Thursday, September 27, 2012

Belgian Audi Club Team WRT to target top 3 in final FIA GT1 round in the UK

Belgian Audi Club Press Release

The 2012 FIA GT1 World Championship is coming to an end this weekend with its final round rescheduled in the United Kingdom. It's the beautiful circuit of Donington Park, in the East Midlands, that will host this ninth round. For the Belgian Audi Club Team WRT, the objective, after a season with some ups and downs, is to finish in the final top 3 in both the Teams and Drivers standings. At the moment, this is the case in the Teams rankings while the squad's best-placed duo is lying fourth in the Drivers hierarchy. This is the #32 pair composed of Laurens Vanthoor and Stéphane Ortelli. But, with no hopes for the title left and a clashing round of the French GT Tour, where WRT defends the colours of Audi France, the Monegasque has been ‘diverted' to France. His seat will be taken by experienced Northern Irish driver Adam Carroll. Donington will be, of course, the home race for Oliver Jarvis, who shares the #33 car with Frank Stippler, and the duo is determined to finish the season on a high.

"It's the last race of the season for the FIA GT1 and also for the championship in its current form", reflects Team Principal Vincent Vosse. "It has been a tough season, which started very well with the double win at Nogaro. In-between, there have been a number of ups and downs, and we are coming to the last event with no chances to fight for the titles. Still, the objective is to do as well as we can and finish on a high note. Most of all, we really would like to be on the championship's podium in both categories and that's what we'll go for."

As said, Adam Carroll will join the team at this occasion. Vosse explains: "The rescheduling of this last round has brought quite an unusual situation; there is the clash of dates with the French GT Tour and we decided to have Stéphane there, as he is cut off from the title battle in the FIA GT1. Unfortunately, there are many GT races this weekend around the world, and there were no Audi drivers available to sub for Ortelli. After having a look around, we have decided to give an opportunity to Adam. It's always interesting to try new drivers, and he impressed me in a Blancpain race earlier this year. He's also a very experienced driver and knows Donington well, so we decided to invite him to join the team for this final round.". The 29-year old Northern Irish has indeed a rich career under his belt, despite his young age. A British F3 vice-champion and a winner of the A1 GP series, he's also raced successfully in GP2, WSR, Indycar and AutoGP.

His team mate next weekend, Laurens Vanthoor, looks forward to meeting him: "I don't know him personally, but I have heard highly of him and talked to him over the phone yesterday. I am sure he'll do well. He can teach me Donington, where I have never raced, and I will teach him the R8!".

Donington Park, the fast and technical 4.023-km track that has hosted in the past F.1 and MotoGP Grand-Prix, is new to the WRT Team, who will rely on the knowledge of the track of its British drivers. Oliver Jarvis, clearly, knows the place well and he is eager to be there. "It's nice to have an unexpected home race to finish the FIA GT1 season!", he reckons. "Donington is one of the great British tracks and I'm sure everybody will enjoy it." The Brit and his German team mate, Frank Stippler, who has raced in Donington with classic cars, will be willing to clinch the win that has eluded them a number of times during the season.

The two one-hour races will follow the usual FIA GT1 format, with the first one kicking off at 14:45 (UK time) on Saturday and the second one at 12:45 on Sunday.