W Racing Team : Intersecting Speed and Precision

Ryan GrayRachel Carr
Ryan Gray - Senior Head of Projects Rachel Carr - Junior Editor
Weerts Racing Team MAIN
At A Glance
  • W Racing Team possesses and manages all the necessary infrastructure to achieve exceptional results on the racetrack, from the workshops and equipment used to prepare the cars, to transportation and hospitality.
  • WRT switched to the BMW brand in 2023, allowing for a collaboration on a full racing programme in the GT3 class and significant involvement in the new FIA WEC Hypercar class.
  • WRT plans to use the success it has achieved in Europe to expand the boundaries of Weerts Group across the world by exploring new regions, including the Middle East, Africa, the US, and Asia Pacific.
  • “Our success is due to our people; all the engineers, mechanics, management, and drivers have been chosen with a lot of dedication,” says Vincent Vosse, Owner and co-CEO, W Racing Team.

As a division of Weerts Group, W Racing Team is fuelled by passion and persistence in its pursuit of success. As a driving force in manufacturing, Vincent Vosse, Owner and co-CEO, gives us an insight into its triumphs and production processes.

INTERSECTING SPEED AND PRECISION

As a magnet for motorsport fans, Wallonia in Belgium is home to W Racing Team (WRT), a division of Weerts Group that includes the production business, WRT Manufacturing. 

WRT possesses and manages all the necessary infrastructure to achieve exceptional results on the racetrack globally. This encompasses everything from the workshops and equipment used to prepare the cars, to the logistical means of transportation and hospitality to entertain guests in a highly professional manner. 

However, the most important asset is the team of passionate engineers, mechanics, management, and support functions. This infrastructure is made available to WRT’s clients, which includes car manufacturers, private clients, and sponsors.  

Founded in 2009, WRT is owned by entrepreneur Yves Weerts and former racing driver Vincent Vosse, who is co-CEO alongside Kathleen Schurmans. A year after its inception, the team began its racing programme, which included the FFSA GT Championship, the Belgian Touring Car Series (BTCS), and the Belgian GT Championship. Factually, the team won its first race on its very first outing.   

“It was a nice way to begin our career as a racing team, and from there, we commenced our collaboration with Audi, first as a customer. In 2011, we represented them as a works team at the highest level of GT racing, the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, winning the race,” opens Vosse.  

In the wake of such an unbelievable achievement for a young contingent, WRT added more championships to its burgeoning portfolio.  

“Today, we are mainly racing in two series – the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe with three BMW M4 GT3s, and the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) with four cars, two BMW M4 GT3s in the LMGT3 category, and two BMW M Hybrid V8 cars in the Hypercar category,” Vosse prides.

ACTIVATING AUTOMOBILE ASSEMBLY

Established in 2012, WRT Manufacturing bought facilities in Baudour and began constructing Fun Cup vehicles. It then started producing for Volkswagen, and is now working with Hyundai, Toyota, and Stellantis, while the Fun Cup is still part of the portfolio.  

“Fun Cup was the catalyst for our manufacturing department. It involves little cars that resemble Volkswagen Beetles, with a uniquely shaped tubular chassis and a two-litre aspirated engine,” Vosse imparts.  

“We have built 550 Fun Cup cars since our inception; at the same time, we decided to buy a small company based near Verviers and were building chassis and roll cages for different manufacturers.  

“The Fun Cups are designed for racing and unsuitable for regular road use. It is a prototype model with a central single-seat position (although it is also possible to have two seats), an excellent choice for racing enthusiasts as it offers an exciting driving experience at an affordable cost,” he continues. 

Fun Cup is a racing category that originated in Belgium that has become an incredible phenomenon over the past 25 years and is widely recognised across Europe.   

Following a 13-year stint competing with Audi R8 cars, WRT switched to the BMW brand in 2023 after the Audi management team discontinued all racing programmes and aligned themselves with Formula One as it prepares to join the pinnacle of motorsport in 2026.  

“I am extremely proud to have shared our time with Audi with some great drivers and people. Everything started quite small, but we became the benchmark worldwide because of our partnership with Audi and those GT cars,” Vosse declares.

“As Weerts Group gravitates around racing, real estate, manufacturing, renewable energies, and logistics, we can integrate the know-how of the different entities and devise the most efficient solution”

Vincent Vosse, Owner and co-CEO, W Racing Team
Qatar Weerts Racing Team

NEW BEGINNINGS WITH BMW

The exciting new partnership with BMW has forged a new path, including collaboration on a full racing programme in the GT3 class and significant involvement in the new FIA WEC Hypercar class.  

WRT conducted extensive testing in 2023 to prepare for competing under the BMW banner in the 2024 FIA WEC Hypercar Series.  

After consulting with various manufacturers, the company decided to partner with the brand due to its established reputation. At the same time, BMW’s management team was also looking to make a comeback in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. 

“We achieved great success with Audi R8 vehicles and also participated in the popular Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) in Germany. When deciding what car company to represent for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, signing with Audi was a natural choice.  

“However, after Audi decided to pull out of their racing programmes, considering the expertise of Franciscus van Meel, CEO of BMW M, and Andreas Roos, Head of BMW M Motorsport, the decision to represent BMW became clear. We won the Dubai 24 Hours with the BMW M4 GT3 in January 2023, and have begun preparing for the 2024 FIA WEC Hypercar programme,” Vosse reveals.   

Furthermore, since the end of 2019, WRT Manufacturing has teamed up with Toyota to produce Supra GT4 cars and has already built more than 100 race cars for the category.   

“We received the car shell from Toyota and then proceeded to construct the roll cage, which we subsequently inserted into the car. After assembling it, we returned it to Toyota Gazoo Racing in Cologne. We feel privileged to work with such a reputable manufacturer and to be entrusted with building their race cars,” Vosse explains.

Weerts Racing Team GTWCBrandsHatch23

MAKING A DIFFERENCE

Motorsport has been under pressure due to its environmental impact. In response, WRT has taken several steps to address the issue by committing to sustainability while remaining focused on professional engagement and promoting diversity and inclusion.  

“Our strategy was developed in collaboration with an expert partner after consulting with our external stakeholders, who helped us identify and prioritise our environmental topics,” Vosse reports. 

In 2023, WRT focused on measuring its impact and setting SMART targets for ongoing improvement, with a roadmap for actions and deadlines.  

“We offset our carbon emissions each season, have sustainability policies and guidelines, and use double-life materials in every activity. Moreover, we will move to an BREEAM Excellent-rated building, meeting all the highest criteria for sustainable impact regarding water, energy, and materials,” he details.  

Additionally, environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors are now considered in business decisions, such as procurement and partner selection. WRT is also striving to achieve FIA 3-star accreditation, which provides a framework for motorsport organisations to assess and improve their environmental performance. 

“Our ESG strategy is in the ongoing development and implementation phases and sets the basis for the next three years. Part of this is achieving FIA 3-star accreditation,” assures Vosse.  

Meanwhile, the team can find participating in international events such as the FIA WEC and the Intercontinental GT Challenge exacting while balancing local supplier proximity with global needs. 

BMW car parts are mainly imported from Germany and Italy, but WRT Manufacturing strives to work with local suppliers for hardware and materials. This is not only due to the company’s responsiveness but also its commitment to reducing its carbon footprint. 

“We endeavour to develop tools internally for racing, manufacturing, and logistics, integrating know-how from different entities to devise efficient solutions,” Vosse highlights.

“Our success is due to our people; all the engineers, mechanics, management, and drivers have been chosen with a lot of dedication”

Vincent Vosse, Owner and co-CEO, W Racing Team
Weerts Racing Team Bahrain 2

POWERING PRIORITIES

WRT started small, hiring extra workers for weekend races before expanding to year-round employment. 

“Our success is due to our people; all the engineers, mechanics, management, and drivers have been chosen with a lot of dedication,” enlightens Vosse. 

WRT plans to use the success it has achieved in Europe to expand the boundaries of Weerts Group across the world by exploring new regions and taking its racing experience outside of Europe and into the Middle East, Africa, the US, and Asia Pacific.  

Similar to other divisions, WRT makes strategic investments to ensure its continued prosperity.  

“What makes WRT successful is achieving a good return on investment (ROI), which depends on having the right budget and tools. We have been making incremental investments, sometimes in materials and other times in our workforce, but both are equally important. Currently, we are investing in new facilities and plan to move there by the end of 2024.” 

The team at WRT has other established priorities for the upcoming year, both on the track and in the corporate landscape. 

“Our ultimate goal is to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which is the biggest endurance race in the world. This is our current focus and we will compete alongside BMW in the Hypercar category to contend for the top spot,” outlines Vosse.  

WRT has a history of near-total dominance in every race and championship it enters, except for DTM, where it competes as privateers against manufacturers. It has consistently been successful at the European and international levels in the GT and Touring Car Championships, as well as LMP2.  

“Our company aims to maintain dominance by retaining our highly motivated workforce and continuing with our current operations, as we have done for the past 15 years,”  
Vosse concludes.

Weerts Racing Team Bahrain
TAGGED:
Share This Feature
By Ryan Gray Senior Head of Projects
Follow:
Ryan Gray is a Senior Head of Projects for Outlook Publishing. Ryan is responsible for showcasing corporate stories in our digital B2B magazines and Digital Platforms, and sourcing collaborations with Business Leaders, Brands, and C-suite Executives to feature in future editions. Ryan is actively seeking opportunities to collaborate. Reach out to Ryan to discover how you and your business could be our next cover story.