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Müller lands Audi DTM drive

Photo by Audi AGSwiss racer Nico Müller is to join Audi’s squad in the 2014 Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters, replacing Portugese racer Filipe Albuquerque who is moving to sportscar racing for the marque.

Müller joins Audi having raced in the World Series by Renault for the past two seasons, where the 21-year-old finished 9th in 2012 and 5th last season. The Swiss racer already has an impressive racing resumé, winning the Swiss Formula Renault Championship in 2009 and finishing third in the 2010 GP3 Series.

Müller admits that racing in the DTM is almost like a dream come true.

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“I watched the series even as a child,” said Müller. “And ever since I tested a DTM Audi for the first time, if not before, I’ve been dreaming about an opportunity to contest a race in such a car. “The DTM ranks among the most professional and popular racing series worldwide and is on practically every driver’s wish list. That’s why it’s a great honor for me that Audi is placing the trust in me to compete in an RS 5 DTM.”

For Müller, 2014 marks the first time the young Swiss departs from single-seater racing, and he admits that it may take some getting used to, setting himself modest goals for the season ahead.

“It’s not so much the engine’s power output that I’m not familiar with as driving with a roof over my helmet, but that’ll soon become second nature to me,” admitted Müller. “The competitiveness in the DTM drivers’ field is unique, so it’ll be difficult to score points. My goal is to learn quickly and steadily, and to occasionally manage the leap into the top ten in the second half of the season.”

Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich admitted that Müller got the nod for the German series after impressing during testing.

“We’ve been watching Nico’s career for some time now,” said Ullrich. “He completed a few hundred test kilometers in our DTM cars and left an outstanding impression. I’m confident that it won’t take him long to fill the gap that has been created by Filipe Albuquerque switching to our LMP and GT program.”

Albuqeurque’s departure from the DTM comes after three seasons racing for Audi, during which time the 28-year-old achieved one podium finish in his maiden season in 2011. Albuquerque finished ahead of Team Rosberg team-mate Edoardo Mortara in 2013, in a difficult season for the team.

The Portugese added that he was looking forward to getting to race different cars with different technology during the forthcoming season.

“I can hardly wait: I’m going to compete at Le Mans in the Audi R18 e-tron quattro, in other words in the best car in the biggest race of the world,” said Albuqeurque. “Hybrid, quattro, traction control – I’m getting to know many exciting technologies that are new to me. It’s good that I’ll be able to draw on the know-how of experienced team-mates. That’ll accelerate my familiarization.”

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