Audi has signed Peugeot refugee Marc Gene as a reserve driver for the Le Mans 24 Hours. The 38-year-old Spaniard had been part of Peugeot's Le Mans effort from its inception in 2007 to its abrupt cancellation at the end of 2011, taking victory at Le Mans along the way.
In addition to being Audi's standby for Le Mans, Gene will also race one of the team's new R18 ultras in the Spa round of the World Endurance Championship in May, substituting for the Timo Bernhard, who is still not fully recovered from his Sebring testing crash.
"At our first meetings I immediately had the impression that Marc will blend well with our sports car squad," said head of Audi Sport Wolfgang Ullrich. "We very quickly reached an agreement. It's very unfortunate that Timo Bernhard won't be able to compete for us at the second WEC round at Spa as planned. At the same time, I'm pleased to see his recovery making significant progress. That's why we're sticking to our original plan of having him run at the Le Mans 24 Hours."
Audi has already confirmed Berhard, Andre Lotterer, Marcel Fassler, Benoit Treluyer, Allan McNish, Dindo Capello, Tom Kristensen, Romain Dumas, Loic Duval, Oliver Jarvis, Marco Bonanomi and Mike Rockenfeller as the race drivers for its four-car Le Mans entry.