Pietro Fittipaldi to test with WRT

Pietro Fittipaldi is in line to join the DTM grid for the 2019 season after WRT revealed that he will test its Audi RS5 next week at the Lausitzring.

The grandson of double F1 champion Emerson Fittipaldi will take to the track alongside South African Jonathan Auberdein, who was confirmed as the first driver for the privateer programme last month.

Having launched his career in short track racing in the USA, Fittipaldi switched into single-seaters when he moved to Europe in 2013 and went on to secure the Protyre Formula Renault title in the UK in 2014.

Further success in the MRF Challenge and in the final season of the World Series Formula V8 3.5 followed, with Fittipaldi then inking deals to compete in the IndyCar Series and Super Formula last year.

However, hopes of a strong season on track were ended by a huge accident during qualifying for the World Endurance Championship race at Spa, where the Brazilian was due to stand in for Renger van der Zande at the wheel of a DragonSpeed-run BR Engineering LMP1 car.

That left Fittipaldi with fractures to both legs and left him sidelined for much of the season, with a single outing in Super Formula and six races in IndyCar with a best finish of ninth.

Prior to the accident at Spa, Fittipaldi had been in talks with Haas about a role with the Formula 1 outfit, and was confirmed as the team’s test driver late last year.

Having tested in Abu Dhabi, Barcelona and Bahrain, Fittipaldi now looks set to run a parallel race programme in the DTM, with his test with WRT scheduled to coincide with the 2019 season launch.

There has been no official word on a race deal from the Belgian team, which would only confirm to TouringCarTimes that Fittipaldi will take to the track during the final three days of the four-day test.

The WRT seat is the only remaining vacancy on the grid for 2019, with the full driver line-ups having been confirmed by Audi, BMW and Aston Martin; the latter as a part of a programme being run by R-Motorsport.