Aston Martin has announced the appointment of Christian Klien as its sixth factory driver for the 2011 season. The Austrian former grand prix driver will join Adrian Fernandez, Andy Meyrick, Stefan Mucke, Harold Primat and Darren Turner in the team's lineup.
Klien will be partnering Mucke and Turner in the new 007 AMR-One car, the car maker's new LMP1 race machine, at the Le Mans 24 Hours in June, and at selected other races.
"Having competed in three F1 races in 2010, I wanted to continue to race with a team that gave me consistency, at the top level of motorsport," said Klien. "I decided that the best opportunity to give me a focus and to retain my independence was to compete in the 24 hours of Le Mans with Aston Martin Racing and at selected other races in the LMP1 category as a full factory works driver.
"During my very first visit to Aston Martin Racing, I was immediately impressed, feeling the spirit and passion of their long association with Le Mans as former GT1 winners of the 24-hour race. Due to the timing of my inclusion with the AMR team I will commence my involvement with the development of the new AMR-One after the opening race of the Le Mans Series at Paul Ricard. I am looking forward to racing for a team that is established and is internationally renowned with such a racing pedigree."
Klien had driven for Peugeot in the Le Mans series and finished in third place at Le Mans in 2008. He also set the fastest race lap in the 2009 edition of the race.
Aston Martin team boss George Howard-Chappell added: "Christian brings a wealth of race expertise to the team with his background in F1 and in particular Le Mans. I think he will be a great team player, and I am confident he will be a fantastic addition to Aston Martin Racing in our first year with the new AMR-One."