WRT team principal Vincent Vosse says his organization would need to race in LMP2 “for one or two years” if it decided to commit to the LMDh top-level prototype class.
The decorated GT squad, which has won the major enduros at Spa, Bathurst and the Nürburgring among others, is known to be interested in participating in LMDh.
Despite stressing that “nothing is planned and done” on the prototype racing front, Vosse told Sportscar365 that he remains attuned to the developments of the new formula, which is slated to arrive in 2022.
He suggested that if WRT committed to LMDh, it would be necessary to engage in a second-tier prototype program to gain experience in that field of racing.
Although WRT is best-known for its programs in GT racing, DTM and touring cars, it has tried its hand at LMP2 in the past.
The team ran a Ligier JS P2 Judd in its home European Le Mans Series round at Spa in 2016 with Will Stevens, Dries Vanthoor and Laurens Vanthoor sharing the wheel.
“I am running a company and am very passionate about what I’m doing,” said Vosse.
“But you always need the right figures to be able to do it. To have those figures you need work. If it’s in WTCR, DTM, DPi or Formula E… I am running a company which needs to work.
“If I feel like I have to do LMP2 before LMDh, it would be something I would consider. I don’t think LMP2 should change too much. This is what I am looking to do.
“If we are interested in LMDh, and we are, I feel there is an opportunity. To get that I must be able to practice for one or two years in LMP2. This is what we will try to do.
“It doesn’t mean that we will do it, but it’s probably something that we will try.”
Vosse said that WRT is “in contact with different manufacturers” for LMDh, however no program commitments have been made so far despite interest from several parties.
LMDh will enable teams to run the same car in the FIA World Endurance Championship and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, encompassing the 24-hour classics at Daytona and Le Mans as well as other major endurance events.
According to Vosse, the only feasible way for race teams like his to compete in the new class will be to form a close alliance with a manufacturer, in a similar approach to GT3.
“You can compare this to GT3 when we are working for Audi, as a factory team for the 24 Hours of Spa,” he said.
“If you are there and you don’t have the drivers, how do you win the race? How do I get the right drivers if they are not already chosen by a factory? You can always be lucky and find a new golden boy, but you will not get six or nine of them.
“For Le Mans, you might win with an LMDh which is available for customers, but the car that will win Le Mans will always be very close to a manufacturer.
“It doesn’t mean that the car will be different from a fully private car. We have won at the Nürburgring, Bathurst and Suzuka [with Audi factory support] but the cars had no difference from any of my private cars. It will be the same for LMDh.
“It will be a car that you can buy and run, but for sure without the support of a manufacturer you will not get far.”
Return to Daytona in the Pipeline
Regarding WRT’s short-term plans with its Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo program, Vosse said that a third consecutive outing in the Rolex 24 at Daytona next year is on the cards.
WRT finished third in the GT Daytona class on its debut in 2019 and followed that up with another podium result back in January with a different driver lineup.
The team is also set to contest the remaining Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli races, in addition to its ongoing programs in GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS, ADAC GT Masters and DTM.
“It’s our goal to be there,” said Vosse, when asked about his team’s prospects for a Daytona return.
“How we will do it, I cannot say. But it’s our goal to be there because we enjoy it and we have been there twice and on the podium twice.
“This year we were close for the win, except for a late technical issue that we had. Otherwise, we had a good shot at the win. We are looking at doing it again.”