Baku, April 6, AZERTAC
Nine-time World Rally Champion Sébastien Loeb will make his debut in the DTM at the first race of the season, at the Autodromo do Algarve in Portimao, Portugal, for the Red Bull AF Corse team, according to MotorSportWeek.
The French rally legend will replace Nick Cassidy, the team’s regular driver, in the AlphaTauri-liveried car while Cassidy is busy with his Formula E commitments in Monaco. Loeb is a Red Bull-sponsored driver, most recently winning the 2022 Monte Carlo Rally for Ford, sporting Red Bull colours, in a hard-fought battle with fellow WRC great Sébastien Ogier.
While this won’t be Loeb’s first time in a GT car — he previously competed in the FIA GT Series in a McLaren MP4-12C in 2013, finishing fourth for his own team — it will mark his competitive debut in Ferrari machinery, and indeed the Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020.
Alongside Loeb, in the Red Bull-liveried Ferrari, will be full-time driver Felipe Fraga, also making his debut in DTM that weekend.
As Loeb is a replacement driver in the DTM, not a guest driver, as per the regulations he is able to score points.
Ahead of his DTM debut, Loeb said: “Throughout my career, I have always liked to change between disciplines. DTM is a famous championship and as the opportunity came up for me to compete in it, I took it, of course. It is an exciting challenge because the driving style is entirely different.
“Now, it is time to work. I will be up against specialists in such racers and my last proper GT3 race already is a long time ago. My goal will be to find my rhythm as well as I can and I will try to use my experience to give the team good feedback about the set-up of the car.
“I know that it will be difficult but the cars really are fun to drive. Really fast, nice cars. Therefore, I am looking forward to it.”
The season begins with a pair of 55-minute races at Portimao, the first of which takes place on Saturday 30th April.
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