Stefan Mucke to return to Aston Martin's WEC line-up in Japan

Longtime Aston Martin Racing driver Stefan Mucke will return to the team's World Endurance Championship line-up at Fuji next month

Stefan Mucke to return to Aston Martin's WEC line-up in Japan

The German will race the #99 Aston Martin Vantage GTE after missing last weekend's Austin round because he was placed by AMR with the Motorbase-run Oman customer squad for the clashing Blancpain Endurance Series finale at the Nurburgring.

Mucke replaces Richie Stanaway in the #99 entry alongside Fernando Rees and Alex MacDowall for the Japanese WEC round on October 11 because the Kiwi will take up his GP2 seat with Status Grand Prix in Sochi on the same weekend.

AMR team principal John Gaw told AUTOSPORT: "If we were in with the chance of winning the championship, Richie would be racing with us, but because we're not, we've given him the chance to do the GP2 race."

Gaw also said that Mucke's return to the line-up, albeit not in his regular seat alongside Darren Turner, dispelled the myth that he had been dropped from the WEC squad because he had already told AMR that he would be leaving at the end of the season.

Mucke is believed to be out of contract with Aston and is known to be one of the leading candidates to join Ford for its WEC programme with the UK-based team run by former AMR team principal George Howard-Chappell.

Jonny Adam will again partner Turner at Fuji, while a driver new to the team is expected to fill the slot occupied by Benny Simonsen in the #96 GTE Am car alongside Stuart Hall and Francesco Castellacci in Austin.

Stanaway could also miss the Bahrain WEC finale, which includes GP2 on the same bill, because he is a candidate for a seat in one of the three factory-supported Aston Martin V12 Vantages to be entered in the FIA GT World Cup at Macau on the same weekend.

Dane Nicki Thiim, who is part of Audi's GT roster, is expected to return to the line-up in the #95 Vantage for the first time since the Le Mans 24 Hours at some point over the remainder of the season.

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