F1 Race Winner Kubica to Contest FIA WEC and Le Mans

F1 Race Winner Kubica to Contest FIA WEC and Le Mans
ORLEN Team WRT drivers: (car #41) Robert Kubica, Ruid Andrade and Louis Deletraz. Image courtesy: ORLEN Team WRT.

Ex-F1 driver Robert Kubica rejoins Team WRT in a new bid to the 2023 FIA WEC and the 24 hours of Le Mans, partnering with ELMS Champion Louis Deletraz and Rui Andrade in the LMP2 squad, the team confirmed on Friday.

ORLEN Team WRT welcomes back Pole driver Robert Kubica and two-time ELMS Champion Louis Deletraz.

Together, they captured the European Le Mans Series (ELMS) crown in 2021 for the outfit with a round to spare.

In addition, they came close to grabbing victory in the iconic race, the 24 hours of Le Mans - they fell short in the last lap.

Last season, Deletraz retained the ELMS title, becoming a two-time champion with Prema Racing.

In store for 2023 is a quest to the 2023 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) and Le Mans in the LMP2 class with the Belgian team, alongside Rui Andrade, who completes the squad driver line-up at the wheel of the No. 41 Oreca 07 Gibson.

I am very happy to be back in the WRT family and to be representing ORLEN Team WRT, but this time in WEC, as we raced together and won the ELMS championship in car #41,” Kubica outlined.

Adding: “It will be my third year with Louis, but my first with Rui, who I know well from the paddock, and Louis has always spoken very highly of him from their time in IMSA together.”

It will be a big challenge to race in the WEC, and of course, at Le Mans, it would be nice to get one more lap this time, which we missed in 2021 when we lost the win in the last lap. We will stay focused and work hard to achieve the best results possible!”

Deletraz, who will be sharing driving duties with the 38-year-old Polish star for the third year in a row, has a challenging season ahead of him.

Addressing his 2023 WEC campaign with WRT, the Swiss driver commented: “I started my full-time endurance career with the team in 2021, and I have many great memories with our ELMS title.

It’s even more special coming back together with Robert, and it will be the third year in a row we’re sharing a car. We have unfinished business in the WEC and at the 24H of Le Mans!

Apart from his WEC appearance, the 25-year-old has joined Wayne Taylor Racing to contest the IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup in Daytona, Sebring, and Petit Le Mans.

Furthermore, he will attempt to defend his ELMS title with Racing Team Turkey.

The son of former Formula One and Le Mans driver Jean-Denis Deletraz made his endurance racing debut in 2020, building a successful career.

Before switching to sports car racing, he acted as one of the Haas F1 Team reserve and development drivers, a partnership that concluded by the end of 2020.

From 2017 and across four seasons, he drove in the FIA Formula 2 championship for different teams.

Deletraz and Kubica will share the No. 41 Oreca 07 Gibson with Angolan driver Andrade who will contest his second consecutive WEC campaign for ORLEN Team WRT in 2023.

In 2018, he made his single-seater debut, competing at the Spanish Formula 4 championship, and in 2021, he moved to sports car racing.

Last season, he ran a double campaign, combining a WEC-IMSA program, claiming the best results of his young career scoring a maiden FIA WEC victory in Monza for REALTEAM by WRT.

Moreover, a podium finish at the Rolex 24H of Daytona and Watkins Glen as a win at the Petit Le Mans helped the 23-year-old to become the 2022 IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup Champion with Tower Motorsport.

2023 is shaping up to be an amazing year, and Im really happy to be reunited with Louis,” he asserted.

We had a great time last season in IMSA, both on and off track, and I am looking forward to sharing the #41 car with him in the WEC. I am also very excited to welcome Robert on board, as he is an extraordinary driver with a lot of experience.

I remember watching him in F1, and now to race alongside him is a privilege. We have a solid line-up, a competitive car, and the best team behind us. Sebring can’t come soon enough!

Team WRT will enter two cars in the LMP2 class; the drivers of sister car No. 31 will be announced ahead of the first round of the 2023 WEC at Sebring on March 17, according to the squad.

Thus far, only Indonesian Sean Gelael, 26, has been confirmed behind the wheel of the No. 31 car.

Team WRT Principal Vincent Vosse said: “I’m so pleased that we get to work with drivers, who we know very well. Louis and Robert were a fundamental part of our 2021 successes, where they became ELMS champions in our first season with the LMP2.”

We all remember the dramatic last lap at Le Mans, which showed how competitive they are together! It’s great to see them teamed up with Rui. We are going for a maximum attack strategy with our line-ups in the 2023 season!”

Cecilia demartini
Sports Pundit staff writer @ceci_2812
Cecilia is a writer and journalist, passionate about motorsport and tennis.Her articles are published in newspapers and international online publications.

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