Renowned Belgian sportscar and touring car outfit WRT has been announced as the first customer team with Audi for the 2019 DTM season, with the squad planning to enter two Audi RS5 DTM cars.
WRT, which was founded in 2009, made a name for itself racing in sportcars, taking international race wins and titles with the Audi R8 LMS GT3 cars, including notable victories at the 24-Hour races at the Nürburgring, Spa-Francorchamps, Zolder and Dubai.
The team has also been successful in the Blancpain GT Series, winning titles with current Audi DTM drivers René Rast, Robin Frijns and Nico Müller.
In recent years the team expanded into touring cars, competing in the TCR International Series in 2016 and 2017 with Volkswagen Golf GTi machinery, before switching to Audi RS3 LMS TCR cars for 2018, where the team is competing in the FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR).
“Moving up the ranks to the DTM was a dream for us,” said Team Director Vincent Vosse. “As part of the Audi family, we have followed the DTM with interest. This has always been a very strong platform.
“The time to get started was never better than it is now: in 2019, the new 2.0-liter turbo engines will be used for the first time. All of the teams will be starting from scratch with the new engines.
“We will get the same equipment as the factory teams. That makes the DTM so interesting for us and certainly also in the future for other teams.”
Head of Audi Motorsport Dieter Gass explained that the manufacturer has worked hard to bring a customer team on board for 2019, with the number of cars from the existing brands needing to increase to make up for the loss of Mercedes-Benz from the grid at the end of this season.
“Together with the ITR, we have been working hard over the past few months to reopen the DTM for customer teams,” said Gass. “We are pleased to present the first customer team of the new DTM era.
“I know Vincent Vosse and his team very well from Super Touring and the many years we worked together in GT racing. I know how strong the WRT team is.
“I am convinced that WRT also has the potential to establish itself in the DTM.”