Team WRT returns to the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve this weekend, for the second round of the 2023 FIA World Endurance Championship, the 6 Hours of Portimao. After a challenging season opener at the 1000 Miles of Sebring last month, the team are looking at getting their sister cars back on the podium.
It was in 2021 where WRT last ran their Oreca LMP2s around the twists and turns of Portimao, and enjoyed success in both the WEC, and the European Le Mans Series. Robin Frijns and Ferdinand Habsburg finished fourth in #31 with teammate Charles Milesi, and in the same year, Robert Kubica and Louis Delétraz, alongside Yifei Ye, finished second with WRT in the ELMS.
With the 2023 line ups remaining unchanged from Sebring, and solid pre-season testing under their belts, the Team WRT duo are more than ready to take on the six-hour battle around the 4.653km circuit.
The #41 squad of Rui Andrade, Louis Delétraz and Robert Kubica sit fourth in the LMP2 championship standings, with their teammates, the #31 car of Robin Frijns, Sean Gelael and Ferdinand Habsburg, a mere six points behind, in sixth position.
Portimao hosts the first of WEC’s four six-hour races this season, so will see less championship points on offer compared to the longer race at Sebring. This weekend, a maximum of 26 points, one for pole position and 25 for the LMP2 win, will be up for grabs and WRT’s aim will be to fight for as many of those valuable points as possible.
Vincent Voss, Team WRT Principal: “As a team we must bounce back from Sebring. We were not where we wanted to be and now in terms of the championship, of course, we have to score big points in Portimão! We expect to be back to where we should normally be, but we will not be putting ourselves under any unnecessary pressure. The team just need to do what we know, and everything will be fine! Nice to be back in Europe and only two races to go before Le Mans, so we will be giving it our all.”
Robin Frijns, #31 Platinum driver:
“It’s a track where I haven’t won a race, yet… Always been quite competitive. Two years ago, our first year in the WEC was a bit difficult, we had some issues in the race. I do like the flow of the track, how it goes up and down, it’s a very nice layout, but quite challenge to race on as it’s difficult to overtake there, nevertheless, it’s always enjoyable to drive it. So, I’m looking forward to the race, hopefully we will be competitive so we can fight for a podium at least!”
Sean Gelael, #31 Silver driver:
“Heading back to sunny Portugal, I love it there! Good vibes, good place, super nice circuit. I personally had a good first year there in 2021, finished second after being spun around in the first corners. It’s a place I enjoy a lot and hopefully we can bounce back with the results that the whole of Team WRT deserves!”
Ferdinand Habsburg, #31 Gold driver:
“Portimão is a very difficult track in general with a lot of combined corners which can make it challenging from the engineering front, but we’ve been assessing a lot of things since Sebring, and we need a good weekend to bounce back and still have a chance at the championship. So, let’s say the pressure is on for the drivers and the team, but fortunately it’s in a cool place with beautiful weather. I’m looking forward to it, it’s always a cool track to go and race on.”
Source: Team WRT