WRT will make its LMP2 debut in next weekend’s European Le Mans Series round at Spa-Francorchamps, having announced Monday that it will field a Ligier JS P2 Judd for Will Stevens and brothers Laurens and Dries Vanthoor.
While the multi-time Blancpain GT Series championship-winning team is entering Spa as a one-off race, team boss Vincent Vosse admits it could lead to a potential full-time venture in prototype racing in the future.
“It’s not a secret that we have been following closely sport scar racing and the LMP2 category which is the backbone of the ELMS,” Vosse said.
“We now have the possibility to launch a nice new project, together with an effective organization such as Onroak Automotive.
“This will be a first taste, on our home track, which will allow us to showcase our technical ‘savoir-faire’ and also our strategic ability in endurance racing, with Pierre Dieudonne as a manager.
“It is also aimed at exploring possible new areas of activity for the future.”
The Belgian squad, which currently fields five Audi R8 LMS cars in Blancpain GT, is also one of two factory-supported Audi squads in GT3 racing, having won races such as the Total 24 Hours of Spa and Nurburgring 24 with the German manufacturer.
The prototype effort will mark WRT’s first venture outside of the VW brand, although both Laurens Vanthoor and Stevens have prior LMP2 experience.
Stevens took part in the opening three rounds of the FIA World Endurance Championship, initially with Manor before switching to G-Drive Racing for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, while Vanthoor has two starts at Le Mans in a Ligier, with OAK Racing and Michael Shank Racing.
“I know the Ligier JS P2 well, although I have never driven the Judd-powered version,” Laurens Vanthoor said. “I’m told this is the best engine for this type of endurance races.
“My first test with the Ligier LMP2 took place precisely at Spa in 2015, and I loved it. It’s always great to run on a track like Spa with a car having a lot of downforce.
“To try this with WRT, my usual engineer on the R8, Pierre Dieudonne, Will and my brother, who is a very good Silver… all this and the fact we will be in Belgium and on a track I know very well, is great and will make a very nice story to tell.”
The race will mark 18-year-old Dries Vanthoor’s prototype debut, just months after making his professional GT racing debut.
“I still don’t have a lot of experience with high downforce cars and in real endurance races, but I feel ready to take the challenge, especially at Spa,” he said.
“It really looks like that things are happening fast in my career these days, but I am sure that this new experience will help me progressing and improving.”