The Blancpain GT Series season is coming to an end this weekend at Barcelona, with the fifth and last race of the Endurance Cup. Not involved in the titles battle this year, the Belgian Audi Club Team WRT is more determined than ever to close in style the 2019 season. The Belgian squad will seek a top result with its usual three-Audi R8 LMS and one novelty in the driver line-ups, as Sean Walkinshaw joins the trio in car #17.

At Barcelona, there will be also a world première, as the new generation of GT2 cars will debut in a separate class in the Blancpain GT Sports Club series. Team WRT will have the honour to field the new Audi R8 LMS GT2 for its official debut, under the banner of Audi Sport Team WRT and with US driver James Sofronas at the wheel.

The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is set for a stellar closing of the European season of the Blancpain GT Series, with late summer weather and Catalan hospitality adding to the attractiveness of the event, which will see a high number of partners, friends and guests of Team WRT present in the paddock.

2019 hasn’t been an easy season for the Belgian Audi Club Team WRT in the Endurance Cup, but this only increases the motivation and the determination to finish the season on a high, on a track where the Audi R8 LMS could be quite competitive. The four sessions of extra tests scheduled on Thursday and Friday will certainly help to fine-tune the preparation of the cars.

The squad fields its usual entry of three cars, with Dries Vanthoor-Ezequiel Pérez Companc-Álex Riberas on car #2. For Álex, this is home race, with the extra motivation it entails, and for Ezequiel … almost as well, as the Argentine has here his base while in Europe. Car #10 will be in the hands of Charles Weerts-Norman Nato-Rik Breukers, while there is a line-up change in car #17 entered in the Silver Cup, as Sean Walkinshaw is debuting with the team alongside Shae Davies and Alex MacDowall. The 25-years-old Scot (but born in …Brussels from a Belgian mother) has already a vast GT experience at the highest level in Europe and most recently in Japan and will make his return in the Blancpain GT Series.

The GT Sports Club, Blancpain’s sister series for gentlemen-drivers, is also on show at Barcelona this weekend, and will host for the first time (in a specific class) the GT2 cars that will have their own series as from 2020. Audi has embraced this concept since the start and Team WRT is honoured to have been entrusted the task of fielding the new Audi R8 LMS GT2 for its race debut, under the colours of Audi Sport Team WRT. The car will be driven by California-born James Sofronas (51), who has collected no less than four different titles in the Pirelli World Challenge (GTS and SprintX) in the US in 2018-17.

Vincent Vosse: “We are going to Barcelona with the determination of closing the European GT season with a top result and will have the support of many guests and friends at the track. We welcome Sean Walkinshaw in the team and to have such a prestigious family name in motorsports associated with us. This is going to be a very special event also because we will see in action for the first time the new GT2 cars. We are happy to be part of this project, in which we believe a lot, since the very start and to have gained the trust of Audi for this world première.”

Dries Vanthoor: “It is the last round of the Endurance Cup and, unfortunately, this year we don’t have a lot to fight for. We had some unlucky races and one podium, so the objective is to try to finish on a high, and take at least a podium. The track is cool, although not my top favourite one, but it is always very nice to race on a F.1 circuit with a lot of history.”

Charles Weerts:“We are determined to close the season with a good result. We have a good car and a good line-up, we need to make some good things happen! Barcelona, for me, is also special because it is where I did my first test with a GT3 car, and returning there one year after will certainly bring back good memories.”

Blancpain Endurance Cup – Round 5
Barcelona-Catalunya, Spain, 28-29 September 2019

Timetable (all in local time = CET)

Thursday 26 September 2019

14:00-15:00 Paid test 1
15:30-16:30 Paid test 2
17:00-18:00 Paid test 3

Friday 27 September 2019
14:20-15:50 Paid test 4

Saturday 28 September 2019
10:20-11:50 Free practice

15:05-16:35 Pre-qualifying session

Sunday 29 September 2019
09:30-10:30 Qualifying
15:00-18:00 Race (3 hrs)

Belgian Audi Club Team WRT entries
# 2 Dries Vanthoor (BE) - Álex Riberas (ES) – Ezequiel Pérez-Companc (AR)
#10 Charles Weerts (BE) – Rik Breukers (NL) – Norman Nato (FR)
#17 Shae Davies (AU) – Alex MacDowall (GB) – Sean Walkinshaw (GB) - Silver Cup