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Enthusiasts Marcel Fässler ends racing career

19:02  17 march  2021
19:02  17 march  2021 Source:   motorsport-total.com

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Marcel Fässler beendet seine aktive Karriere mit 44 Jahren © LAT Marcel Fässler ends his active career at the age of 44

Ex-DTM and long-distance driver Marcel Fässler is retiring from motorsport. The 44-year-old announced the end of his career on Wednesday, which among other things brought him three overall victories at the Le Mans 24 Hours.

He is now head of the motorsport department at the Swiss automobile refiner Sportec. He also remains a simulator driver for the Formula 1 team Alfa Romeo (formerly Sauber). In addition, he will offer driver training courses and act as an expert for Swiss television in Formula E races.

"I am delighted that the transition from a racing career to a new professional life went so smoothly," he says. "And it is a confirmation of my work so far that my experience as a racing driver will continue to be in demand."

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Fast promotion to the DTM

As the son of a hobby racing driver, Fässler got to know the world of motorsport at an early age. He laboriously worked his way up in karting until, at the age of 17, he was able to win a support program in France, the home country of his idol at the time, Alain Prost.

Its development went largely unnoticed by the German-speaking racing world. That changed when he got into German Formula 3 and immediately enjoyed success. In 1999 he was runner-up behind Christijan Albers.

That prompted the then Mercedes racing director Norbert Haug to bring Fässler to the DTM works team. After that, he was at the top of the DTM for four years, was named Rookie of the Year in 2000 and won three races by 2003. That year he was third in the championship. The reward was Formula 1 test drives in the McLaren and assignments as a driver of the safety car in Formula 1.

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When he switched to Opel in 2004, he could no longer build on his successes. In 2005 he almost achieved the sensation at the Norisring, when he clinched the first DTM victory for Opel in almost five years, but caught an oil spill while in the lead and hit the wall.

Career break and reaching for the stars

After Opel left the DTM, the Swiss had a difficult time because he could no longer find a job in the DTM. In addition to an engagement in the A1 Grand Prix, he switched to the sports car scene. A victory at the Spa 24 Hours in 2007 in a GT1 Corvette gave his career a boost.

2008 turned out to be a fateful year: Fässler was signed by Audi for two races in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS), but Audi withdrew from North America exactly after this season. However, the Swiss took the opportunity and was finally brought into the European Audi factory team in 2010.

Here, together with Andre Lotterer and Benoit Treluyer, he formed a dream team that achieved three Le Mans victories (2011, 2012 and 2014), one endurance world championship (2012) and ten WEC victories. With the 2012 world title, he is also a member of the FIA Hall of Fame . He also took part in the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring several times. A third place in 2011 and 2017 remained the highest of feelings.

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Even before Audi withdrew from the WEC 2016, Marcel Fässler made use of the contacts he had made with the Corvette works team in his transition season 2009. As the third driver in the IMSA endurance races, he won class wins at the Daytona 24 Hours and Sebring 12 Hours.

Right time to resign

The time to retire from professional racing had been certain for Fässler for a long time. He didn't want to be perceived as a pilot who had missed the jump. At the same time, he wanted to get there early enough to start the second half of his professional life. At Sportec he will be particularly responsible for the KTM X-Bow GTX , which is sold by Sportec in Switzerland.

He looks back with satisfaction: "As a boy I had this big dream of becoming a successful racing driver. That I walked this path in my own way, with honest and hard work, with perseverance and the belief in my passion and with my performance I've made it to the top of the world makes me proud. "

"I gave everything and achieved more than I ever dreamed of. My big thanks go to all the many people who have always believed in me and who have supported me on my way to the top in various ways and with great commitment."

With these penalty points, the drivers go to Formula 1 2021 .
for the ÖFB team stand at the end of March against Scotland (25.3), the Faroe Islands (28.3) and Dänermark (31.3.) Three important World Cup qualifiers on the program. For a long time, it looked after the entry requirements of Germany, team boss Franco Foda would have to do without all the Bundesliga legionaries. Since Friday night, one draws new hope at the Austrian Football Association. © Provided by Spox Marcel Sabitzer.

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