After a very successful start of the delayed European GT season, which has seen Team WRT winning at both the inaugural events of the GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup and the ADAC GT Masters, the Belgian squad will go for what would be a fantastic hat-trick in three weeks: a success also in the season-opener of the GTWCE Sprint Cup at Misano.

It will be a tough but not impossible challenge for the Audi R8 LMS racing under the banner of the Belgian Audi Club Team WRT, but the squad is completely motivated and has a top line-up of three cars, entrusted to Dries Vanthoor-Charles Weerts, Ryuichiro Tomita-Kelvin van der Linde and the Owega brothers - Jusuf and Hamza.

Team Principal Vincent Vosse reckons that confirming the excellent start of the European GT season is an objective: “We had a very good kick-off in the Endurance Cup and the ADAC GT Masters, it’s a very pleasant feeling and it would be great to continue this trend. Let’s keep the momentum and have a positive start of the season in the Sprint Cup too. We have done well at Misano in the past, so nothing is impossible, but we have to stay focused. It is going to be a tough weekend, with three races scheduled, which means that any mistake or incident risks to have a heavy price. Besides that, I want to give a very warm welcome to Jusuf and Hamza Owega and Ryuichiro Tomita, who are joining the WRT family at this occasion.”

The line-up of the Belgian Audi Club Team WRT for this year’s Sprint Cup includes some interesting novelties. In Skechers-branded Audi R8 LMS #32, Charles Weerts and Audi Sport driver Dries Vanthoor need no presentation. The spirits of the Belgian young guns is as high as ever, after taking a dominant win last weekend at the Lausitzring in the ADAC GT Masters, and they certainly do not forget that they won at Misano last year in Race 2.

In car #31, Ryuichiro Tomita will become the first Japanese driver to race for Team WRT. The 31-year-old joins from the highly competitive Super GT series in his home country, where he used to race an Audi R8 LMS of Team WRT’s local partner Hitotsyuama Racing, and will make his debut in Europe alongside Audi Sport driver Kelvin van der Linde, fresh from his win in the maiden race of the GTWCE Endurance Cup at Imola.

Car #33 will defend the colours of the squad in the Silver Cup and be entrusted to the German Owega brothers. The elder, Hamza (28), has experience in GT4, while the youngest, Jusuf (18) has raced in Formula 3 before joining his brother in GT4.They finished 3rd of last year ADAC GT4 Germany and now step up in the maiden European GT3 sprint series.

The Misano round will have a few specificities this year, starting from a programme that includes an additional race, in order to compensate for one of the lost races when the calendar was reshuffled following the pandemic and reduced by one Sprint Cup event. This means that on Sunday there will be two races instead of one. What does not change, as per tradition at the Marco Simoncelli Circuit on the shores of the Adriatic, is that Race 1 on Saturday will take place in the sunset’s twilight, starting at 19:15 CEST.

Dries Vanthoor: “We have very good memories of Misano last year, as we won one race and took one pole, so let’s hope we have again a strong weekend there. We come from a nice success last weekend at the Lausitzring, it is definitely an extra boost. We need to aim at a weekend with no mistake and at taking good results and heavy points.”

Charles Weerts: “It’s nice to go back to Misano where last year I took my first win in GT, a really cool memory. We should be again quite competitive, even though we might get some extra weight. The goal, for sure, is to be at the front and score a maximum of points. With three races this time, it is going to be crucial to be consistent and bring home a lot of points.”

Jusuf Owega:
“I’m obviously very excited to be back in a racing car, it has been a very long time and circumstances have not been ideal. Team WRT is a very renowned team and I consider myself very lucky to be able to drive for them.”

Kelvin van der Linde: “We had a great start of the season at Imola, we lead the GTWCE overall standings and it’s important to keep the rhythm and continue to collect good results and heavy points. Misano is a track I like, it will be very hot there, but we need to go through and aim at the top 3.”

GTWCE Sprint Cup – Round 1
Misano Adriatico, Italy, 7-9 August 2020

Timetable (all in local time = CET)

Friday 7 August 2020

13:10-14:30 Free Practice 1
18:35-19:55 Free Practice 2

Saturday 8 August 2020

09:00-10:20 Pre-Qualifying

13:20-13:40 Qualifying 1
13:50-14:10 Qualifying 2

19:15-20:15 Race 1 (1 hr)

Sunday 9 August 2020

09:00-09:20 Qualifying 3
11:20-12:20 Race 2 (1 hr)
15:00-16:00 Race 3 (1 hr)

Belgian Audi Club Team WRT entries
#31 Ryuichiro Tomita (JP) – Kelvin van der Linde (ZA) Pro
#32 Dries Vanthoor (BE) – Charles Weerts (BE) Pro
#33 Hamza Owega (DE) – Jusuf Owega (DE) Silver

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10 months ago

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