Audi Sport is keen to maintain its customer racing relationship with Team WRT as the Belgian squad re-evaluates its sports car racing options in the wake of Audi’s LMDh program pause.
WRT team principal Vincent Vosse told Sportscar365 in late April that his organization is working to keep its prototype ambitions alive by engaging in discussions with other brands.
He said that the experienced Audi squad, which has won several high-profile races with the manufacturer in GT racing, would consider switching GT3 marques if it was required to do so.
Audi Sport’s head of customer racing Chris Reinke, meanwhile, is hopeful that WRT will continue to run R8 LMS GT3 cars in the future.
When asked if Audi Sport is working to secure WRT’s custom in the coming years, Reinke told Sportscar365: “Absolutely, I can confirm that we are.
“WRT has been one of our main partners for many years. We are very happy with the success that we have had together.
“From a customer racing point of view, we would be very happy if we could continue the route of success with the R8 LMS GT3, and we are happy if WRT would like to extend beyond that.
“Other than that, the strategic possibilities from their point of view is something that only WRT can comment on.”
The adjournment of Audi’s LMDh program appears to have caused some friction between WRT and the manufacturer.
However, Vosse stressed that this is unrelated to the long-standing working relationships that have been cultivated between members of his organization and Audi Sport’s customer racing department in GT3.
The two parties have won several major endurance races together including the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa, the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour and the Nürburgring 24.
WRT was set to be the main development partner and factory race team for the Audi LMDh prototype, which was confirmed to be based on a Multimatic chassis.
“I think, in general, it is quite obvious that WRT wants to graduate as a team,” Reinke said.
“Therefore they have the LMP2 program at the moment, which is run in good partnership as you can tell by the driver lineups.
“Beyond that, obviously we had different plans on the LMDh as it has been communicated on the project side, and that might not help the future perspective of WRT.
“It is quite possible, but from the Audi Sport customer racing side, we have a very strong, healthy partnership with WRT and hopefully we will do so in the future.”
BMW Coy About WRT Advances
Sportscar365 understands that Team WRT has been in preliminary contact with BMW M Motorsport as the two parties attempt to map out their future program options.
BMW is known to be considering a future entry with its V8-powered LMDh car in the Hypercar class of the FIA World Endurance Championship, but has not announced any programs beyond its two-car IMSA GTP commitment with Team RLL for next year.
Head of BMW M Motorsport Andreas Roos attended the WEC round at Spa-Francorchamps last month and visited the WRT garage as part of his trip.
“We officially said that we are thinking about a WEC program,” Roos told Sportscar365.
“There are several teams on the market which could be interesting. When you see how much WRT won, they could also be one of the important partners you could work with.
“But as long as we don’t have our Le Mans or WEC program approved, there is nothing we can discuss at the moment.”
Roos would not be drawn to say whether a potential BMW Hypercar entry would require the partner team to be exclusive to the brand in its other racing endeavors, such as GT3.
“We haven’t really thought about it,” he said.
“We have quite strong teams in our GT program. First, we have to tick the box and get approval if we do WEC or not in the future.
“And then we have to think if there could be a combination [of LMDh and GT3]. This is still a bit too far away at the moment.”