ORLEN TEAM WRT ENDS ELMS SEASON WITH ANOTHER PODIUM
ORLEN TEAM WRT ENDS ELMS SEASON WITH ANOTHER PODIUM
With the Teams’ and Drivers’ titles already in the pocket, ORLEN Team WRT ended its first full campaign in the European Le Mans Series on the podium, taking a nice second in the Portimão 4 Hours. Louis Delétraz, Robert Kubica and Yifei Ye, at the wheel of the Oreca 07 Gibson of the Belgian squad added the honour to the three race wins conquered this season.
It was a different outcome at Hockenheim in the penultimate round of the ADAC GT Masters, which yielded a disappointing weekend, with two DNF, while running in the Top 5, for the Audi R8 LMS of Dries Vanthoor and Charles Weerts.
From Portimão, WRT Team Principal Vincent Vosse commented on the race in the Algarve: “We finish an incredible season with a good result. Of course, we would have preferred to win, but today United Autosports was very strong and deserved the success. We finish on the podium, it’s another very solid result, which wraps up well a season were we did a great job and progressed constantly. I want to congratulate everyone in the team for a very successful first season in the series.”
The weekend started positively on the beautiful track in the Algarve, with the ORLEN Team WRT car being the fastest in the first free practice session. In the second one, devoted to work on race set-up, it was 9th, while in qualifying it took P5 on the grid, with Louis Delétraz at the wheel.
Robert Kubica started the race, gaining one position already in first lap and then climbing up a further step to third. Unfortunately, thirty minutes into the race, a big crash occurred on the straight, fortunately with no personal consequences but the race had to be red-flagged to allow repairing the barriers. On lap 30, Yifei Ye took the wheel, rejoining in P6 but the evolution of the race allowed car #41 to take the lead in the central part of the competition. Louis Delétraz started his stint in lap 87 and was in contention for podium positions throughout the final part, but could not catch the United Autosports car, eventually finishing second.
Louis Delétraz: “It was a good race and we had a good strategy after the interruption of the race, but the pace was not as good as in other races, the car felt harder. We chose to change only two tyres in the last pit stop and in the last hour I struggled a bit with the car, but no regrets, it was a risk we had to take. Thank you to everybody for such a good season.”
Robert Kubica: “We came to Portimão as Champions but still motivated to go for a good result and we took P2, which today was the best we could achieve. I want to thank everyone at Team WRT, my teammates, all the sponsors and partners for a wonderful season.”
Yifei Ye: “Overall, not an easy weekend, we only qualified 5th but in the race, we did well. We stayed calm after the red flag, not doing mistakes, avoiding penalties and we still take a P2 to conclude this fantastic season with Team WRT. We can be proud of our achievements.”
European Le Mans Series – Round 6
Portimão, Portugal – 21-24 October
1. Gamble-Hanson-Aberdein (Oreca 07 Gibson) 130 laps
2. Delétraz-Kubica-Ye (Oreca 07 Gibson) +21s748
3. Habsburg-Menchaca-Brdley (Oreca 07 Gibson) +22s678
4. Stevens-Canal-Allen (Oreca 07 Gibson) +36s614
5. Rusinov-DeVries-Colapinto ( Aurus 07 Gibson) +39s330
Photo: Sergey Savrasov
ADAC GT Masters
The weekend started satisfactorily for Team WRT, although the Audi R8 LMS was not among the very fastest on this ‘power track’. It took P15 in the first free practice session, before improving up to 3rd in the second. In the qualifying session for Race 1, Charles Weerts took P8.
On a sunny Saturday, Race 1 had a chaotic start with Weerts gaining two positions, up to 6th, in the first lap. Still, his position in the starting grid was deemed ‘inappropriate’ by the stewards, who inflicted him passing through the penalty zone, with the subsequent drop to P10. Recovering proved challenging, but after the pit stop in lap 18, Dries Vanthoor managed to seize P8 and gained two more positions before a full-course yellow. At the restart, 7 laps from the end, while running in 5th position, the Belgian was hit by a Mercedes and his race finished on the side, although the car was still classified in P23.
On Sunday, Vanthoor qualified 5th and gained one position in the opening lap, but all hopes of a good result faded in lap 5 when he had to stop, probably due to a broken suspension, presumably caused by a small contact in the tense first phases.
Dries Vanthoor: It’s been another disappointing weekend in the ADAC GT Masters but let’s take the positive out of it: we had good speed in the car, especially on Sunday. Unfortunately, we fell victim of an incident in Race 1 and today something broke in the suspension, but we still have to check precisely.”
ADAC GT Masters - Round 6
Hockenheimring, Germany – 22-24 October 2021
Race 1 Result
1. Bortolotti-Mapelli (Lamborghini Huracán) 35 laps
2. Feller-Mies (Audi R8 LMS) + 0s521
3. Jaminet-Ammermüller (Porsche 911 GT3-R) + 1s567
4. Stolz-Engel (Mercedes AMG) + 2s999
5. Marciello-Buhk (Mercedes AMG) + 3s998
23. Vanthoor-Weerts (Audi R8 LMS) + 7 laps (DNF – damage)
Race 2 Result
1. Ineichen-Perera (Lamborghini Huracán) 35 laps
2. Marciello-Buhk (Mercedes AMG) + 2s615
3. Stolz-Engel (Mercedes AMG) + 3s876
4. Engelhart-Preining (Porsche 911 R) + 8s084
5. Walilko-Gounon (Mercedes AMG) +10s643
DNF Vanthoor-Weerts (Audi R8 LMS) 4 laps (damage)
Photo: ADAC GT Masters
6 hours ago
Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much 👊🏻 Have a great week everyone! ⠀ #WRT https://t.co/s8x3iEY0JH