Audi factory driver Nico Müller is set to make his FIA World Endurance Championship debut at the 6 Hours of Shanghai next month, competing with G-Drive Racing in its LMP2 ORECA 07 Gibson.
Müller takes over from British driver James Rossiter, who competed with the team at the 6 Hours of Fuji last weekend in the seat which was originally filled by DS Virgin Racing driver Alex Lynn, who is not set to drive with G-Drive Racing again in 2017.
Prior to the official announcement that he’d be racing with G-Drive, Müller completed a handful of laps at Portimão in the pre-event ELMS test this Tuesday, with G-Drive Racing by DragonSpeed in its ORECA 07 Gibson. There he got his first taste of driving an LMP2 car, and with a race-winning team which is gunning for the LMP2 title in the ELMS this weekend.
“Roman (Rusinov) is in a situation where he needed somebody, and we’re also at the time of the year where we are keen to see what options we have for next year, so I think the opportunity was good. It covered two needs,” DragonSpeed team principal Elton Julian said to DSC. “And Nico is a guy who if you get the chance, you put in the car. It wasn’t to know if he could drive, it was to know how he would gel.
“For me, he ticks all the boxes, but on top of it, he’s a good guy, a young guy. We’ve had Loic (Duval) in the car this year too, so we’ve been around the Audi guys a bit, we have a lot of respect for them.
“He did 11 laps. Not many got a lot of laps on Tuesday because it was such a mixed day with the weather. We planned to do more, but we couldn’t. It was his first time ever (in an LMP2) and he was quick. Like any other of the pro drivers, he was on the pace immediately, and he didn’t know the track either.
“For those guys, it doesn’t take a lot for them to drive to the limit of the tyres. He was the same as Ben (Hanley) in terms of ramp up, as neither knew the circuit. There was a little over-driving, there was a few things to clean up, but it wasn’t a problem.”
Photo courtesy of Audi