WRT breaks up with Audi – new BMW WEC partner

The Belgian WRT outfit has chosen to end their long commitment with Audi Sport.

The team has been synonymous with the German brand pretty much since its foundation in 2009, but that will come to an end following the 2022 season.

But there is a new task for them, in the shape of the BMW LMDh programme, which will start in the FIA World Endurance Championship from 2024 onwards. The 2023 season will consist of testing the car, prior to it’s FIA WEC debut.

Franciscus van Meel, CEO BMW M GmbH, Andreas Roos, Head of BMW M Motorsport, Team WRT Principal Vincent Vosse and Pascal Weerts, CEO of Weerts Group
Photo: BMW Motorsport

The two parties are not ready to confirm, if WRT will be active for BMW in GT3 racing as well. That category has been a happy hunting ground for the team led by Vincent Vosse for the past eleven years, where titles and big race wins have come in thick and fast.

The team stepped into LMP2 in 2021, with a single car in both in the European Le Mans Series and the FIA World Endurance Championship – and won both titles in the first try! They were on course for a 1-2 at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, until one of their cars broke down on the very final lap of the race.

Everything pointed towards them running the Audi LMDh programme – well, apparently the deal was 99,9% ready to be announced, when Audi pulled the plug on that programme, and turned their focus onto Formula 1.

So WRT started looking for alternatives, with the choice falling on BMW. Not only do they have a huge GT3 programme, but they were also looking for a FIA WEC partner, as was announced last week, the day after the first laps of the BMW M Hybrid V8.

Team WRT Audi #34
Photo: JJ Media

So that is BMW Motorsport all ready for the LMDh programme in both the FIA World Endurance Championship, and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. BMW M Team RLL will run the American outfit, and has already started testing the new car. The first part of the test happens in Europe, close to the Dallara factory in Italy, before the testing moves to the USA in September.

The BMW M Hybrid V8 will have its race debut at the Daytona 24 Hours race in January 2023, which is a part of the IMSA Championship.

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