W Racing Team
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W Racing Team
Belgium W Racing Team
Founded2009
Team Vincent Vosse
René Verbist
Yves Weerts
Current seriesFIA World Endurance Championship
European Le Mans Series
GT World Challenge Europe
Intercontinental GT Challenge
ADAC GT Masters
Former seriesDeutsche Tourenwagen Masters
Blancpain GT Series
FIA WTCR
TCR
Belgian Touring Car Series
Andros Trophy
FIA GT3 European Championship
Belcar
Teams'
Championships
21 (last 2020 GT World Challenge Europe Sprint Cup)
Drivers'
Championships
19 (last 2020 GT World Challenge Europe - Overall)
W Racing Team
TypeSA
IndustryAutomotive industry
FoundedAugust 14, 2009; 12 years ago (2009-08-14) in Mons, Hainaut, Belgium
FoundersYves Weerts
Rene Verbist
Vincent Vosse
HeadquartersRue des Roseaux 66, ,
RevenueIncrease EUR 10.841.417[1] (2015)
Decrease EUR 53.624 (2015)
Decrease EUR 13.524 (2015)
Increase EUR 7.654.319 (2015)
Steady EUR 600.000 (2015)
Number of employees
Steady 12 (2015)
ParentPole Invest.be SPRL
Delta Capital Company SA
Upperwest SPRL
SubsidiariesAMP Belgium SPRL

W Racing Team (WRT) is a Belgian auto racing team founded in 2009 by engineer and former head of Volkswagen Motorsport René Verbist, racing driver Vincent Vosse, and entrepreneur Yves Weerts. The team campaigns Audi R8 LMSs in several national and international sports car series, as well as Volkswagen Scirocco GT24s in the Belgian Touring Car Series. Through their association with the two brands, the team receives major support from the Belgian Audi Club and Belgian Volkswagen Club. In 2010 the team won the Belcar Drivers' and Teams' Championships, while in 2011 they won the Spa 24 Hours.[2] After winning multiple titles in various GT championships, WRT is considered to be one of the best teams worldwide in GT racing. In 2019 WRT added the highly competitive DTM championship to their program running two Audi RS5 Turbo DTMs. In 2021 WRT added a full time LMP2 program, by entering an Oreca 07 in both the FIA World Endurance Championship and European Le Mans Series, and won the LMP2 class of the 2021 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Racing history

An Audi R8 LMS from W Racing Team

Upon the team's founding in late 2009, WRT purchased three Audi R8 LMS race cars as part of being the official Belgian Audi motorsport importer. The trio of cars shared duties in 2010 between the national Belcar Endurance Championship, the French FFSA GT Championship (now GT Tour), and the mid-season Spa 24 Hours. The team had success from the start, finishing on the podium with at least one car in every Belcar race including two wins by Gregory Franchi and Anthony Kumpen and a third victory in a ten-hour endurance race at Circuit Zolder with François Verbist, Bert Longin, and Bill Bailly. Franchi and Kumpen locked up the Drivers' Championship, while WRT secured the Teams' Championship. Franchi also partnered with Stéphane Lémeret to earn two further podium finishes in FFSA GT. In addition to this program, two Volkswagen Scirocco GT24s were purchased for use in the Belgian Touring Car Series where the team were vice-champions in their category.

Following their first year's success, WRT expanded their program for 2011 by adding the FIA GT3 European Championship[3] and Blancpain Endurance Series to the schedule for their Audis. Once again success came early as WRT won the second of two races in the first event of the FIA GT3 Championship with Franchi partnering Enzo Ide. Their GT Tour program under the title of Team Audi France with French drivers David Hallyday and Stéphane Ortelli also earned its first victory for the team at Dijon-Prenois. In July WRT won the Spa 24 Hours in only their second attempt, with Franchi sharing the drive with factory Audi drivers Timo Scheider and Mattias Ekström.[2]

WRT announced further expansion of their program in 2012 with accepted entries in the FIA GT World Championship as the representatives of Audi.[4] They went on to finish third in the Teams standings, winning three races on the way. In 2013 WRT won both the Teams' and Drivers' Championship of the newly named FIA GT Series.

In 2014 WRT competed both in the Blancpain Endurance Series and Blancpain Sprint Series, successor of the FIA GT Series. They won both the Teams' and Drivers' Championship in the Blancpain GT Series as well as in the Blancpain Endurance Series. They also won the Teams' Championship in the Blancpain Sprint Series. In July 2014 they added a second win in the Spa 24 Hours with Laurens Vanthoor, René Rast and Markus Winkelhock at the wheel of an Audi R8 LMS. In 2015 they again won both Teams' and Drivers' championships in the Blancpain GT Series. They were also crowned Teams' Champions in the Sprint and Endurance Series. In May 2015 WRT achieved another major success by winning the 24 Hours of Nürburgring with the new version of the Audi R8 LMS (GT3).

In 2016, WRT made their debut in Touring car racing, running pair of Volkswagen Golfs in the TCR International Series under the Leopard Racing badge. Driving for the team were Stefano Comini and Jean-Karl Vernay. WRT also made their debut in the European Le Mans Series running a Ligier JS P2, but only at the 4 Hours of Spa.

Audi RS5 DTM Turbo at Hockenheim, driven by Jonathan Aberdein

In 2018 WRT won the Bathurst 12 hour race with the Audi R8 LMS (GT3), at their first attempt. On 12 October 2018 WRT announced it would run a pair of Audi RS5 Turbo DTMs in the 2019 DTM season as a customer team.[5] They later announced Jonathan Aberdein and Pietro Fittipaldi, grandson of double Formula One World Champion Emerson Fittipaldi, as their two drivers for the season. Although not scoring a single podium, Aberdein was able to impress with several points scoring positions and finished the season in 10th place as the highest ranked rookie. In August 2019 WRT won the 2019 Suzuka 10 Hours, which was the 48th edition of the Summer Endurance Classic at Suzuka.

At the end of 2019, WRT announced an all new line-up for the 2020 DTM season consisting of 2016 Indy Lights champion Ed Jones and FIA Formula 3 driver Fabio Scherer. Later WRT announced they would enter a third car for Ferdinand Habsburg, who had previously been driving for Aston Martin. Before the season started Jones pulled out of the championship due to travel complications as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. He was subsequently replaced by Harrison Newey, who made his debut in the DTM. Habsburg managed to score his and the teams first podium finish as well as a pole position. As a result of Audi's exit at the end of the season it was decided that the Class One formula would be dropped and replaced by GT3 machinery. WRT ultimately decided not to enter the DTM in 2021.

After exiting the DTM, WRT announced their intention to enter the LMP2 class in the FIA WEC to prepare for an eventual program in the new LMDh formula. On January 21 the team officially announced it would enter the FIA WEC with an Oreca 07.[6] The drivers will be Robin Frijns, Ferdinand Habsburg and Charles Milesi. WRT later announced that they would also enter an Oreca 07 in the ELMS driven by Robert Kubica.[7] He will be joined by Louis Delétraz and Yifei Ye. The team once again was successful from the offset and won the first two races of the ELMS championship.

Team WRT decided to enter both cars at the 2021 24 Hours of Le Mans. After taking the lead during the first half of the race WRT was on course to score a sensational 1-2 finish on its Le Mans debut. However, at the start of the last lap car #41 driven by Yifei Ye came to a stop after suffering a broken throttle sensor and was unable to make the finish, giving the win to the sister car #31 who crossed the finish line just over 7 tenths in front of the chasing Oreca 07 from Tom Blomqvist.[8]

Results & Achievements

Audi R8 LMS, winner of the 2015 24 Hours of Nürburgring

Major Wins and Achievements

  • Overall Winner - 2011 24 Hours of Zolder
  • Overall Winner - 2011 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps
  • Overall Winner - 2012 24 Hours of Zolder
  • Overall Winner - 2012 Blancpain Endurance Series
  • Overall Winner - 2013 FIA GT Series
  • Overall Winner - 2013 Baku World Challenge
  • Overall Winner - 2014 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps
  • Overall Winner - 2014 Blancpain Endurance Series
  • Overall Winner - 2014 Blancpain GT Series
  • Overall Winner - 2014 Blancpain Sprint Series
  • Overall Winner - 2014 Baku World Challenge
  • Overall Winner - 2015 24 Hours of Nürburgring
  • Overall Winner - 2015 12 Hours of Sepang
  • Overall Winner - 2015 Blancpain Endurance Series
  • Overall Winner - 2015 Blancpain GT Series
  • Overall Winner - 2015 Blancpain Sprint Series
  • Overall Winner - 2015-16 Andros Trophy
  • Overall Winner - 2016 24 Hours of Dubai
  • Overall Winner - 2016 FIA GT World Cup
  • Overall Winner - 2016 Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup
  • Overall Winner - 2016-17 Andros Trophy
  • Overall Winner - 2017 Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup
  • Overall Winner - 2018 12 Hours of Bathurst
  • Overall Winner - 2018 Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup
  • Overall Winner - 2019 10 Hours of Suzuka
  • Overall Winner - 2020 GT World Challenge Europe
  • Overall Winner - 2020 GT World Challenge Europe - Sprint Cup
  • LMP2 Winner - 2021 24 Hours of Le Mans
  • Overall Winner - 2021 European Le Mans Series

European Le Mans Series

Year Class No Chassis Engine Drivers 1 2 3 4 5 6 Pos. Pts
2021 LMP2 41 Oreca 07 Gibson GK428 4.2L V8 Switzerland Louis Delétraz
Poland Robert Kubica
China Yifei Ye
CAT
1
RBR
1
LEC
5
MNZ
4
SPA
1
ALG

World Endurance Championship

Year Class No Chassis Engine Drivers 1 2 3 4 5 6 Pos. Pts
2021 LMP2 31 Oreca 07 Gibson GK428 4.2L V8 Netherlands Robin Frijns
Austria Ferdinand Habsburg
France Charles Milesi
SPA
12
POR
4
MON
2
LMN
1
BAH 1
BAH 2

24 Hours of Le Mans

Year Entrant Class No Chassis Engine Drivers Laps Pos. Class
Pos.
2021 Belgium Team WRT LMP2 31 Oreca 07 Gibson GK428 4.2L V8 Netherlands Robin Frijns
Austria Ferdinand Habsburg
France Charles Milesi
363 6th 1st
LMP2 41 Oreca 07 Gibson GK428 4.2L V8 Switzerland Louis Delétraz
Poland Robert Kubica
China Yifei Ye
362 DNF DNF

Bathurst 12 Hours results

Year Team Drivers Car Car# Class Laps Pos. Class
Pos.
2018 Belgium Audi Sport Team WRT Netherlands Robin Frijns
United Kingdom Stuart Leonard
Belgium Dries Vanthoor
Audi R8 LMS GT3 37 GT3 - APP 271 1st 1st
Portugal Pedro Lamy
Austria Mathias Lauda
Canada Paul Dalla Lana
Australia Will Davison
39 GT3 - APA 267 14th 8th

Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters

Year Car No Driver 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 DC Points TC Points
2019 Audi RS5 Turbo DTM 27 South Africa Jonathan Aberdein HOC1
1

15
HOC1
2

12
ZOL
1

Ret
ZOL
2

12
MIS
1

8
MIS
2

7
NOR
1

13
NOR
2

14
ASS
1

6
ASS
2

4
BRH
1

9
BRH
2

13
LAU
1

14
LAU
2

7
NÜR
1

4
NÜR
2

5
HOC2
1

14
HOC2
2

Ret
10th 67 7th 79
21 Brazil Pietro Fittipaldi HOC1
1

10
HOC1
2

15
ZOL
1

14
ZOL
2

9
MIS
1

11
MIS
2

5
NOR
1

Ret
NOR
2

15
ASS
1

11
ASS
2

10
BRH
1

DNS
BRH
2

16
LAU
1

7
LAU
2

9
NÜR
1

15
NÜR
2

13
HOC2
1

15
HOC2
2

15
15th 22
34 Italy Andrea Dovizioso HOC1
1

HOC1
2

ZOL
1

ZOL
2

MIS
1

12
MIS
2

15
NOR
1

NOR
2

ASS
1

ASS
2

BRH
1

BRH
2

LAU
1

LAU
2

NÜR
1

NÜR
2

HOC2
1

HOC2
2

NC 0
2020 Audi RS5 Turbo DTM 10 United Kingdom Harrison Newey SPA
1

13
SPA
2

Ret
LAU1
1

10
LAU1
2

12
LAU2
1

15
LAU2
2

13
ASS
1

12
ASS
2

15
NÜR1
1

14
NÜR1
2

13
NÜR2
1

11
NÜR2
2

11
ZOL1
1

5
ZOL1
1

6
ZOL2
1

7
ZOL2
1

9
HOC
1

Ret
HOC
2

13
14th 27 7th 103
13 Switzerland Fabio Scherer SPA
1

12
SPA
2

12
LAU1
1

14
LAU1
2

11
LAU2
1

11
LAU2
2

13
ASS
1

15
ASS
2

Ret
NÜR1
1

15
NÜR1
2

16+
NÜR2
1

Ret
NÜR2
2

14
ZOL1
1

13
ZOL1
1

5
ZOL2
1

5
ZOL2
1

Ret
HOC
1

13+
HOC
2

12
16th 20
62 Austria Ferdinand Habsburg SPA
1

DNS
SPA
2

15
LAU1
1

6
LAU1
2

10
LAU2
1

11
LAU2
2

14
ASS
1

8
ASS
2

7
NÜR1
1

11
NÜR1
2

15
NÜR2
1

7
NÜR2
2

62
ZOL1
1

7
ZOL1
1

7
ZOL2
1

32
ZOL2
1

101
HOC
1

11
HOC
2

14
10th 68

References

  1. ^ "Comptes Annuels en Euros W Racing Team" (PDF). Staatsblad Monitor. Retrieved 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Dominant First Win For Audi at Spa". Blancpain Endurance Series. SRO Group. 2011-07-31. Retrieved .
  3. ^ "17/03/2011 WRT Step Up to FIA GT3 European Championship in 2011". FIA GT3 European Championship. SRO Group. 2011-03-17. Retrieved .
  4. ^ "Revamped 2012 season plans take shape". FIA GT1 World Championship. SRO Group. 2011-07-30. Retrieved .
  5. ^ "WRT becomes Audi customer team in the DTM". DTM.com. 12 October 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  6. ^ "A NEW EXCITING CHALLENGE FOR TEAM WRT, AS IT ENTERS THE FIA WEC AND THE LE MANS 24H IN LMP2". w-racingteam.com. 21 January 2021. Retrieved 2021.
  7. ^ "ROBERT KUBICA TO JOIN TEAM WRT IN ELMS PROGRAMME". w-racingteam.com. 12 February 2021. Retrieved 2021.
  8. ^ "Broken Throttle Sensor Denies No. 41 WRT Oreca LMP2 Victory". FIA WEC. 2021-08-23. Retrieved .

External links


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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