classic in 2010 and Audi's most recent DTM champion two seasons ago replaces Marc Gene in the reserve role after the Spaniard's departure to Nissan.

Audi Sport boss Wolfgang Ullrich told AUTOSPORT: "It makes sense because he knows Le Mans and he will be involved in our test programme, so he will also know the car."

Ullrich revealed that Rockenfeller, who last raced at Le Mans in 2012 before stepping out to concentrate on the DTM, suggested the idea after turning down the chance to replace Tom Kristensen as a full-time member of the World Endurance Championship squad.

"There was an opening with Tom's retirement, but he decided to again concentrate on the DTM," explained Ullrich.

"But he also said, 'OK, but why couldn't I be the spare driver', and that is what is happening."

Rockenfeller, 31, stated that it wasn't the right time to turn his back on the DTM and pursue his love of endurance racing.

"I'm in a good position in the DTM and I think my chances will be good this year," said Rockenfeller, who is about to embark on his ninth season in the DTM and his fifth with the Phoenix team.

"I didn't want to give up without winning the championship again: it is my goal is to race in the WEC one day, but right now I wanted to continue in the DTM."

A seat for Rockenfeller in the third Audi R18 e-tron quattro at Le Mans and the Spa WEC was never on the cards because both the Belgian event at the start of May and the Le Mans Test Day at the end of the month clash with DTM races.

Rockenfeller is again racing with the Spirit of Daytona Prototype team in three of the four North American Endurance Cup rounds of the Tudor United SportsCar Championship in the US and will drive its Coyote-Chevrolet Corvette DP at this weekend's Sebring 12 Hours.

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