WRT team principal Vincent Vosse says the Belgian squad is setting modest targets for its debut season competing in DTM.
The multiple Blancpain GT Series championship-winning team is stepping into the German championship as an Audi customer team, running a pair of Audi RS5 Turbos.
Vosse told Sportscar365 that he expects WRT’s first year in DTM to be a challenge considering the experience of the works Audi and BMW entries.
The team formally announced its program yesterday and revealed 21-year-old FIA European Formula 3 racer Jonathan Aberdein as the first of two full-season drivers.
“I see the DTM program as a very different program than what we have done so far,” said Vosse.
“We had the chance to be competitive in every program even in our first year as a new team in TCR, GT, Andros Trophy. Whatever we did, we would always be competitive.
“With DTM we have to accept that it will be something very different. There are a lot of things to learn.”
Vosse said that WRT has been treated well by series sanctioning body ITR to build its program quickly in the off-season.
“We are lucky that the DTM and ITR do everything to support a team like us,” he said.
“We need to have the same materials as the works teams. We are lucky that there is new regulation which means we are starting 2019 with a new rulebook, which is a new opportunity.
“We are going to follow what DTM is, and we are going to do our job to try and improve our team first before trying to do anything crazy.”
Vosse said it’s impossible to set out an objective goal in the team’s first season until a pecking order between Audi, BMW and Aston Martin has been established.
However, he suggested that WRT’s success in GT racing, which has included victories in the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour, Total 24 Hours of Spa and the Nürburgring 24 Hours, cannot guarantee immediate glory in DTM.
“I think people probably expect a little bit too much for us because we have been very successful with what we have been doing,” said Vosse.
“[DTM] is like arriving in GT3 today, going to the Nürburgring 24 Hours and fighting against the manufacturers, as a private team. It’s not impossible, but it can be quite complicated.
“My goal will be that at the end of 2019, people will say ‘OK, we were expecting them to do well, but they did better than that’.
“It doesn’t mean to win a race [and] it doesn’t mean to get a podium. Maybe you can win three races or do 10 podiums and still not do well. Maybe the Audi is unbeatable, and then people will expect more [than that].
“Or maybe the Audi is two seconds off and being in the top 10 is exceptional. We do not know and we should not say that we want to do a podium.
“Everything is so strict in the regulations, so precise. Not making mistakes in terms of organization will already be an achievement.”