Belgian motorsport powerhouse, Team WRT, have recently held their 2019 season launch party. During which, they unveiled the liveries that their World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) and TCR Europe teams will be competing in this year.
Starting off with their WTCR team, Jean-Karl Vernay and Gordon Shedden will be racing in slightly different looking cars compared to last year.
Most noticeably, the turquoise colours of title sponsor, Leopard energy drinks, feature more prominently on the 2019 cars. This comes as a result of no longer having to share the canvas with fellow sponsor, Lukoil, who have decided to invest in the BRC Hyundai project this year instead.
However, the red colours synonymous with Lukoil haven’t totally vanished from this new design. Audi Sport‘s sponsorship of the team ensures that the turquoise & red combination lives on, as seen above.
After a dual campaign in both WTCR and TCR Europe last year, Jean-Karl Vernay is focusing solely on the World Cup for 2019, with the aim of fighting to become world champion. Gordon Shedden, meanwhile, will be wanting to match Vernay as best he can. Despite victory at Wuhan last year, the triple BTCC champion struggled at times in 2018 but will hope to be up to speed for his second attempt at an international campaign.
As for the TCR Europe Touring Car Series, the team’s visual appearance is much different. For a start, Team WRT will be representing two marques in this competition. A long supporter of the Audi brand, WRT will run an RS3 LMS TCR for Uruguayan newcomer, Santiago Urrutia. Maxime Potty also returns to the team after a year with Comtoyou Racing, however he declined the chance to swap his trusty Volkswagen for a new Audi. As such, the Belgian youngster will continue to compete in his Golf GTI TCR this year.
But, while the drivers may be using different cars, they will at least be competing under the same livery, as seen above. In stark contrast to the WTCR cars, the European challengers will race in much darker colours, albeit with flashes of orange here and there. This largely black-grey base with brighter detailing is far more synonymous with Team WRT liveries of yesteryear.
Despite being just 19 years old, Maxime Potty has been a TCR regular in various competitions for the past few years now. Having scored two podium results en route to eighth place in the drivers’ standings last year, Potty still has plenty of potential left to fulfill and will certainly be one to watch in 2019.
Santiago Urrutia, meanwhile, has decided to trade in open-wheel success for an attempt at touring car racing. The former Pro Mazda champion has been a front-runner in the Indy Lights series over the past three seasons. For a driver of his pedigree, expectations will be high, but the learning curve of adjusting to the touring car style of racing should not be underestimated.
Team WRT boss, Vincent Vosse, said: “Touring Car racing has become a substantial part of our activities and has already provided great satisfaction. We want to be even more successful and it won’t be easy, as competition is becoming fiercer at all levels, but as always, we will aim for top achievements.”