It was a contrasted double-commitment weekend in Germany for Team WRT, as both the DTM and the ADAC GT Masters were closing their 2020 season.

At Hockenheim, the traditional home of the DTM finale, made especially emotional this year as the series was saying goodbye to the Class 1 cars, WRT Team Audi Sport did not live the finale it had hoped in terms of results after the last rounds, but showed excellent team work, clinching another win and a second in the Pit Stop competition.

At Oschersleben, instead, Team WRT finished its maiden season in the highly-competitive ADAC GT Masters taking points and conquering a wonderful podium finish, the fifth in the season for the Belgian squad, thanks to the P2 of Rolf Ineichen and Mirko Bortolotti in Race 2.

Team Principal Vincent Vosse was stressing the positives after this weekend: “It’s clear that taking no points in the last DTM event and missing what could have been a second pole in Q2 is frustrating, but in a series like that, you just have to be perfect to get rewards. Still, I am very proud of the job made by the entire teams and by the fact that our crews finished as the best Audi team in the special ranking for pit stops, after taking a second and a win in the two races here at Hockenheim. In the ADAC GT Masters, after some set-backs in recent rounds, we finished strongly, being the fastest Audi in Q2 and taking a great P2 in the last race. Here too, I am very happy about the whole team performed.”


The season-closer of the DTM started with the three cars in the top-10 in free practice 1, as Ferdinand Habsburg was third, Harrison Newey 8th and Fabio Scherer 9th, with the Austrian 10th ahead of the Swiss in the second session and the Brit 16th. Qualifying for Race 1 was relatively disappointing, with Scherer being the best-place in P10, Habsburg 12th and Newey 15th.

Race 1, marked by two safety-car periods, would not see a great improvement. Newey was put out of the race at first corner, after contact with Wittmann and Kubica. Habsburg stabilized in P10 in the initial laps, followed by Scherer. They raised up to 7th and 8th with the first pit-stops, before the Swiss made his mandatory stop in lap 16 and the Austrian in lap 18, when he was a provisional 3rd. Habsburg rejoined in P8 and Scherer in P10 but Habsburg dropped a few position in the closing laps, finishing 11th, while Scherer had to retire.

In Qualifying for Race 2, Habsburg was the team’s best-placed driver, in P7, but without running wide in a corner in his best attempt, he could have opted to pole position. Scherer repeated P10 and Newey was 15th. In Race 2, in the initial laps, the three drivers dropped

one place before raising high (5th, 6th, 9th) as pit stops started and they were on a relatively late pit stop strategy, visiting the pit lane in laps 17, 18 and 19 respectively. Unfortunately, Habsburg got a drive-through for excessive speed in the pit lane and had to go back again to the pits to serve the sanction. In the second part of the race, Scherer was briefly 10th but could not maintain the position, finishing 12th ahead of his two team mates, Newey and Habsburg.

What couldn’t be on track was achieved in the pits, as the WRT Team Audi Sport crews were second-fastest in Race 1 and fastest in Race 2 in performing the pit stop, which leaves the Belgian squad as the best among Audi teams in this special ranking.

Ferdinand Habsburg: “It was a very melancholic weekend, with a really bizarre atmosphere, as there were no fans for the finale and we all were sad to see the end of a great era. It wasn’t our best weekend either, but now we have to look forward, and I only can say I appreciated a lot working with the team and the company of all at WRT.”

Fabio Scherer: “It’s a shame that we couldn’t finish on a higher note. I had good qualifying sessions, with P10 twice, and in Q2 I could have been much higher without a small mistake. In Race 1, I was going for points, but I was slowed by a technical issue after the safety-car period. In Race 2, we lacked pace and we don’t know exactly why. Still, we improved a lot throughout the season, I want to thank the team for the great work, and I am sad we will not be able to drive anymore the amazing Class 1 cars.”

Harrison Newey: “I have not much to say except a massive thanks to the team, it has been such an enjoyable season, the atmosphere in the team and with my team mates has been fantastic, WRT is such a wonderful bunch of people… It’s a shame we couldn’t replicate the good weekend we had at Zolder, and so sad to see going the Class 1 cars, which were wonderful machines, light, powerful, with a lot of downforce, everything a driver dreams of…”

ADAC GT Masters

Sunday was sweeter than Saturday in the ADAC GT Master season-closer, as Race 2 ended with two cars in the top-7 and a brilliant second spot for car #30. On the very technical track of Oschersleben and in cold weather, the Audi R8 LMS proved competitive, with Team WRT’s car #30 being third-fastest in free practice 2 and car #32 in P6. Charles Weerts and Rolf Ineichen were on duty for Qualifying 1, which they completed in P15 and P21 respectively.

In Race 1, they ran in P17 and P21 in the initial phases before the red flag stopped the proceedings, for an incident between two cars that left much oil on the track, which surprised many drivers, including Weerts, who lost a couple of positions. Shortly after, as soon as the driver change window opened, most of the cars stopped. Unfortunately, another long safety-car period occurred after all the pit stops, making the group even more compact and hindering overtakes. Dries Vanthoor and Mirko Bortolotti made only marginal gains, finishing 15th and 16th respectively.

Ahead of Race 2, both the Audi Sport drivers did very well, with Bortolotti taking an excellent 2nd and Vanthoor sixth. In the race, Bortolotti and Vanthoor managed to take a great start, positioning themselves in P1 and P3 in turn 2 but unfortunately, the race was red-flagged right after because a collective crash at the start in the middle of the grid. After restart,

Bortolotti and Vanthoor kept this time their respective grid positions, P2 and P6, from the grid during the entire stint. After pit stops, Ineichen managed to secure the podium finish while Weerts dropped one position to finish 7th.

Dries Vanthoor: “Not a great weekend again for our car, today both qualifying and the race were compromised by a braking and ABS issue, we couldn’t find what the problem was.”

Charles Weerts: “For us, it wasn’t the greatest weekend, P7 was not what we were aiming at, but let’s try to do much better at the Paul Ricard next week for the last GTWCE round.”

Mirko Bortolotti: “P2 is a great result to finish the season with. It’s just a pity that we had the red flag in the middle of lap 1, as I had managed to pass Marciello for the lead in turn 2. It was not possible to repeat it after restart, I kept putting pressure on him but he did no mistakes. Still, we did a great job as a team.”

DTM – Round 9
Hockenheimring, 6-8 November 2020

Race 1 Results:

1.Nico Müller (Audi) 36 laps

2.René Rast(Audi) + 0s622

3.Jamie Green (Audi) + 1s033

4.Loïc Duval (Audi) + 4s960

5.Jonathan Aberdein (BMW) + 6s580

11.Ferdinand Habsburg (Audi) +11s056

DNF Fabio Scherer (Audi) 31 laps (mechanical)

DNF Harrison Newey (Audi) 0 laps (contact)

Race 2 Results:

1.René Rast (Audi) 37 laps

2.Nico Müller (Audi) +10s19

3.Jamie Green (Audi) +13s409

4.Mike Rockenfeller (Audi) +16s648

5.Robin Frijns (Audi) +17s887

12.Fabio Scherer (Audi) +53s027

13.Harrison Newey (Audi) +56s513

14.Ferdinand Habsburg (Audi) +1m05s095

ADAC GT Masters – Round 7
Oschersleben, 6-8 November 2020

Race 1 Results:

1.Engelhart-Ammermüller (Porsche 911 R) 40 laps)

2.Soltz-Engel (Marcedes-AMG) + 3s887

3. Ellis-Marciello (Mercedes-AMG) + 4s488

4. Hofer-Haase (Audi R8 LMS) + 5s948

5. R.Renauer-Jaminet (Porsche 911 R) + 7s492

15.Vanthoor-Weerts (Audi R8 LMS) +24s452

16.Ineichen-Bortolotti (Audi R8 LMS) +25s004

Race 2 Results:

1.Ellis-Marciello (Mercedes-AMG) 42 laps

2.Bortolotti-Ineichen (Audi R8 LMS) +17s699

3.R.Renauer-Jaminet (Porsche 911 R) +20s609

4.Ammermüller-Engelhart (Lamborghini Huracán) +22s752

5.Stolz-Engel (Mercedes-AMG) +25s447

7.Vanthoor-Weerts (Audi R8 LMS) +29s111

PHOTO: Alexandre Epping de Barros, Michele Scudiero