Former Formula 1 driver Rio Haryanto will make his sportscar racing debut next month with Audi in the first-ever SIC888 event at Shanghai International Circuit.

The 25-year-old will make his competitive racing return on October 7 for the inaugural SIC888 endurance event to take place in China’s Shanghai International Circuit. He will drive the Audi R8 LMS GT4 in the 888 km race.

It will be an all-Indonesian line-up put in by Absolute Racing as he partners up with GT3 ace Andrew Haryanto and GT4 racer Anderson Tanoto. “I’m looking forward to getting back behind the wheel, it should be a fun race,” said Haryanto.

“It is my first GT endurance race and I have good memories from Shanghai from when I competed in F1.” Since his stint with Manor Racing in 2016, Haryanto has been sidelined with no competitive racing.

The Indonesian though tested both in the all-electric series Formula E and Japan’s Super Formula, but did not sign anything for a full-time drive post the tests. And so, the one-off GT stint marks his return to the racing fold.

Naturally, the Audi Sport customer team’s director in Asia, Martin Kuehl was delighted having a former F1 driver in his ranks. “We are delighted to welcome Rio Haryanto to the Audi Sport customer racing family,” he said.

“As Indonesia’s first Formula 1 driver, and having built his career across the race tracks of Asia, it is a privilege to have Rio amongst the strong Audi line-up for the first-ever SIC888, together with our Audi Sport R8 LMS Cup regulars Anderson Tanoto and Andrew Haryanto.”