Multiple Blancpain GT Series title-winner Belgian Audi Club Team WRT has revealed its driver line-ups ahead of what promises to be a busy 2019 season.
The Baudour-based outfit will campaign the new Audi R8 LMS EVO this term, with four entries confirmed for Blancpain GT World Challenge Europe and three for the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup. The renewed effort will feature a total of 12 drivers and includes a mix of longstanding WRT racers and new additions.
WRT was dominant in Blancpain GT World Challenge Europe under its previous Sprint Cup moniker, taking six successive teams’ championships as well as three drivers’ titles.
It will seek to maintain that run by launching a major assault on the sprint-format series, with a pair of highly competitive Pro class entries leading the charge. Returning WRT ace Dries Vanthoor will share the #1 Audi R8 LMS EVO with Ezequiel Perez Companc, who joins following a two-year stint with Grasser Racing. Alongside multiple race-winner Vanthoor, he forms a duo that will be expected to challenge at the sharp end from the opening race.
In the #2 machine, the vastly experienced Chris Mies will be joined by emerging talent Charles Weerts. The 18-year-old Belgian steps up to the Blancpain GT Series following a junior career in single-seaters, as well as an impressive outing with WRT at last year’s FIA GT Nations Cup.
Vincent Vosse's outfit will also field a brace of Silver Cup cars in Blancpain GT World Challenge Europe. In the #10 machine, Colombian ace Oscar Tunjo will share with Dutch racer Rik Breukers to form an exciting young line-up. In the #17 R8 LMS EVO, experienced Australian competitor Shae Davies will partner British teenager Tom Gamble, who graduates to GT competition following a race-winning season in BRDC British F3.
WRT will undertake a three-car Endurance Cup programme as its seeks to secure the title for the first time since 2015. This effort will be led by a Pro entry driven by Vanthoor and Perez Companc, placing the pair in line for the overall Blancpain GT Series title this term. They will be joined by the returning Alex Riberas, who continues his relationship with WRT after finishing second in the Sprint Cup standings alongside Mies last term.
The team will also field a pair Silver Cup cars in the long-distance championship. In the #10 machine, Breukers and Weerts will be joined by Mexican racer Ricardo Sanchez, who switches to WRT from the RJN-Nissan squad. The #17 will see Davies anchor the line-up alongside Alex MacDowall and Paul Petit. British ace MacDowall made a one-off Blancpain GT Series appearance aboard an Aston Martin at Silverstone in 2014, while French racer Petit will be making his championship debut.
With three full-season entries, Belgian Audi Club Team WRT joins AKKA ASP and FFF Racing as the best-represented squad in this season’s Blancpain GT Series. The team will begin its title challenge at Monza, which stages the opening Endurance Cup event on 13/14 April.