The 23-year old Austrian is currently contesting the DTM series with WRT, delivering the team its first ever series pole position at Zolder on Sunday. During his season with the team, he has consistently challenged the Audi Sport works drivers and has cemented his position on the grid of the world’s best racers. It’s no surprise that when Audi found itself a driver down four days ahead of Spa, that Ferdinand’s manager received a call.
“When I got asked, I was like ‘yes’ straight away!” said the REMUS-sponsored racer: “What an incredible opportunity to drive for Audi Sport at a huge global event. Then, I had to stop and consider it – of course, DTM is my number one priority and I’m edging closer to the race win with each round. Some of the DTM championship-contenders opted out of Spa, and that makes total sense for them, but I’m in a different championship position and stage in my career.
“The truth is, to represent Audi Sport, one of the greatest sporting operations in the world, is something I am going to grab with both hands. I’m honoured to have been asked and proud that I can support WRT in their home race. I just need to approach it so that I don’t leave the event exhausted and that I don’t let it affect my driving style when I get back in the DTM car. But, you know what? These are both things that I need to learn in my career so why not now?!”
Habsburg’s lack of GT3 experience will make this a challenge for the youngster who climbed the ranks of the single-seater ladder. Despite entering the 24 Hours of Spa in 2019 with R-Motorsport, he didn’t get to turn a wheel in the race, so this will effectively be his debut Spa 24 Hours.
“Yeah, the lack of GT3 experience makes this more of a challenge and I’m going to be up there on the world stage and the pressure will be on. Spa 24 Hours is the race that WRT, as a Belgian team, really wants to win and it’s extremely important to Audi. It really is in at the deep end but I’m ready to swim!”
Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps holds happy memories for Habsburg, who stormed to victory in FIA Formula 3 back in 2017 and he’s happy to be returning to the track despite COVID concerns.
“It’s really sad to see that COVID is having such a huge impact on the region so I’d like to send my best wishes to everyone affected. It’s good to see that SRO are taking all of the strictest safety procedures. I hope everyone has a great race and stays safe.”
The 24 Hours of Spa takes place on Saturday 24 October – Sunday 25th October.