Former grand prix driver Karun Chandhok has secured a last-minute deal to contest the new FIA GT Series.
The Indian, who switched sports cars in the LMP1 prototype class of last year's World Endurance Championship, firmed up a deal to contest the full six-race series with the German Seyffarth Motorsport squad, starting with this weekend's season opener at Nogaro.
The 29-year-old will share the team's solo Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG with Jan Seyffarth, son of team owner Rudiger whose team is moving over from the ADAC GT Masters series.
Chandhok, who raced for HRT and Team Lotus (now Caterham) in Formula 1, said: "My initial plan was to try to do a GT program alongside continuing in prototypes; I really wanted to get some GT experience to open doors for the future."
"I'm looking forward to racing for Seyffarth in FIA GTs, though it is all a bit last-minute. I briefly tested the car at Hockenheim last week when I went to meet the team, but a proper test we had planned for tomorrow [Tuesday] at Spa has been snowed off."
"Driving the Merc was a lot of fun, but I have no idea how competitive we will be. I guess we will find out at Nogaro."
Chandhok is hopeful of securing a prototype drive at the Le Mans 24 Hours, in which he finished sixth in the JRM Racing HPD ARX-03a on his debut last year.
"I'm looking OK for Le Mans," he said. "I have two or three options in LMP2. I really want to go back and I'd love to do it in a prototype again."
Chandhok got his first experience of a GT car last month when he tested for the AF Corse Ferrari team at MotorLand Aragon and also had a brief run in a Charouz Mercedes at the Algarve circuit.