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di Grassi ‘likely’ to race at Le Mans

Lucas di Grassi has spoken of his chances of competing at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, saying that he is “highly likely” to race.

di Grassi has competed in the World Endurance Championship since 2012 with Audi Sport Team Joest, standing on the Le Mans podium three times while finishing the 2016 WEC season as runner-up.

Audi recently pulled the plug on their endurance programme to focus on their work in Formula E with the ABT Schaeffler team, leaving the popular Brazilian without a drive for the upcoming WEC season.

Despite the news, di Grassi is positive about competing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and told Autosport that there is a strong chance of him finding a seat elsewhere.

“[It’s] highly likely in either LMP1 or the GTE Pro class, which are the only two categories which interest me,” said di Grassi.

Autosport also understands that Toyota have been in contact with Audi about the services of di Grassi, which was elaborated on by Dieter Gass, head of Audi Motorsport.

“There are limitations on who Lucas could drive for,” said Gass. “Obviously it is much easier for us to release a driver for a private entry rather than a works entry.

“We also look at the level of competition, so for example we wouldn’t want him driving for a rival brand. We have released drivers like Marcel [Fassler] and Mike [Rockenfeller] to Corvette for Daytona and they could do other races this season.”

Gass also went on to say that di Grassi remains a part of the Audi programme through his commitments to Formula E.

“Lucas’s WEC contract has not been cancelled so he still has an Audi contract,” he said. “At the same time he has another contract with Abt for Formula E.

“So currently we are working on making one out of two but we haven’t finalised yet the new contract for what could do apart from Formula E. We do have the agreement with him that he will continue as an Audi factory driver.”

Images courtesy of Rajan Jangda

About Topher Smith
Topher is an experienced and passionate Motorsport journalist with Formula E, Formula 1, GP2/F2, GP3 and IndyCar all on his resume. When he isn't at the trackside you can find him furthering his own capabilities and knowledge through his endless search for original ideas and material. Also plays league pool.