A dream come true: Team WRT has added the FIA World Endurance Championship LMP2 titles (Team and Driver) to its impressive harvest of 2021. The Belgian squad and its trio of drivers, Robin Frijns-Ferdinand Habsburg-Charles Milesi, achieved the success in the best possible way, taking a clear win in the Bahrain 8 hours, after having won the first race of the Bahrain double-header.

The triumphs in the Gulf add to the win at the Le Mans 24 Hours, with Team WRT bringing home three successes in six rounds. For its maiden full year in LMP2 racing, Team WRT could not dream of a better outcome.

Earlier in the season, Team WRT has conquered the ELMS and GTWCE Overall and Sprint Cup double titles in what is going a memorable 2021 season for the Baudour-based squad with 9 more titles in its roll of honour.

WRT Team Principal Vincent Vosse was clearly a happy man as the WEC season’s curtain fell down: “What can I say at the end of such an exceptional season for Team WRT in LMP2 and GT3 and this great success in the WEC? I don’t think there is a happier team principal in the world tonight! I am really extremely proud of the job done by the entire team and the drivers throughout the year. Today, they were just fantastic. It is going to be very difficult to repeat a season like this, but now, it’s time to celebrate!”

The second weekend in Bahrain started with intensive work and not spectacular results in the three free practice sessions that car #31 finished in 6th, 3rd and 8th position respectively. Qualifying was also relatively challenging, with Ferdinand Habsburg taking P7 among LMP2 cars and starting from the fifth row.

Things were to change for the race. Since the start, Habsburg showed a great form, gaining immediately two positions and making further impressive overtakes to run second before the first pit stop for refuelling. He handed over the car to Robin Frijns in third position, in lap 50. With fresh tyres, the Dutchman was able to charge and take the lead by lap 76, with Charles Milesi keeping the advantage when he took over in lap 85. A full-course yellow prompted a pit stop and driver change in lap 99, with Habsburg keeping the lead and handing back to Milesi in lap 126.

The Frenchman increased the lead thanks also to a very quick pit stop in lap 149, again under yellow, where only left tyres were changed. Robin Frijns took over in lap 174 for the final stints, and another strategic pit stop allowed to bring the gap up to 45 seconds one hour from the end. There were no surprises in the closing phases, with direct rivals losing further ground.

Robin Frijns: “At the beginning of the race, we were struggling a bit, more than last week, and we had some little issues, also during one of the pit stops, but we always had the pace to bounce back, and the more we got into the race, the more competitive we were. Congrats to all the team and my team mates. We basically were all rookies and to win at our first campaign, taking three race wins out of six, will go into the history books, I think…”

Ferdinand Habsburg: “We won the race and the titles and we were the quickest. What an amazing job from the whole team and the three of us. No mistakes, no penalties, a perfect job. I feel over the moon and possibly, even higher! Now it’s time to celebrate with the team!”.

Charles Milesi: “We finish first in the race and in the championship, it’s incredible. We never expected to be at such a level at the beginning of the season, but everybody did an incredible job straight away, since the start of the programme, and it paid off. I just can say a massive ‘congratulations’ to everybody.”

FIA World Endurance Championship - Round 6
Bahrain 8 Hours, Bahrain – 4-6 November 2021

Race Result
1. Nakajima-Hartley-Buemi (Toyota GR010 Hybrid) 247 laps
2. Conway-Kobayashi-López (Toyota GR010 Hybrid) + 7s351
3. Negrão-Lapierre-Vaxivière (Alpine A480G) + 6 laps
4. Frijns-Habsburg-Milesi (Oreca 07 Gibson) + 7 laps (1st LMP2)
5. Da Costa-Davidson-Gonzalez (Oreca 07 Gibson) + 7 laps