Belgian front-runners WRT are rumoured to be finalising a deal to run 2017 TCR International Series champion Jean-Karl Vernay and triple BTCC champion Gordon Shedden, who has confirmed his exit from the BTCC, in the WTCR with a pair of Audi’s.
Whilst the team are yet to comment on their plans for 2018, Wallonian-based newspaper La Dernière Heure have reported that Russian oil magnate Lukoil are set to fund the powerful duo which, subject to confirmation, will undisputedly be a title-challenging line-up.
The move would see the team ditch the Volkswagen Golf GTI which secured them 2 drivers’ championships in the TCR series for the Audi RS3 LMS, a brand much more familiar to the team which has campaigned Audi R8 GT cars since the its foundation in 2009.
With Lukoil suggested as the new title sponsor, this would also see Leopard unsurprisingly dropped from the team. Leopard faced financial problems heading into the the 2017 season which resulted in the team dropping Stefano Comini amid complaints of late-payment of wages, suggesting deep-rooted economic difficulties.
WRT’s involvement would bring the current count of entries for the 2018 WTCR season up to 6, all of which from Belgian, following the confirmation of Denis Dupont and Aurélien Panis in Audi’s for Comtoyou Racing and the nearly-finalised entry of a pair of Peugeot 308’s from DG Sport Competition.