Audi GT ace Rene Rast gets WEC LMP2 deal with G-Drive and Jota

Audi factory driver Rene Rast will undertake his first full season in a prototype this year with an assault on the World Endurance Championship with G-Drive Racing

Audi GT ace Rene Rast gets WEC LMP2 deal with G-Drive and Jota

Rast, who was part of Audi's LMP1 line-up at last year's Le Mans 24 Hours, will share the Jota Sport-run G-Drive ORECA coupe with reigning WEC LMP2 champion Roman Rusinov and Nathanael Berthon.

The 29-year-old German is not the first Audi driver to race for Jota: Filipe Albuquerque was part of the team's European Le Mans Series campaigns in 2014 and '15.

But Jota boss Sam Hignett stressed that the deal was between Rast and the team.

"Getting Rene on board is as good as it gets for us: there's no doubt he going to be quick, he's won big races and he's a lovely guy," he told Autosport.

Rast also raced an open-top P2 ORECA 03R for the Sebastien Loeb Racing squad at Le Mans in 2014.

"The ingredients - including the team, the proven chassis and engine, and my team-mates - give me a lot of confidence entering the programme," he said.

"An LMP2 car was the first prototype I drove back in 2014 and I am very much enjoying re-acquainting myself with the category.

"This year looks like it will be a special one for the class, so I am personally very much looking forward to the challenge ahead."

Rast had been left without a Le Mans drive this year as a result of the cost-cutting agreement between Audi and Porsche to field only two LMP1 cars each at Le Mans in the wake of the emissions scandal that engulfed the Volkswagen Group.

His 2016 GT programme with Audi includes contesting the 24-hour enduros at Spa and Nurburgring with factory R8 LMS GT3 cars run by WRT and Phoenix respectively.

Rast will drive the G-Drive ORECA for the first time at the Aragon circuit in Spain next week.

Rusinov and Berthon have already completed four days of testing with the new car at Paul Ricard.

Jota is also remaining in the ELMS this season, with its Nissan-engined Gibson 015S to be driven by Giedo van der Garde, Simon Dolan and Harry Tincknell.

GP3 driver Jake Dennis joining for Le Mans and the Spa WEC round as part of Jota's link-up with the Arden team.

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