Friday, December 19, 2014

2014: An exceptional harvest for the Belgian Audi Club Team WRT

Belgian Audi Club Team WRT Press Release

RACB’s ‘Team of the Year” distinction adds to the 7 titles and the Total Spa 24 Hrs win, as the squad celebrates its first five years of racing

The Belgian Audi Club Team WRT has been elected Team of the Year by the special jury of the RACB, Belgium’s Royal Automobile Club. It is the third time that the squad is awarded the top national distinction for a team in its home country, after conquering the prestigious award in 2011 and 2013.

The distinction adds to the extraordinary collection of titles and wins harvested during 2014, which has seen the Belgian Audi Club Team WRT winning 7 out of the 8 Blancpain competitions it contested, on top of bringing home the Total 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, the world’s most prestigious GT race.

Reflecting on the success at end of such a fruitful season, Team Principal Vincent Vosse stated: “We can be proud of what we have achieved on the track, but what makes me happiest and proudest is to see that we have achieved putting together an exceptional team of talented and competent people, united by very strong commitment and determination, and that we have been able to create a true WRT family spirit. What strikes me when looking at the 2014 season is that we haven’t been dominating the championships, where competition has been extremely close, but that we have succeeded to be the best in the key moments, at the Total Spa 24 Hours, at the Nürburgring 1000 and at the Baku World Challenge, and that has  made the difference.”

Looking forward to 2015, Vosse explained: “It is going to be difficult to repeat such a successful season as 2014, … but in a way, that’s the challenge we have been faced with every year. What I can say is that we will continue with the same passion and motivation, with the same search for excellence, faithful to a brand, Audi, to whom we are grateful for the great support and cooperation. And we will be happy to continue contributing to the ever-growing success of GT racing. Recently, we have also expanded into new grounds, races on ice, with the Trophée Andros, and it is nice to see that we are already winning races. ”

"In only five years of presence in GT racing”, recalls Vosse, “WRT has managed to win 26 titles or major races, and most of all, it has gained the respect of everybody in racing circles. It was back in November 2008 when, together with an exceptional technician as René Verbist, with whom I worked in my years as a driver, and an enthusiastic motorsports fan and gentleman-driver, Yves Weerts, we first had the idea to create a team. The two V and the W explain the name: W Racing Team. We certainly couldn’t dream at that time that the journey would have been so exciting and successful. It accelerated the end of my career as a driver but I do not regret the choice one single second: leading such a project is just fabulous! We spent 2009 setting up everything and we hit the track in 2010 in the Belcar series, clinching our first two titles…”
Since then, many things have happened … and the story continues!

A video reviewing the first five years of existence of Team WRT has been released and can be viewed through this link:

The Belgian Audi Club Team WRT seen by some key players…

To mark the first five years of activity of the Belgian Audi Club Team WRT, we have asked to some key players in this venture that “know well the house”, to tell us what WRT meant to them. Posing them a challenge, though: to express it in the shortest and most personal way…

Mattias Ekström: "In 2011 we won the 24h of Spa together. It was the first 24h victory for both of us. A very emotional and special moment for me and the nice, family and motivated team. It was a real pleasure!"

André Lotterer: “WRT Its a team where I feel at home! The spirit, passion and fun everybody has is so high, and to combine this with great attention to details and performance is unique! Work hard & play hard is why I love WRT!”

Stéphane Ortelli: “WRT=Want Real Things. I always wanted to meet people who can learn and teach things at the same time, at the highest level of racing. I found it here and being part of the two titles we won together, but also contributing to WRT’s success, inside or outside a car, has been the best part of my racing career these recent years. WRT is raising its level of performance year after year while keeping a real and human approach”.

Frank Stippler: "The passion in the eyes of the complete WRT équipe makes all the difference between a very good team and 25 titles."

Laurens Vanthoor: “My second family but my first friends.”

Romolo Liebchen, Head of Audi Sport Customer Racing: “Audi Sport Customer Racing and Belgian Audi Club Team WRT combine a really good and long cooperation. We are very happy about the successes that Yves Weerts, Vincent Vosse and René Verbist achieved together with their team and the Audi R8 LMS to date. Hopefully this will continue for them in the future. »

Major achievements of the Belgian Audi Club Team WRT since its creation

Belcar Team overall CHAMPION
Belcar Driver overall CHAMPION (Franchi-Kumpen)

Total 24H of Spa Winner (Franchi-Ekström-Scheider)
Blancpain Endurance Series Team CHAMPION
Blancpain Endurance Series Driver CHAMPION (Franchi)
FIA-GT3 Series Driver 3rd overall (Ide)
GT Tour Driver 2nd overall (Halliday-Ortelli)
Belcar Driver 2nd (Longin-Maassen) and 3rd overall (Ide-F.Verbist)
Zolder 24H Winner (F.Verbist-Ide-Longin-Maassen)
Sepang MMER 12 Hrs runner-up (Biela-Fässler-Werner)
RACB Team of the Year

Blancpain Endurance Series Team CHAMPION
Blancpain Endurance Series Driver CHAMPION (Ortelli-Mies-Haase)
FIA World GT1 Championship Team 3rd overall Team
Total 24H of Spa runner-up (Ortelli-Mies-Haase)
Zolder 24H Winner (Vanthoor-Sandström-Kumpen-Bonanomi)

Blancpain Sprint Series Team CHAMPION
Blancpain Sprint Series Driver CHAMPION (Vanthoor-Ortelli)
Blancpain Endurance Series Team 2nd
Total 24H of Spa 3rd overall (Stippler-Mies-Lotterer)
Baku World Challenge winner (Ortelli-Vanthoor)
Pirelli GT Challenge winner
RACB Team of the Year

Total 24H of Spa Winner (Vanthoor-Winkelhock-Rast) and 3rd overall (Mies-Stippler-Nash)
Blancpain GT Series Team CHAMPION
Blancpain GT Series Driver CHAMPION (Vanthoor)
Blancpain Endurance Series Team CHAMPION
Blancpain Endurance Series Driver CHAMPION (Vanthoor)
Blancpain Sprint Series Team CHAMPION
Blancpain Sprint Series Silver Team CHAMPION
Blancpain Sprint Series Silver Cup Driver CHAMPION (Lisowski-Abril)
Baku World Challenge winner (Vanthoor-Ramos)
Pirelli GT Challenge Winner
RACB Team of the Year

Belgian Audi Club Team WRT: 5 seasons, 78 drivers…

Greg FRANCHI (BE) 2010-11
Stéphane LEMERET (BE) 2010
David TUCHBANT (FR) 2010
Kurt MOLLEKENS (BE) 2010-12
François VERBIST (BE) 2010-11
Bert LONGIN (BE) 2010-2011-13
Anthony KUMPEN (BE) 2010-12-13
Enzo IDE (BE) 2010-11-13-14
Benjamin BAILLY (BE) 2010
Marcel FÄSSLER (CH) 2010-11-13-14
Christian KELDERS (LU) 2010-14
Jean-Luc BLANCHEMAIN (FR)2010-12-14
Fred BOUVY (BE) 2010-14
Stéphane ORTELLI (MC) 2010-11-12-13-14
Xavier MAASSEN (NL) 2011
David HALLYDAY (FR) 2011-12
Gary CHALANDON (FR)     2011
Didier ANDRÉ (FR) 2011
Tobias NEUSER (DE) 2011
Mattias EKSTRÖM (SE) 2011-13
Timo SCHEIDER (DE) 2011
Filipe ALBUQUERQUE (PT) 2011-12-13
Ronnie LATINNE (BE) 2010-11
Jean-Jacques SMITS (BE) 2010-11
Antoine CHOQUE (FR) 2010-11
Donald CHOQUE (FR) 2010-11
Frank BIELA (DE) 2010-11
Vincent VOSSE  (BE) 2010-12
Frank STIPPLER (DE) 2010-12-13-14
Claude-Yves GOSSELIN  (FR) 2010-11
Marc ROSTAN (FR) 2010
Koen WAUTERS (BE) 2011
Jirko MALCHAREK (SK) 2011
Christopher MIES (DE) 2011-12-13-14
Julien JOUSSE (FR) 2011
Laurens VANTHOOR (BE) 2011-12-13-14
Christopher HAASE (DE) 2011-12-13
Andrea PICCINI (IT) 2011-12
Marco WERNER (DE) 2011
Daryl O'YOUNG (HK)2011
Alex YOONG (ML) 2011
Seiji ARA (JP) 2011
Roland BERVILLE (FR) 2011-12
Oliver JARVIS (GB) 2012-13
Edward SANDSTRÖM (SE) 2012-13-14
Adam CARROLL (IE) 2012
Marco BONANOMI (IT)       2012
Allan SIMONSEN (DK) 2012
Adrien TAMBAY (FR) 2012
Karim DOGUET (FR) 2012
André LOTTERER (DE) 2013-14
René RAST (DE) 2013-14
Rahel FREY (CH) 2013
Matt HALLIDAY (NZ) 2013
Francesco CASTELLACCI (IT) 2013
Grégoire DEMOUSTIER (FR) 2013
Yves WEERTS (BE) 2012-13-14
César RAMOS (BR) 2014
Marc BASSENG (DE) 2014
Roman RUSINOV (RU) 2014
Grégory GUILVERT (FR) 2014
Nico MÜLLER (CH) 2014
James NASH (UK) 2014
Vincent ABRIL (FR) 2014
Mateusz LISOWSKI (PL) 2014
Fabian HAMPRECHT (DE) 2014
Stéphane RICHELMI (MC) 2014
Pierre HIRSCHI (CH) 2014
Stéphane POURQUIE (FR) 2014
Grégoire CHAIX (FR) 2014
Markus WINKELHOCK (DE) 2014
Benoît TRÉLUYER (FR) 2014
Vincent RADERMECKER (BE) 2014
Olivier PANIS (FR) 2014
Lionel DAZIANO (FR) 2014

Photo credit: Belgian Audi Club / Patrick Hecq Photography