Next weekend sees the opening round of the 2012 FIA World GT1 Championship at Nogaro in the south of France, which will be the opening shots of a barrage of GT events coming our way. Team WRT burst onto the GT racing scene in 2010 with a trio of Audi R8 LMS – during their first year they were never off the podium in the Belcar series races they contested, and then in 2011 a full season in FIA GT3 netted three wins and second place in the hard-fought Drivers’ Championship.
The team is led by Vincent Vosse, a noted GT driver in his own right, and this year WRT have a fleet of new Audis tackling events around the globe: in World GT1, the Blancpain Endurance Series (which includes the Spa 24 Hours), the French GT Championship and both the Nurburgring and Zolder 24 Hour events.
Their new R8 LMS Ultra contender is lower, wider, lighter… faster. And it will need to be to take on the hardcore opposition in GT1 this year: nine manufacturers will be battling this year, with more promised. The thumping, flaming last-gen monsters might have gone, but the GT3-based cars for 2012 will rapidly mutate over the coming years to become just as impressive as their forebears.
WRT recently ran out their new 2012 GT1 weapons at Zolder in Belgium, which will host the second round of the championship. This video shows some awesome shots of the cars firing around this fast, narrow track: it really accentuates the speed of the R8. They’ll already be needing new splitters after the pounding from the track’s vicious bumps and kerbs… And the sound! The rasping roar of the 5.2-litre 90° V10 reverberates around the forest track: these smaller circuits are where the championship will really shine.
As you can see from the big stickers on the car, Speedhunters have a personal interest in the WRT Audis this year: we’ll be following the team’s progress across their various championships, kicking off with an in-depth look at the team at the Blancpain Endurance Series race at Monza in two weeks time. There we’ll be getting the inside line on the race with new WRT Audi signing and Speedhunters driver Edward Sandstrom.