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W Racing Team (WRT) is a Belgian auto racing team founded in 2009 by engineer and former head of Volkswagen Motorsport René Verbist, racing driving Vincent Vosse, and entrepreneur Yves Weerts. The team campaigns Audi R8 LMSs in several national and international sports car series, as well as Volkswagen Scirocco GT24s in the Belgian Touring Car Series. Through their association with the two brands, the team receives major support from the Belgian Audi Club and Belgian Volkswagen Club. In 2010 the team won the Belcar Drivers' and Teams' Championships, while in 2011 they won the Spa 24 Hours.[2] After winning multiple titles in various GT championships, WRT is considered to be one of the best teams worldwide in GT racing.

Belgium W Racing Team
Founded2009
Team principal(s)Vincent Vosse
René Verbist
Yves Weerts
Current seriesBlancpain GT Series
Blancpain Endurance Series
Blancpain Sprint Series
Intercontinental GT Challenge
Blancpain GT Series Asia
World Touring Car Cup
TCR Europe Series
Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters
Former seriesFIA GT3 European Championship
GT Tour
Belcar
Belgian Touring Car Series
Andros Trophy
Teams'
Championships
15 (last 2017 TCR Benelux)
Drivers'
Championships
16 (last 2017 TCR International Series)
W Racing Team
SA
IndustryAutomotive industry
FoundedAugust 14, 2009; 10 years ago (2009-08-14) in Mons, Hainaut, Belgium
FoundersYves Weerts
Rene Verbist
Vincent Vosse
HeadquartersRue des Roseaux 6, ,
RevenueIncrease € 10.841.417[1] (2015)
Decrease € 53.624 (2015)
Decrease € 13.524 (2015)
Total assetsIncrease € 7.654.319 (2015)
Total equitySteady € 600.000 (2015)
Number of employees
Steady 12 (2015)
ParentPole Invest.be SPRL
Delta Capital Company SA
Upperwest SPRL
SubsidiariesAMP Belgium SPRL
Websitewww.w-racingteam.com Edit this on Wikidata

Racing historyEdit

 
An Audi R8 LMS from W Racing Team
 
Audi R8 LMS, winner of the 2015 24 Hours of Nürburgring

Upon the team's founding in late 2009, WRT purchased three Audi R8 LMS race cars as part of being the official Belgian Audi motorsport importer. The trio of cars shared duties in 2010 between the national Belcar Endurance Championship, the French FFSA GT Championship (now GT Tour), and the mid-season Spa 24 Hours. The team had success from the start, finishing on the podium with at least one car in every Belcar race including two wins by Gregory Franchi and Anthony Kumpen and a third victory in a ten-hour endurance race at Circuit Zolder with François Verbist, Bert Longin, and Bill Bailly. Franchi and Kumpen locked up the Drivers' Championship, while WRT secured the Teams' Championship. Franchi also partnered with Stéphane Lémeret to earn two further podium finishes in FFSA GT. In addition to this program, two Volkswagen Scirocco GT24s were purchased for use in the Belgian Touring Car Series where the team were vice-champions in their category.

Following their first year's success, WRT expanded their program for 2011 by adding the FIA GT3 European Championship[3] and Blancpain Endurance Series to the schedule for their Audis. Once again success came early as WRT won the second of two races in the first event of the FIA GT3 Championship with Franchi partnering Enzo Ide. Their GT Tour program under the title of Team Audi France with French drivers David Hallyday and Stéphane Ortelli also earned its first victory for the team at Dijon-Prenois. In July WRT won the Spa 24 Hours in only their second attempt, with Franchi sharing the drive with factory Audi drivers Timo Scheider and Mattias Ekström.[2]

WRT announced further expansion of their program in 2012 with accepted entries in the FIA GT World Championship as the representatives of Audi.[4] They went on to finish third in the Teams standings, winning three races on the way. In 2013 WRT won both the Teams' and Drivers' Championship of the newly named FIA GT Series.

In 2014 WRT competed both in the Blancpain Endurance Series and Blancpain Sprint Series, successor of the FIA GT Series. They won both the Teams' and Drivers' Championship in the Blancpain GT Series as well as in the Blancpain Endurance Series. They also won the Teams' Championship in the Blancpain Sprint Series. In July 2014 they added a second win in the Spa 24 Hours with Laurens Vanthoor, René Rast and Markus Winkelhock at the wheel of an Audi R8 LMS. In 2015 they again won both Teams' and Drivers' championships in the Blancpain GT Series. They were also crowned Teams' Champions in the Sprint and Endurance Series. In May of 2015 WRT achieved another major success by winning the 24 Hours of Nürburgring with the new version of the Audi R8 LMS (GT3).

In 2016, WRT made their debut in Touring car racing, running pair of Volkswagen Golfs in the TCR International Series under the Leopard Racing badge. Driving for the team were Stefano Comini and Jean-Karl Vernay. WRT also made their debut in the European Le Mans Series running Ligier JS P2, but only in 4 Hours of Spa.

In 2018 WRT won the Bathurst 12 hour race with the Audi R8 LMS (GT3), at their first attempt. On 12 October 2018 WRT announced it would run a pair of Audi RS5 DTMs in the 2019 DTM season as a customer team.[5]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Comptes Annuels en Euros W Racing Team" (PDF). Staatsblad Monitor. Retrieved 5 May 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Dominant First Win For Audi at Spa". Blancpain Endurance Series. SRO Group. 2011-07-31. Retrieved 2011-08-03.
  3. ^ "17/03/2011 WRT Step Up to FIA GT3 European Championship in 2011". FIA GT3 European Championship. SRO Group. 2011-03-17. Retrieved 2011-08-03.
  4. ^ "Revamped 2012 season plans take shape". FIA GT1 World Championship. SRO Group. 2011-07-30. Retrieved 2011-08-03.
  5. ^ "WRT becomes Audi customer team in the DTM". DTM.com. 12 October 2018. Retrieved 12 October 2018.

External linksEdit