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Vosse “Surprised” By WRT’s Success in First Year of LMP2

WRT team principal on Belgian squad’s successful first year of LMP2 competition…

Photo: Brecht Decancq/WRT

Vincent Vosse admits that he never expected Team WRT to be achieving the level of success it has been in its first season of LMP2 competition.

The decorated Belgian GT squad has taken the prototype ranks by storm this year, winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans in its debut along with the European Le Mans Series championship and could also now be on the brink of the FIA World Endurance Championship title after recently taking over the LMP2 points lead.

It came following class victory in last weekend’s 6 Hours of Bahrain with Robin Frijns, Ferdinand Habsburg and Charles Milesi, who hold a five-point lead over their nearest competition heading into Saturday’s season finale.

While having made a one-off LMP2 start in 2016, WRT had no other previous prototype experience prior to this year, which has so far resulted in five wins out of 11 races across the two series.

“In the end, everything could [have been] very difficult still with the same approach,” team principal Vosse told Sportscar365. “We’ve been very strong in both championships. 

“We’ve had very strong lineups, a strong team and well prepared but there is still a lot of new things we’re learning.

“I want to be humble to say that we are where we are. We came with a lot of endurance experience, even if it’s with different cars. 

“We also have been competitive in every category we’ve been in, whether it’s TCR, WTCR, DTM, GT3… 

“We have been competitive and we should not underestimate the level [of competition] in DTM, which is mainly the crew that is here and is in the LMP2 [program] this year.

“The level there is very high. I’m not surprised to be competitive. I’m surprised to be able to win.”

Vosse said it’s Le Mans class victory — with Frijns, Habsburg and Milesi — has been the team highlight, in what was looking to be a 1-2 result until the closing moments when its ELMS-designated car of Yifei Ye stopped on track from the class lead.

The problem for the No. 41 Oreca 07 Gibson was determined as an electrical short that led to an ECU malfunction. Yet in an ironic twist, the engine fired back up without issue the following morning. 

“Le Mans was a special one,” Vosse said. “We were strong in Le Mans but we should not think that we were the strongest there.

“We couldn’t really see the speed of any of the teams because there were so many things happening on track and so many mistakes except from our drivers.

“This put us in the right situation. A win is a win. We deserve it and had deserved a first and second. It doesn’t mean that we are way in front of the others.

“It will be a big fight [for the WEC title]. We are all in very little points difference. Anything can happen. Let’s see what we can achieve.”

WRT Rules out IMSA Program for 2022

Despite having initially evaluated an entry for the Rolex 24 at Daytona and possible other Michelin Endurance Cup races, Vosse said it’s now “too late” to pull the trigger on such an effort for next year.

The team is instead targeting a ramp up to a two-car LMP2 program in the WEC next year, which will likely take the majority of its attention on the prototype front.

“We would love to [race in IMSA],” he said. “To do things in a good way you need to do things well and get prepared. I think it’s too late to decide to go to Daytona. 

“It’s not in the plan today and I will not push for it as it’s too late. You can always do it but if we do something we want to do it in a good way.

“I love racing in the U.S. myself as a person. As a team, I would love to bring the team to the U.S. more. It’s not something that’s out of question. But it seems like 2022 will not be on the map. 

“If we decide to do it, we won’t just do [one] race just to experience it. We would like to be fighting somewhere. To fight you need to get prepared. And to get prepared you cannot just do race after race.”

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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