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Riberas, Sheldon van der Linde Join WRT

Alex Riberas and Sheldon van der Linde join Belgian Audi Club Team WRT for Blancpain GT…

Photo: Brecht Decancq

Alex Riberas and Sheldon van der Linde have joined Belgian Audi Club Team WRT as part of its Blancpain GT Series lineups, alongside several regular WRT and Audi Sport drivers. 

Riberas will compete in the full series, both Sprint and Endurance Cups, while van der Linde will focus on the five-race Endurance Cup season.

The Spaniard is set to partner Christopher Mies for the full season with Dries Vanthoor joining them in the Endurance races, while van der Linde will drive with Stuart Leonard and Robin Frijns in the Endurance Cup.

Leonard and Frijns return as co-drivers for the full season after winning the Sprint Cup in 2017.

Vanthoor and Stevens will share another Audi R8 LMS GT3 in the Sprint races while a to-be-confirmed duo will drive the fourth and final Sprint Cup entry.

Riberas makes the switch to WRT after primarily racing Ferraris, including in a Pirelli World Challenge effort with R.Ferri Motorsports that was cut short last season due to financial difficulties.

“I had the option of doing a few confirmed races with a Ferrari or a full season in Blancpain so of course I want to drive as much as possible,” he told Sportscar365.

“In these last few weeks I have met the crew and the Audi people who are involved. It’s nice to see everyone working towards one same direction – winning. I can’t thank them enough for putting their faith in me.”

Eighteen-year-old van der Linde has competed in several GT3 races over the last year, including winning the Motul Petit Le Mans with Montaplast by Land Motorsport in October. 

Increased Factory Effort for Spa, N24

In addition to its full-season Blancpain GT programs, WRT is set for an increased effort with factory support in the Nürburgring 24 and Total 24 Hours of Spa. 

The size and details of its Spa entry will be announced at a later date but the team is expected to bring more than its two full-season Endurance Cup cars to the July race, likely with Audi Sport factory support.

The Belgian outfit is also one of four Audi Sport-supported teams to take part in the N24, with Frijns, Vanthoor and Rene Rast announced in its car yesterday.

WRT is also expected to field cars in the two remaining Intercontinental GT Challenge rounds after Spa – at Suzuka and Laguna Seca – after winning the season-opener at Bathurst last month. 

Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist. He is a graduate of Politics and International Relations.

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