The German-run Lotus will step up to the LMP1 class of this year's World Endurance Championship as the premier division grows to nine full-season cars.

The team will field a single AER-engined Lotus T129 in the eight-round championship, with Christijan Albers - who drove for the squad at Silverstone in 2012 - slated as the lead driver.

Nine full-time entries have been lodged for the top prototype class, which flitted between four and five cars in the final rounds of 2013.

Works squads Audi, Toyota and newcomer Porsche will both field two entries.

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LMP1 The Next F1? Lotus To Join Audi, Toyota And Porsche In World Endurance Championship

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