It was an intense and full of emotions weekend on two fronts for Team WRT, with positive results at the end. At the Nürburgring 6 Hours, in a very closely-fought race, the Belgian Audi Club Team WRT scored heavy points, thanks to the fourth position of car #31 driven by Audi Sport drivers Mirko Bortolotti and Kelvin van der Linde, together with Rolf Ineichen, and the 5th of Charles Weerts and Audi Sport drivers Christopher Mies and Dries Vanthoor. With these results, the Belgian squad keeps the lead in the Endurance Cup and GTWCE overall Team standings while Bortolotti and van der Linde become leaders in the Drivers’ standings of the Endurance Cup by one point, right ahead the Total 24 Hours of Spa.

Assessing the weekend, Team Principal Vincent Vosse commented: “It has been a very interesting weekend on both fronts. In the DTM, we are raising our game, by scoring points in both races, having better qualifying results and performing the fastest pit stop in Race 2. It proves we are heading in the right direction. At the Nürburgring 6 Hours, we had a very intense race. It was a great team effort, despite some small mistakes. To still finish 4th and 5th given today’s field proves something. But all in all, we are happy of the weekend and of staying on top of the standings in Teams and Drivers in the Endurance Cup and in the GTWCE overall Team ranking.”

The weekend at the Nürburgring started with four testing sessions, one free practice and pre-qualifying, with car #32 of Mies-Vanthoor-Weerts being the fastest car in two of those sessions, which were very useful to set-up the cars, given the extra-weight to be carried-over following BoP adjustments. Qualifying though proved the challenge ahead of the Belgian squad, with car #32 taking P11, car #31 of Bortolotti-Ineichen-van der Linde in P22 and Breukers-Goethe-Hall in P30.

The start of the race and the initial laps were lively as expected and saw Charles Weerts taking an impressive start, as he could position himself in second, with Ineichen in P16, while Benjamin Goethe had to retire after 12 laps following a contact while running in a compact group. The second part of the race was highly spectacular, with Christopher Mies involved in several superb battles throughout his stint which he finished in P3 after gaining three positions. In car #31, Kelvin van der Linde climbed up to 12th before having to serve a drive-through for excessive length of Ineichen’s stint. In the #32 Audi R8 LMS, Dries Vanthoor took second at the beginning of the penultimate stint and stayed very close to the leading Porsche, but all chances of fighting for victory vanished when he had to serve a drive-through for unsafe release at the 2nd pit stop of the race…2h20 earlier. The final part of the race saw both cars charging to climb positions with great determination, with Bortolotti eventually taking fourth ahead of Vanthoor.

Kelvin van der Linde: “It’s always a difficult day when you start in P22 and have to fight through the field. Despite the drive-through, our pit stop calls were good, we fought well and could achieve another top-5, claiming more solid points going into Spa.”

Charles Weerts: “It was a mixed day. I had a very good start, gaining 9 positions and gave my best throughout my stint, giving back the car in P5. Unfortunately, we had this late drive-through. Today we were all on the limit and when it is so, it can happen to have a mistake. But it was a good job from everybody and still some good points brought home.”

Dries Vanthoor: “Reasonably happy about how things went. The car was very good today, it was a car for fighting for the win, but we didn’t have a flawless race, unfortunately. My stints were good, I could attack the others, then there was this drive-through. It’s part of the game, but after that we could fight back well and still take P5.”

Benjamin Goethe: “Overall, a bad weekend for us. Among the positives, we had a good pace and we developed well the car through the sessions. Unfortunately, in the race, at the restart after the first safety car, going into the chicane, everybody braked strong in front of me and couldn’t avoid hitting the car ahead, and that was it.”

GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup – Round 2
Nürburgring, Germany, 4-6 September 2020

Race results:

  1. Cairoli-Engelhart-Müller (Porsche 911 R) 173 laps
  2. Marciello-Boguslavskiy-Fraga (Mercedes AMG) +14s849
  3. Engel-Stolz-Fraga (Mercedes-AMG) +17s823
  4. Bortolotti-Ineichen-van der Linde (Audi R8 LMS) +32s568
  5. Mies-Vanthoor-Weerts (Audi R8 LMS) +32s807

DNF Breukers-Goethe-Hall (Audi R8 LMS) 1 2 laps (accident)