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Season Review

Sportscar365’s Team of the Year

Sportscar365 staff selects WRT as its team of the year for 2021…

Photo: Brecht Decancq

Sportscar365 is recognizing some of the top competitors and moments from 2021. Next up is the Team of the Year award, as selected by website staff.

Team of the Year – Team WRT

Using the basic metric of who won the most, there was one obvious candidate for this publication’s 2021 Team of the Year selection.

In its first full season of LMP2, WRT captured the FIA World Endurance Championship, the European Le Mans Series and a 24 Hours of Le Mans class win. Put simply, it won everything it entered.

WRT was expected to be strong from the outset in prototypes considering its reputation as a GT3 powerhouse, but few including team principal Vincent Vosse were able to predict the levels of success it ultimately achieved against a high level of competition.

The Belgian squad took three wins apiece in WEC and ELMS, beating established LMP2 outfits such as United Autosports, JOTA and G-Drive Racing in the process.

While the first ELMS victories came immediately, the WEC side of the program took a little longer to yield top results, at times due to misjudged calls. However, the No. 31 crew of Robin Frijns, Ferdinand Habsburg and Charles Milesi hit their best form at the perfect time when they took a 50-point victory at Le Mans that propelled them toward the championship.

The silverware collection continued in GT3 where WRT claimed a Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS triple of the Sprint, Endurance and combined teams’ titles.

In the drivers’ stakes, Dries Vanthoor and Charles Weerts defended their Sprint Cup crown and comfortably won the combined GTWC Europe championship after also emerging as Endurance Cup contenders in the No. 32 Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo.

It is sometimes said that the very best racing drivers are those who can demonstrate excellence in multiple disciplines. WRT is proving that the same notion applies to teams.

Photo: Regis Lefebure/SRO

Honorable Mentions

***K-PAX Racing blitzed the competition on its Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS return. Despite adapting to a new car in the Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo, the former Bentley team spearheaded by Darren Law, Thomas Blam and Jim Haughey dominated the season with its factory-distilled driver lineups, winning 10 of the 12 standard 90-minute races and earning an Indianapolis 8 Hour podium.

***2021 marked another important year for the burgeoning Iron Lynx team. The outfit based in Faenza, Italy took more of its activities in-house and tackled Pro-class racing for the first time in GTWC Europe. That program heralded Iron Lynx’s greatest achievement to date, as it won the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa with Ferrari en route to the Endurance Cup drivers’ title. It also clinched the European Le Mans Series GTE crown and achieved a Le Mans GTE-Am podium during its WEC debut.

***One of the big questions heading into the WEC campaign was whether Toyota’s brand-new GR010 Hybrid LMH would be reliable enough to beat the proven ORECA-based Alpine LMP1. The experienced Toyota Gazoo Racing factory squad managed to cast aside any pre-season doubts by winning all of the races, headlined by a Le Mans triumph that required the team to cleverly manage a potentially catastrophic fuel issue.

***With title successes in IMSA and SRO America, the trophy cabinet at Wright Motorsports grew substantially this year. John Wright’s operation claimed the Pilot Challenge GS crown with Jan Heylen, who also contributed to the team’s GTWC America Pro-Am and Michelin Endurance Cup titles. Factoring in Charlie Luck’s GT America powered by AWS accolade, it was a red-letter season for the Ohio-based team.

The latest news, photos and video features from the trusted Sportscar365 web staff.

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