Muller & Rockenfeller To Stay In DTM In 2021 With Audi
Audi has announced that Mike Rockenfeller and Nico Muller will compete in the DTM in 2021, while leaving the door open for its other factory drivers to return to the series.
Audi pledged its support for the new GT3 era of the DTM last year, months after it revealed that it would end its long-running involvement in the series as a factory entrant.
While the details had been sparse about what kind of support Audi would provide to customer teams hoping to race in the series, the marque’s then-motorsport boss Dieter Gass had suggested at that time that it was open to lending out its factory drivers.
In a press release detailing its customer racing programme for 2021, Audi clarified both 2013 champion Rockenfeller and last year’s runner-up Muller will remain in the DTM.
While Audi stopped short of revealing which team the pair will drive for, two of its three former factory squads, Team Rosberg and Abt, have already announced that they will appear on the 2021 grid.
Audi also said Rene Rast will focus primarily on his Formula E campaign alongside Lucas di Grassi in 2021, but added that ‘select customer racing events’ will complement his programme, which could include the DTM.
Rast made his FE debut in the second half of 2019/20 season, replacing the ousted Daniel Abt for the six Berlin races and scoring a maiden podium during that period.
Audi has also not ruled out Robin Frijns and Jamie Green returning to the DTM, although Frijns told Motorsport.com earlier this week that a DTM return looks unlikely due to potential clashes with FE, where he will race again for the Envision Virgin Racing team.
Loic Duval meanwhile had previously said he was not interested in a GT3-based DTM and has since signed a deal to race for JDC-Miller MotorSports in the top class of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, starting with this month’s Rolex 24 at Daytona.
Audi also revealed its full roster of drivers for its other customer racing programmes, which will include the Intercontinental GT Challenge and Nurburgring 24 Hours.
Mattia Drudi, Rahel Frey, Christopher Haase, Pierre Kaffer, Kelvin van der Linde, Christopher Mies, Patric Niederhauser, Frank Stippler, Dries Vanthoor, Frederic Vervisch and Markus Winkelhock will all stay on, but with no details on their programmes given.
Dennis Marschall and Charles Weerts are two new additions to the Audi Sport stable for 2021.