After an impressive opening chapter, the story continues: Having enjoyed a successful debut, including one win, a further four podiums and two pole positions, Team WRT is back for more in the 2021 ADAC GT Masters. The Belgian team plans to run two Audi R8 LMS again in the International German GT Championship. “Needless to say, we are continuing our long-term and successful cooperation with Audi. We know what our goals are and want to improve on what we achieved in 2020,” says team principal Vincent Vosse. “Last year, the series was new to all our team members. We want to use the experience gained in 2020 to come back stronger this year.” The new season of the ADAC GT Masters kicks off from 14th to 16th May at Motorsport Arena Oschersleben.
“All things considered, we performed well in our first year,” says Vosse. Last year, the team ran two Audi R8 LMS for the pairings of Rolf Ineichen (42/CH) and Mirko Bortolotti (31/I), and Charles Weerts (19/B) and Dries Vanthoor (22/B). “Our season was defined by three main things: We were victorious at our first race weekend in the ADAC GT Masters at the Lausitzring, having started Sunday’s race from pole position. That came as a bit of a surprise. The second thing was our withdrawal from the Red Bull Ring, which was a difficult decision, but absolutely the right one. And we ended the season on a high with an impressive second place on the Sunday at the finale in Oschersleben. We showed that we can challenge for podium positions at virtually every race weekend. This was an impressive effort from the team, as there are an awful lot of very good drivers and teams with a wealth of experience in the ADAC GT Masters. We obviously had a few weaker races, but that goes with the territory.”
Vosse is impressed by the ADAC GT Masters: “It is one of the strongest series out there, and incredibly evenly-matched. There are a lot of teams and drivers who know the circuits very well. That does not make it easy, as the standard is very high. You have 20 very competitive cars and really have to fight to get in the top ten. It is fantastic that ADAC and SRO are coming to an agreement with regard the scheduling. That is very important for us teams, as we race in different series and can take advantage of any synergies and significantly reduce our budgets.”
Although Team WRT can call on a wealth of experience in GT3 racing and is one of the most successful teams in the world, it initially had to find its feet in the ADAC GT Masters. “The regulations are a little different to those in the other series, in which we have raced previously. The Pirelli tyres are the same, but tyre blankets are not permitted. And the pit stops with the driver changeover are different. We had to get used to all that at first.” The team benefitted from the experience of Bortolotti and Vanthoor, who have spent several seasons racing in this series. “Their experience really helped us. That was important to us. Their driving is of a very high standard. And let’s not forget Frédéric Vervisch, who stepped in at the second Lausitzring weekend and promptly secured pole position.”
Vosse is full of praise for his drivers: “I was very happy to have two such strong pairings. Dries and Charles had a good year, topped by the victory at the Lausitzring. It was sometimes noticeable that Charles, as the youngest driver in the field, was lacking a little experience. However, that is only normal. The important thing is that you keep learning and improving. When you consider how inexperienced he is, he did an unbelievable job. Mirko and Rolf also enjoyed a few podium results and came close to winning in Oschersleben. Rolf is extremely impressive for an amateur driver. He is very ambitious in everything he does. He is focussed and prepares very meticulously.”
In 2021, Team WRT is looking to build on the experience gained in its rookie season: “We definitely made a few mistakes. However, with the experience we now have, they should not happen again. To be involved in the title race, we need to be more consistent, but I am sure we will manage that.” Exactly who will be at the wheel of the two Audis is yet to be confirmed: “I cannot reveal anything regarding the drivers. However, for various reasons, we will have a slightly different line-up.”
Source. ADAC GT Masters