As expected, René Rast returns to the World Endurance Championship (WEC). The 35-year-old will complete the dress rehearsal for Audi’s LMDh commitment on a WRT Oreca 07 in the LMP2 class.
Reigning LMP2 champion Robin Frijns and Sean Gelael have been announced as teammates. Gelael fulfills the silver criterion for the LMP2. Last year he was runner-up in the LMP2 class with Jota, narrowly beaten by WRT.
“I’m happy to start with the reigning champion team in the WEC,” says Rast. “Obviously I know Team WRT very well and I know how good they are. I look forward to working with the team again and my teammates Sean and Robin. They are excellent drivers. Hopefully we will have success and the title from last repeat year.”
Rast returns to the WEC for the first time since 2016. At that time he was in seven out of nine races for G-Drive Racing and won, among other things, the season finale in Bahrain alongside Alex Brundle and Roman Russinow. Rast will also start in the DTM again in 2022.
Incidentally, WRT also announces that Frijns is now an official Audi Sport driver. That would mean two Audi works drivers in the car. “Team WRT has become my racing family; we get along very well and I can’t wait to get started,” says Frijns, who also drives for Envision in Formula E.
Habsburg remains on board with WRT
The second WRT-Oreca is used in cooperation with Realteam. Among others, Ferdinand Habsburg will be in the second car, which was part of the championship and Le Mans winner pairing last year. His new teammates are called Rui Andrade and Norman Nato. Charles Milesi is no longer on board, for whom the upgrade to gold in the driver ranking is fatal.
“If it works, why should you change anything?” Habsburg asks rhetorically. He was part of the WRT championship crew in 2021 and celebrated victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, among other things. He has also already contested the 2020 DTM season with WRT.
“WRT have become like a second family to me over the past two years, so I didn’t have to think twice about defending the title with them. There is no better option than the reigning champions.”
Team boss Vincent Vosse, who inadvertently won almost everything there was to win in the LMP2 with WRT in the actual preparatory year, warns against letting the reins loosen: “We have a tough task ahead of us, because the success from the Repeating last year won’t be easy.”
“We have very strong driver pairings; all the drivers have great résumés, are very talented and know the team. They will be necessary because the WEC commitment is before 2023 [dem Jahr der großen Hersteller-Einstiege] increases.”