The ex-Toyota Formula 1 test driver will be taking over the wheel of the #19 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 for what is the most prestigious round of the DTM calendar on July 1-3, reuniting with his 2018 Rolex 24-winning teammate Mirko Bortolotti at the four-car GRT team.
Perera has past experience of racing at the Nuremberg-based circuit from his F3 Euro days in 2004-05, finishing on the podium twice with Lewis Hamilton as the race winner at each occasion.
With Ineichen unable to race this weekend due to sickness, the 38-year-old was an obvious choice for GRT given he has competed for the squad in a number of championships including ADAC GT Masters and Blancpain GT (now GT World Challenge Europe) over the years.
“I am delighted to be racing in DTM for the first time in my career. I will do my best to be a worthy replacement for Rolf in the number 19 car,” said Perera.
“Moreover, it is nice to be working with GRT again and to be back at Norisring. I have very good memories of this great venue from my time in Formula 3 and I can hardly await to be racing there again after such a long time.”
Rolf Ineichen, Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini HuracÃ¡n EVO GT3
Photo by: DTM
GRT has regularly been fighting for podium positions this year courtesy of its star signing Bortolotti, who currently sits second in the drivers’ championship behind Schubert BMW driver Sheldon van der Linde.
The addition of a second factory driver in its four-strong line-up, which is completed by Alessio Deledda and Clemens Schmid, will boost its chances for Norisring.
“Surprisingly, Rolf fell ill at the beginning of the week and I wish him a speedy recovery on behalf of the entire Grasser Racing Team,” said team principal Gottfried Grasser.
“We are relieved that Franck is able to step in at such a short notice. With him, we have worked together very well in the past years. Especially at Norisring, we are lucky to have him as a replacement.
“We are the first time at this track and therefore it is important to rely on a driver who knows the team in this unexpected situation.”
GRT will be the only team representing Lamborghini at Norisring this weekend, with T3 Motorsport absent for a second round in a row.