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Happy Birthday, Andre Lotterer!

Andre Lotterer, Caterham, 2014 Belgian Grand Prix

Andre Lotterer turns 36 today, and was able to do so by celebrating with a podium appearance at the Six Hours of Bahrain endurance race.

Although the German-born Belgian racing driver is best known for his success in sportscars these days, he also made a brief appearance in the annals of Formula 1. He was the reserve driver for Jaguar Racing in 2001-2, working alongside regular drivers Eddie Irvine and Pedro de la Rosa.

When a race seat failed to materialise he headed east and competed in Formula Nippon (now Japanese Super Formula) and Super GT. Lotterer then made his first Le Mans 24 appearance in 2009.

He subsequently became a fixture of the LMP1 Audi Sport Team Joest in the FIA World Endurance Championship. He's won Le Mans on three occasions, and the WEC title in 2012. This year he moved to Porsche, joining Neel Jani and Nick Tandy in the team's #1 car. They finished the season in fourth place.

Lotterer and his Porsche team mates were on the podium this weekend after clinching third place in the season finale. (Pictured below - Lotterer is third from right, at the back.) They'd looked set to win the race until a costly collision with a GT car toward the end of the race. The win went instead to Toyota's #8 car helmed by Sébastien Buemi, Anthony Davidson and Kazuki Nakajima. It was Lotterer's 50th WEC race.

Next month Lotterer will make his Formula E début in Hong Kong alongside Jean-Eric Vergne with TECHEETAH. However there was always one small bit of unfinished business which he finally got to attend to in 2014.

12 years after departing the sport, Lotterer finally got to make his Formula 1 Grand Prix début at his home race at Spa-Francorchamps (pictured above). He lined up on the grid for Caterham, replacing regular driver Kamui Kobyashi.

He qualified ahead of his team mate Marcus Ericsson, but sadly completed only one lap before suffering mechanical failure. The team invited him invited back for the next race at Monza but he declined, closing the book on one of the shortest F1 careers in the history of the sport.

2017 Six Hours of Bahrain - Podium

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