Audi Sport has revealed its driver line-up for the 2020 season, which will see two new names added to the German brand’s roster of GT talent.
The headline news is the signing of Mirko Bortolotti, who will join the Audi ranks following six years as a factory Lamborghini driver. The 29-year-old Italian ace comes with tremendous pedigree, including titles in the Blancpain GT Series and Endurance Cup during 2017 and significant class wins in IMSA at Daytona (2018 & 19) and Sebring (2019).
“After 6 years with Lamborghini, I will start a new career chapter today,” Bortolotti said on Instagram. “Before that, I wanted to take a minute and say THANK YOU to Lamborghini and all the staff for this amazing journey together.
“Thank you for believing in me and for making me who I am now. Proud of what we achieved together coming from the bottom. Now it’s time for me to move on to new adventures. All good things come to an end. The memories, respect and my love for the Brand will stay forever. Grazie.”
His fellow new arrival is 28-year-old Patric Niederhauser, who steps up to a full-time role with Audi following a title-winning assault on this year’s GT Masters series. The Swiss ace has a diverse CV that also includes significant Blancpain GT Series experience, having competed in the championship during 2016 and 2018.
The two newcomers will form part of a 12-strong line-up of Audi GT racers, with all 10 of the brand’s 2019 representatives retained for another year. They include several Blancpain GT Series regulars, such as Dries Vanthoor, Christopher Haase, Kelvin van der Linde, Chris Mies and Markus Winkelhock. The line-up is completed by Mattia Drudi, Rahel Frey, Frank Stippler, Pierre Kaffer and Frédéric Vervisch.
“A warm welcome to both drivers. They’re a perfect complement to our team,” said Audi Sport customer racing boss Chris Reinke. “Mirko has been a professional race driver for many years and for Patric this promotion is a nice reward for the title success in Germany. There’s no doubt in our minds that Mirko and Patric are a great fit for us in terms of personality and racing.”
Audi is expected to confirm the teams with which its drivers will race in the early part of 2020, with several set to compete in the newly-named GT World Challenge Europe.