Belgian Audi Club Team WRT has announced much of the detail for its revised European season plans after the delay caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Race activity starts again for the crack Belgian squad on the weekend of 25/26 July with the GT World Challenge Europe season opener at Imola, the first of a reduced and reshuffled eight event calendar.
Imola hosts the 3-hour race that opens the Endurance season, and two weeks later, Misano will host the Sprint season kick-off.
The WRT effort is reduced in both ties by a single car to three apiece, but the quality of the revised effort is still very high.
In Endurance, Dries Vanthoor, Charles Weerts and Christopher Mies will drive one of the Pro cars, with the other entrusted to Mirko Bortolotti, Rolf Ineichen and Kelvin van der Linde.
A third car will compete for Silver Cup honours with Stuart Hall, Benjamin Goethe and Rik Breukers.
GT World Challenge Europe – Endurance
#31 Mirko Bortolotti (IT) – Rolf Ineichen (CH) – Kelvin van der Linde (ZA) Pro
#32 Christopher Mies (DE) – Dries Vanthoor (BE) – Charles Weerts (BE) Pro
#33 Rik Breukers (NL) – Benjamin Goethe (DE) – Stuart Hall (GB) Silver
In Sprint, Belgian duo Dries Vanthoor-Charles Weerts will be fielded along the pair formed by Jusuf and Hamza Owega, two German brothers, and the one composed of Ryuichiro Tomita-Kelvin van der Linde.
GT World Challenge Europe – Sprint
#31 Ryuichiro Tomita (JP) – Kelvin van der Linde (ZA) Pro
#32 Dries Vanthoor (BE) – Charles Weerts (BE) Pro
#33 Hamza Owega (DE) – Jusuf Owega (DE) Silver
Team WRT have entered a full-season two-car campaign in ADAC GT Masters too, which kicks-off on 1-2 August at the Lausitzring. Dries Vanthoor-Charles Weerts and Rolf Ineichen-Mirko Bortolotti will drive the two Audi R8 LMS.
ADAC GT Masters
#30 Mirko Bortolotti (IT) – Rolf Ineichen (CH)
#32 Dries Vanthoor (BE) – Charles Weerts (BE)
In DTM, WRT Team Audi Sport will contest its second (and final) season, upgrading its effort to a three car Audi RS 5 DTM entry.
The season will start on 1-2 August at Spa-Francorchamps.
Fabio Scherer will be joined by Ferdinand Habsburg, who shone at the recent pre-season collective test at the Nürburgring, while Ed Jones, previously announced but sadly now not in a position to contest the DTM, will be replaced by Harrison Newey.
Team WRT Team Principal Vincent Vosse comments: “We are eager and thrilled about going back to the tracks and race again. It is not going to be ‘business as usual’, or like we used to know it until now, but it is great news. The pandemic isn’t over yet, we will have to cope with it for a while, and remain very vigilant. Racing will be different, there will be new rules and new factors to be taken into account, and we all will have to act responsibly and not do mistakes.
Team WRT has gone through the lock-down safely and smoothly. We ceased all racing activity mid-March: a part of our workforce went into the temporary unemployment schemes, and other team members went working for the Weerts group of which we are part. On 25 May, we partially resumed activities, reaching again the usual set-up on 3rd June.
The unexpected situation has led us to slightly review some of our plans, but we are delighted to have in place three great main programs. In the World GT Challenge Europe, we have worked hard and done everything it had to be done in order to be fighting again for top positions. We opted for a 3-car entry both in Endurance and Sprint and we have very strong line-ups.
We are excited about joining full-time the ADAC GT Masters, a very competitive and high-level series, and there too we will be fielding stellar line-ups.
In the DTM, for the last season to be run under the format we have known so far, we aim at materializing the promises we have shown in our debut season last year, and up-grading our efforts to three cars, without departing from our philosophy to promote young talent.
With all calendars having been reshuffled and compressed in a much shorter period of time, we have ahead of us four months of very busy and intense activity, almost with no time to breath! It’s going to be one of the new challenges that 2020 presents us with, but we are ready to respond and fight with a total commitment on all fronts.”