24H of Spa Belgian Audi Club WRT: 6 Audi and 19 drivers

© Patrick Hecq

The 69th edition of the Total 24 Hours of Spa kicks-off today with the first free practice for Bronze drivers. Among the favourites for victory are, quite clearly, the Belgian Audi Club and Team WRT. The Belgian squad is entering no less than six Audis R8 LMS GT3 in the Ardennes’ legendary enduro: five will bid for the overall victory and one will aim at top honours in the Pro-Am category. 

« When you have the support of a manufacturer and the driver line-ups we have, you can only aim at winning », confirms Vincent Vosse, the Team Principal of Team WRT. « Still, we all know how thin is the gap between victory and defeat. Last year, René Rast, Laurens Vanthoor and Nico Müller were leading the race when René was  hit by a car he was lapping. The trio then lost 4 laps before climbing back to the third step of the podium, in the same lap of the winners… To win, you also need some luck and that is an element you do not master. »

To maximize the chances of success, the former winner of the Total 24 Hours of Spa knows that one has to rely first of all on people. « On top of very fast and harmonized driver line-ups (and here I want to thank André Lotterer for joining us last minute with so much enthusiasm), we have an extraordinary team, able to go the extra step when needed », says Vosse. « The  Total 24 Hours de Spa is a race where the team factor can make the difference. At Spa, if everything goes well and you respect the planned pace, you can perform the perfect race. To win this year, it will take a perfect race, although, with so many variables that play a role, that won’t be enough in itself. »

The driver line-ups are composed of a subtle mix of experienced endurance specialists and fast young guns. Let’s have a closer look…  

#1 – Audi Sport Team WRT
René Rast – German, born 26.10.1986
« After being for a long time one of the reference drivers for Audi Sport customer racing in GT3 and taking part also to the 2015 Le Mans 24 Hours on the third Audi LMP1 car, René Rast has seen his race programme change this year, as he now defends the colours of Audi in the DTM. With great success, by the way, since he currently lies a close second in the standings. The priority given to the DTM programme doesn’t prevent him to take part in some of the main endurance races with the R8 LMS… Having already conquered a win at the Nürburgring  24 Hours (2014) and two class wins at the Daytona 24 Hours (2012 and 2016), the 30-year-old aims at a third triumph at Spa after the ones in 2012 and 2014. Having narrowly missed winning in the Eifel earlier this year, René is looking for revenge and he remains a key asset for Audi Sport Team WRT! »

Nico Müller – Swiss, born 25.02.1992
« Following his career with single-seaters, Nico Müller has definitely established himself as a driver at Audi Sport. On top of his DTM programme, the smiling Swiss has been involved in the top GT3 races, like the Nürburgring 24 Hours and the Total 24 Hours of Spa. A winner at the Ring in 2015 (and third this year), Nico is chasing a first success at Spa. No need to tell what his objective for the 2017 edition will be… »

Antonio Garc