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Kubica, Deletraz Return to WRT After One Season With Prema

ELMS title-winning pair reunite with WRT for WEC program alongside Rui Andrade…

Photo: MPS Agency

Robert Kubica and Louis Deletraz will return to Team WRT for an FIA World Endurance Championship entry after one year with Prema, the Belgian squad has confirmed.

Kubica and Deletraz, who won the 2021 European Le Mans Series title with WRT, will share the No. 41 Oreca 07 Gibson with Silver-rated driver Rui Andrade.

The ELMS championship-winning pair transferred to Prema’s fledgling WEC program last year and finished fifth in the standings alongside Lorenzo Colombo.

Andrade drove the No. 41 WRT Oreca with Ferdinand Habsburg and Norman Nato, winning the 6 Hours of Monza and beating the Prema crew by one place in the points.

This year the No. 41 WRT Oreca will compete under the Orlen Team WRT banner, reflecting ex-Formula 1 driver Kubica’s main sponsor.

“I am very happy to be back in the WRT family and to be representing Orlen Team WRT, but this time in WEC, as we raced together and won the ELMS championship in car No. 41,” Kubica said.

“It will be my third year with Louis, but my first with Rui, who I know well from the paddock and Louis has always spoken very highly of him from their time in IMSA together.

“It will be a big challenge to race in the WEC and of course at Le Mans, it would be nice to get one more lap this time, which we missed in 2021 when we lost the win in the last lap.

“We will stay focused, and we will work hard to achieve the best results possible.”

Deletraz’s full suite of programs for the year is now confirmed, with the Swiss driver also set to represent Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport in the IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup, Tower Motorsports in the WeatherTech Championship sprint rounds and Racing Team Turkey in ELMS.

Deletraz and Andrade raced together in IMSA last year and won the LMP2 class at Motul Petit Le Mans with Tower Motorsports.

“I’m extremely happy to be part of WRT’s WEC program,” said Deletraz.

“I started my full-time endurance career with the team in 2021 and I have many great memories with our ELMS title. It’s even more special coming back together with Robert and it will be the third year in a row we’re sharing a car.

“We have unfinished business in the WEC and at the 24H of Le Mans. Having Rui with us is fantastic, he’s a great driver and also a friend.

“We have already won races together in IMSA and I hope we can add many more to our CV this season. Thank you to everyone involved in making this program happen.”

Kubica and Deletraz’s former team Prema confirmed its pair of WEC LMP2 lineups — featuring Daniil Kvyat and Mirko Bortolotti — earlier this week.

WRT is yet to announce the driver lineup of its No. 31 Oreca for the WEC season, although Sean Gelael was named on the provisional full-season entry list.

“I’m so pleased that we get to work with drivers who we know very well,” said team principal Vincent Vosse.

“Louis and Robert were a fundamental part of our 2021 successes, where they became ELMS champions in our first season with the LMP2, and we all remember the dramatic last lap at Le Mans, which showed just how competitive they are together.

“It’s great to see them teamed up with Rui. We are going for a maximum attack strategy with our line ups in the 2023 season.”

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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