Former Formula 1 man Dieter Gass has joined Audi Sport as head of racing commitments as the firm reorganises its motorsport department for 2012.
Gass was an Audi engineer before moving to F1 with Toyota in 2001. After the Japanese company withdrew from the world championship, he moved to Lotus, where he was sporting director until recently.
Audi motorsport chief Dr Wolfgang Ullrich said Gass' role had been created because of the challenges Audi faced next year with parallel programmes in the World Endurance Championship and DTM - especially with Toyota adding to its sportscar opposition and BMW entering the DTM as well. There are several date clashes between the two series.
"We're facing a particularly challenging racing season with two high-calibre and intensive programmes in the DTM and in the new FIA World Endurance Championship with numerous overlaps of calendar dates, new strong competitors and the development of new technologies," said Ullrich.
"We gave some thought to areas in which we might be able to benefit from reinforcements in order to meet the challenges that have continued to grow. One of the results of these considerations, among others, is this new position for centralised optimisation of our racing commitments which we've been able to superbly fill with Dieter Gass."
Gass said he was excited by the challenge of the new role and his return to Audi.
"Even during my time in Formula 1 I continued to intensively follow Audi's activities in motorsport," said Gass. "I'm looking forward to the exciting projects awaiting me there. The DTM and the sport prototypes are two projects that are extremely demanding, both technically and strategically.
"With my extensive experience, particularly concerning racing commitments, I'm hoping to be able to contribute my part to Audi Sport's ability to continue its success story in motorsport."