Multiple Blancpain GT Series champions Belgian Audi Club Team WRT have unveiled their crews for the 2018 campaign during pre-season testing at Zolder.
Vincent Vosse’s squad will field four Pro class Audi R8 LMS cars in the Sprint Cup this season as they seek to extend their dominance of the team’s title to a sixth successive year. They will also defend the drivers’ championship, which was clinched in dramatic fashion last season by Stuart Leonard and Robin Frijns.
Both Leonard and Frijns return in 2018, with their car once again carrying their lucky #17. The Dutchman is undertaking a dual programme with Audi this term by also competing in DTM, meaning Frederic Vervisch will deputise alongside Leonard at clashing events.
The #1 machine pairs Team WRT stalwart Christopher Mies with newcomer Alex Riberas. The 24-year-old Spaniard is new to the Blancpain GT Series but possesses considerable experience in GT racing, having competed extensively in Europe, the U.S. and Asia during this short career.
He will have the ideal teammate to learn from in Mies, whose relationship with Team WRT stretches back to the inaugural Blancpain Endurance Series campaign in 2011.
The #2 car will see returning WRT drivers Will Stevens and Dries Vanthoor sharing once again, reprising a partnership that was first formed at the Total 24 Hours of Spa in 2016. Both are race-winners in the series and will tackle their third year as part of the WRT outfit.
The driver line-up for Team WRT’s final Sprint Cup entry, the #3 Audi R8 LMS, will be announced ahead of the season-opening event at Zolder (6-8 April).
The Baudour-based squad has elected to run a pair of Endurance Cup cars this year, placing a number of Team WRT drivers in contention for the overall Blancpain GT Series title.
In the #1 machine, Sprint Cup teammates Mies and Riberas will be joined by Vanthoor, while Leonard and Frijns will share their #17 with newcomer Sheldon van der Linde.
At just 18 years old Van der Linde will be the youngest member of the WRT squad this term. The South African makes his GT3 debut in 2018 having cut his teeth in Audi’s single-make series.
Team WRT is set to reveal further plans for this year’s Total 24 Hours of Spa at a later date, as they target a third overall victory at the iconic endurance race.
photo credits Team WRT