Rossi Racing His Audi This Weekend At Brands Hatch

Rossi Racing His Audi This Weekend At Brands Hatch

© 2022, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. From a press release issued By Team WRT:


28 April, 2022

One month after the Endurance Cup, it’s time also for the Sprint Cup, the other series under the umbrella of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS, to open its 2022 season. Hosting the season-opener is one of the most legendary tracks, Brands Hatch. Team WRT has set for itself the goal of winning a third consecutive double title in the Sprint Cup and fields in the competition four Audi R8 LMS.

Brands Hatch has the magic of old master crafts preserved throughout the decades: the 4.207 km track in Kent, one of the most iconic tracks, has kept not only its essence but also the atmosphere of times gone. It remains a very challenging and treacherous circuit, loved by drivers and fans alike. Team WRT has a special bond with it, given the so many good memories, which include no less than six race wins (of which two double) in the 7 visits made by SRO-organized GT3 competitions.

The objective this weekend will be to perpetuate the tradition and to have a good start to the new Sprint Cup season, after having won the Endurance Cup season-opener at Imola. In the Sprint Cup, the Belgian squad enters four cars, three in the Pro class, for reigning champions Dries Vanthoor-Charles Weerts, Valentino Rossi-Frédéric Vervisch and Christopher Mies-Jean-Baptiste Simmenauer, and one in the Silver Cup, for Benjamin Goethe-Thomas Neubauer.

Ahead of crossing the Channel, Team WRT Principal Vincent Vosse said: “Brands Hatch is one of my favorite circuits. It’s probably the opinion of an ‘old driver’, but I am glad to see that it is shared by many young drivers! Of course, an old-fashioned track means more risks and more incidents: mistakes in such tracks are paid cash! It’s also a track where we have been quite successful in the past. This year, I expect the Mercedes to be very competitive, but the important thing is not to do mistakes, on track and at pit stops, and to score heavy points to start well in the Sprint Cup. We know we have what it takes to do so. The pressure will be on us and we like that…”

Dries Vanthoor: “Brands Hatch brings back good memories. It’s there that we won the Sprint title last year. This time, it’s the start of the new season, and I’m glad to get going for another one together with Charles and the whole squad. It’s been one month since I raced, it seems a long time, and I look forward to being on a nice, cool and old-school track. I feel very motivated to go for another title.”

Charles Weerts: “I look forward to the start of another Sprint campaign, hopefully, we can reiterate the great form of the last two years and try to win a third title in a row. For sure, it won’t be easy, given also the level of competition, but I am convinced that with hard work and the dedication we have shown in the last two years, we will definitely be in contention. Let’s start in the best possible way.”

Benjamin Goethe: “I am excited a new Sprint season is underway at Brands Hatch, a very old-school track. I raced there last year, I know what it is and I enjoyed it a lot. Hopefully, we can get a good result and get the Sprint season off to a good start.”

Thomas Neubauer: “I have terrific memories of Brands Hatch, where I did my debut in GT3 and in the GTWCE back in 2019. We actually won Race 1, it was a very big and good surprise, so I am very much looking forward to being there again, with Team WRT, and hopefully, we can repeat the success.”

Jean-Baptiste Simmenauer: “I really look forward to this first round of the Sprint Cup and I am very happy to be associated with Christopher. He is a very strong driver and I am sure I can learn a lot from him.””

Christopher Mies: “I am looking forward to be racing again at Brands Hatch, with Team WRT and Jean-Baptiste, a young talented guy. Brands Hatch is one of the best tracks in the world: small, with ups and downs, a real roller-coaster, and a drivers’ circuit. I hope we can have a great weekend.”

Frédéric Vervisch: “We had a good debut in the Endurance Cup, I hope we can do the same in the Sprint Cup. It’s always nice to go to a cool track like Brands and although Vale has never raced there, I think it will suit him well and he has already proven that he is quick, so let’s continue building on all the positives.”

Valentino Rossi: “It will be the first sprint race of my career, as I never drove on such a format before. One needs to be faster and adopt a different mindset from endurance racing. We also need to be perfect in the pit stop not to lose time. It will also be my first race in Brands Hatch, it’s a very difficult and technical track, with a lot of blind spots. It won’t be easy but we’ll give the maximum and I am anxious to be thefe and work with Fred and the entire team.”

Fanatec World GT Challenge Europe powered by AWS – Sprint Cup Rd. 1

Brands Hatch, United Kingdom  – 30 April – 1st May 2022

Timetable (UK = CEST – 1)

Saturday 30 April 2022

09:00-10:00 Free Practice

12:25-13:25 Pre-Qualifying

15:50-16:40 Qualifying


Sunday 1st May 2022

11:25-12:25 Race 1

16:45-17:45 Race 2

Team WRT entries (Audi R8 LMS)  

#30  Benjamin Goethe (DE) – Thomas Neubauer (FR)  Silver

#32  Dries Vanthoor (BE) – Charles Weerts (BE) Pro

#33  Christopher Mies (DE) – Jean-Baptiste Simmenauer (FR) Pro

#46  Frédéric Vervisch (BE) – Valentino Rossi (IT) Pro

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