Connect with us

24H Le Mans

Using All Four Le Mans Auto Entries “Impossible” for WRT

WRT won’t use all four of its Le Mans auto entries; extra third car possible with “right idea behind it”…

Photo: MPS Agency

Team WRT will not take up both of its additional automatic entries to the 24 Hours of Le Mans according to team principal Vincent Vosse, who described a four-car commitment as “impossible”.

WRT earned a pair of invitations to the 2022 Le Mans edition in June by winning the European Le Mans Series title and last year’s 24-hour race in the LMP2 class.

The Belgian squad has increased to a two-car effort in the FIA World Endurance Championship, with both of those entries guaranteed spots on the Le Mans grid.

That opened the option for WRT to enter a quartet of Oreca 07 Gibsons in the French enduro, but Vosse has stated that it would be too demanding to carry out competitively.

Asked if WRT would consider entering two additional cars at Le Mans this year, alongside the full-season WEC vehicles, Vosse told Sportscar365: “It is not possible to do it in a competitive way.”

However, he suggested that filing an entry for a third car could be an option if a suitable deal came along.

WRT has a stable of three Oreca 07 Gibsons that it acquired for its first full year of prototype racing in 2021.

“I’m still thinking about it,” said Vosse. “I know my two WEC lineups. Let’s say that to do a third car, it would not be impossible. But it’s not in the plan today.

“If someone comes to me now and says, ‘I have the budget with three gentlemen drivers’, I would not do it. I want to do it if there is something behind it, an idea behind it.

“It’s not that I don’t want to run gentlemen, but there needs to be a goal behind it.

“If those gentlemen would be the base of something I would do in the U.S or Asia, or whatever, with the idea behind it, then yes.

“I’m not going to run a third car at Le Mans just because I have an invitation and I want to do it. I much prefer to concentrate on my two cars and win it again.”

Vosse suggested that WRT’s setup for its first WEC season with a pair of Orecas will require a similar approach to the operation it ran at Le Mans last year.

That race marked the first instance of WRT fielding multiple LMP2 cars in one race.

The team has opted against defending its 2021 European Le Mans Series title as it concentrates on the expanded double entry in WEC.

“We have done it last year when we did Le Mans with two cars,” said Vosse.

“But it was one race in the middle of the season, and we had some free strong guys from our GT programs who could support Le Mans.

“Here we have to run two cars in a complete way all year, which is a bit of work. The team will be bigger than what it was during the season last year, probably eight to 10 people.

“It will be something similar to what we had in Le Mans. There will be some other changes going on, but we just keep improving our crew.”

Vosse confirmed that Thierry Tassin will continue to lead the LMP2 program, while Pierre Dieudonne will have the same role in GT3. As was the case last year, the pair will swap over into their opposite departments for the major 24-hour races at Le Mans and Spa.

Vosse Open to One-Off ELMS Outings

Despite not appearing on the 42-car entry list for the 2022 ELMS season, WRT is not wanting to “close any doors too quickly” regarding outings in the series this year.

Vosse explained that a full-time entry would be impossible to manage from a staffing perspective, but hinted that WRT would be able to do a one-off race during the season.

“If you asked me today to set up an ELMS lineup and team, I would not be capable to do it in terms of people,” he said.

“We have three chassis, but it’s not about chassis. It’s just setup and when everything is in Sebring, you need to have everything in Europe to start the season there. It would be very difficult.

“I don’t want to close doors too quickly; maybe we try to do some races, maybe not.

“Maybe I have a good opportunity to do something that we like to do, like the Spa race in ELMS.

“We have a team which is running two cars, which last year had one car in ELMS and one car in WEC. Now we are running two cars in WEC.

“To run those cars in a proper way, you are not grabbing five mechanics and going racing. It’s a bit more complicated than that.

“If it’s not to do it in a proper way, I’m not interested at all.”

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.

Click to comment

More in 24H Le Mans