After the successes of 2021, Team WRT have announced that they will be taking on their second attempt at the 24 Hours of Le Mans with three entries.
The Belgium team has already increased its racing program this year after taking the LMP2 championship in the FIA World Endurance Championship, European Le Mans Series and class victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2021, fielding two full-season entries into the WEC. The announcement of a third car at Le Mans just shows the strength and confidence the outfit has, which is deserved when remembering 2021 was the rookie year for the team in the LMP2 class.
Last year at Le Mans, the team had two entries and had been looking set to take a one-two on debut at the prestigious race until their second entry fell foul to some technical issues. The full-season WEC #31 entry drove on to take a brilliant victory on their first time at Le Mans as a team, which was their first win of the season and boosted them to take the remaining LMP2 victories to claim the 2021 championship in dominant fashion.
Mirko Bortolotti, Rolf Ineichen and Dries Vanthoor join Team WRT in the third car for Le Mans, alongside the full season trios of Robin Frijns, Sean Gelael, Rene Rast (Team WRT) and Rui Andrade, Ferdinand Habsburg, Norman Nato (REALTEAM by WRT). Frijns and Habsburg remain as reigning LMP2 champions in the WEC, whilst their former team mate and fellow champion Charles Milesi has moved to opposing LMP2 team Richard Mille Racing Team for 2022.
Bortolotti, Ineichen and Vanthoor all have a great roster of experience in endurance racing, with the three drivers coming from GT and IMSA backgrounds. Bortolotti and Vanthoor bring 24-hour wins with them to the team; Bortolotti with two GT Daytona 24 class wins and a Sebring 12 Hours victory whilst Vanthoor, the reigning GTWCE overall and sprint champion (with WRT) took GTE Am class victory at Le Mans on debut in 2017. Ineichen will be relying on his team mates to give him advice and guidance this year for his debut race at the Circuit de la Sarthe.
“We are delighted to have the opportunity to field a third car with such a strong line-up at Le Mans, alongside the two granted entries because of our successes of last year,” Said team owner Vincent Vosse. “This year we will have to face the challenge of running a three-car entry. To that end we will foresee a third dedicated full crew and I am sure the entire team will be reinforced by this addition.
“I am also very happy to have Rolf and Mirko back with us and to see Dries racing for us for the first time at Le Mans. They all are part of the WRT family and can contribute greatly to the team’s efforts to retain our crowns. We thank both Lamborghini Squadra Corse and Audi Sport for allowing the participation of Mirko and Dries, respectively.”