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Frijns, Vernay Join Belgian Audi Club Team WRT

Robin Frijns and Jean-Karl Vernay join WRT for the 2015 season…

Photo: Vincent Wouters

Photo: Vincent Wouters

Belgian Audi Club Team WRT has confirmed that Robin Frijns and Jean-Karl Vernay will join the team for the 2015 season, as the Vincent Vosse led squad revealed its lineups at its workshop in Belgium today.

WRT will enter four full-season cars in the Sprint Series and three in the Endurance Series, though it will field an extra second-generation Audi R8 LMS in the Monza and Paul Ricard rounds.

After two years of standing on the sidelines, 2012 Formula Renault 3.5 champ and F1 hopeful Frijns redirected his career in a new direction to end up in GT racing, with the Dutchman also conducted a DTM test for BMW this winter.

Frijns will team up with reigning Blancpain GT champion Laurens Vanthoor in the Sprint and Endurance Series, the No. 1 Audi of the Dutch-speaking duo will be bolstered by Jean-Karl Vernay for the longer endurance races.

Former Peugeot LMP1 reserve driver Vernay will combine his Blancpain Endurance commitments with a campaign in the GT Asia Series, where he’ll drive a Bentley Continental GT3 run by Absolute Racing.

GP2 convert Stéphane Richelmi stays on at WRT after competing in the final three Blancpain races last year. He’ll team up with Stéphane Ortelli, with Frank Stippler joining the Monegasque duo in the Endurance Series.

Stippler will also race in the Sprint Series, but with James Nash as his teammate, the Brit making the switch from BES.

Zandvoort Main Race winner Enzo Ide gets a new copilot in the final sprint car with Christopher Mies, as René Rast focuses on his LMP1 career.

The Belgian squad will also field a car in the Pro-Am Cup of the Endurance Series, driven by Laurent Pasquali, Sacha Bottemanne and Max Koebolt.

The composition of the BES Pro Cup entries will be altered when the teams runs the new Audi R8 LMS in the Monza, Paul Ricard and Spa rounds.

Blancpain Sprint Series:
No. 1 Laurens Vanthoor / Robin Frijns
No. 2 Enzo Ide / Christopher Mies
No. 3 Stéphane Ortelli / Stéphane Richelmi
No. 4 Frank Stippler / James Nash

Blancpain Endurance Series:
No. 1 Laurens Vanthoor / Robin Frijns / Jean-Karl Vernay
No. 2 Stéphane Ortelli / Stéphane Richelmi / Frank Stippler
No. 4 Laurent Pasquali / Sacha Bottemanne / Max Koebolt (Pro-Am Cup)

Additional 2015 Audi R8 LMS GT3
Monza: Nico Müller / Stéphane Ortelli / Frank Stippler
Paul Ricard (1000km): Laurens Vanthoor / Markus Winkelhock / René Rast

Audi Sport already announced the lineups of the factory supported 2015-spec Audi R8 LMS GT3s for the Nürburgring and Spa 24 Hours at the beginning of this week:

Nürburgring 24 Hours
 
Christopher Mies/Nico Müller/Edward Sandström/Laurens Vanthoor
Christer Jöns/Pierre Kaffer/Nicki Thiim/Laurens Vanthoor

Total 24 Hours of Spa 
René Rast/Laurens Vanthoor/Markus Winkelhock
Nico Müller/Stéphane Ortelli/Frank Stippler

Vincent Wouters (@VinceWouters) is a Belgium-based sports car racing reporter, providing coverage primarily of the Blancpain GT Series.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. N8

    March 26, 2015 at 8:34 am

    These open wheel ladders series might be dream killing, bank breaking dead ends for F1 hopefuls, but god damn if sportscars aren’t reaping the rewards in terms of driver talent.

    • 996corsa

      March 26, 2015 at 12:35 pm

      Totally agree, it’s tough on guys looking to move up to F1. Just not enough seats there (unless you come with a big pile of cash…) But, as you say, the talent we’re seeing coming into sportscars is impressive. It harkens back to the halcyon days of the 50’s, 60’s & 70’s when you often saw the very best talent in the big sportscar races.

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