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Reviews Frijns and WRT present LMP2 project: What does that mean for the DTM?

14:40  21 january  2021
14:40  21 january  2021 Source:   motorsport-total.com

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Beim bisher einziger LMP2-Auftritt bei der ELMS 2016 in Spa siegte WRT beinahe © WRT At the only LMP2 appearance so far at the ELMS 2016 in Spa, WRT almost won

Exciting news from two previous DTM stars: Ex-Audi works driver Robin Frijns, who was third in the championship in 2020 with Abt, will compete for WRT in the LMP2 class of the WEC in 2021. This was announced in a press release by the Belgian squad, which had been successfully active as an Audi customer team in the DTM for the past two years.

"I'm looking forward to working with the WRT team again," says the Dutchman who, despite strong performances in the previous year, did not receive an Audi contract for the 2021 . "We had great successes in the past and were successful straight away. We have won two titles together in the Blancpain series - an overall victory and one in the sprint classification. Now we want to be immediately successful again as in the GT3 sector."

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Robin Frijns © WRT Robin Frijns

The emergency vehicle is an Oreca 07 - the team has not yet announced who its two WEC teammates will be. If everything goes as planned, the commitment means that Frijns will celebrate its premiere at the 24-hour classic in Le Mans this year.

LMDh boom attracts Frijns and WRT

The cooperation makes sense, because WRT team boss Vincent Vosse also acts as Frijns' manager. After being disregarded by Audi, the 29-year-old still has a contract for the upcoming Formula E season with the Virgin racing team.

And like the WRT team, with whom Frijns has been working again and again since 2015, he too has his sights set on the manufacturer comeback at Le Mans: Because the LMDh regulations in the long-distance premier class are about to be introduced, numerous manufacturers - including Audi and Porsche - confirmed to return to the Sarthe.

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Does the announcement mean that Frijns cannot remain in the DTM? Not necessarily, because the current WEC calendar for the 2021 season provides for six race weekends from mid-March in Sebring to the end of November in Bahrain, which do not overlap with the current DTM dates.

What Frijn's WEC commitment means for the DTM

Therefore, the Formula E dates are currently more problematic, but the electric racing series is revising its calendar, especially because of the coronavirus pandemic - further postponements are to be expected. Although there is currently no overlap between the WEC and the DTM, the additional program makes it less likely that they will remain in the DTM.

Because with both calendars, shifts and changes are anything but impossible - and sooner or later you have to assume that there will be overlaps. The fact that Frijns is no longer part of the Audi roster did not exactly increase the likelihood of staying.

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WRT: Little experience in the prototype area

For the WRT squad from Baudour, which last year in the DTM as the first private team to celebrate a pole position and a podium with Ferdinand Habsburg, the change to the prototype area basically means uncharted territory: That The team, which is particularly well-known in the GT3 sector, has so far only been involved in the ELMS home race in Spa in 2016, when a Ligier-Judd LMP2 racing car was used.

Without a puncture you would not have finished second, but would have won the prototype premiere. For Vosse, who announced his LMP plans a few months ago, the project is a dream come true. "Since WRT was founded, sports car races and the Le Mans 24 Hours have been part of our dreams and future plans," confirms the ex-racing driver. "How can it be otherwise for a real racing enthusiast?"

WRT is also aiming for LMDh use

So far there has been no possibility, "but after eleven years it finally fits and we have a possibility that fits our strategy", he plays on the LMDh plans of his team at. The various GT engagements will also be promoted, "but now we are facing this new adventure and hope that it will bear as much fruit and be as long and exciting as the previous chapters in WRT history".

You approach this new era with a lot of humility, promises Vosse: "We definitely know that this is a new challenge and a new area of ​​responsibility in which we still have a lot to learn and prove."

Although WRT has managed to establish itself as a customer team in the DTM in two years - and they would be well equipped for the upcoming GT3 era with private teams - it looks rather bad with an remaining in the traditional series. This is due to the many overlaps between the SRO series and the GT Masters with the DTM calendar.

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