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BMW not involved about Le Mans rookies in WEC Hypercar roster

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BMW Motorsport boss Andreas Roos believes the credentials of occasion newcomers Raffaele Marciello, Marco Wittmann and Sheldon van der Linde will negate their lack of expertise within the Le Mans 24 Hours on 15-16 June and says the WRT-run programme can have the “good mixture”. 

Marciello and Wittmann have each received the Spa 24 Hours, whereas van der Linde has twice completed second within the Nurburgring 24 Hours and is like Wittmann a champion within the DTM.

“Our driver line-up is a really robust driver line-up and there we put numerous effort in, and likewise there we had numerous talks between WRT and us, to have the sensation we have now the perfect driver line-up we may,” Roos informed Autosport in an unique interview. 

“We’ve very skilled drivers who’ve finished Le Mans already even with LMP1 automobiles; we have now younger, quick drivers who proved already to have the ability to win 24-hour races, I believe we have now the right mixture of younger weapons but additionally our skilled drivers.”

WRT boss Vincent Vosse agrees that the Le Mans rookies is not going to be missing a lot to the three BMW Hypercar drivers who’ve contested the occasion earlier than. 

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Robin Frijns (2021, LMP2) and Dries Vanthoor (2017, GTE Am) are earlier class-winners, whereas Rene Rast has 5 earlier begins relationship again to 2014 and completed second in LMP2 in 2016.

“Le Mans after all, it’s totally different than every other monitor, however you shouldn’t take Le Mans as a troublesome monitor,” he informed Autosport. 

“It’s not technical, it’s not troublesome. [It’s] all the time good to have expertise in Le Mans, however [it’s] not the top of the world not figuring out the monitor.” 

Race motion

Picture by: Marc Fleury

Van der Linde has been positioned with Rast and Frijns within the #20 M Hybrid V8 LMDh, which claimed BMW’s finest end result thus far of its WEC return with sixth at Imola, whereas Wittmann and Marciello are teamed with Vanthoor within the sister #15 instance. 

Talking to Autosport, the South African stated BMW deserved credit score for giving an opportunity to drivers with none earlier Le Mans expertise.

“It’s very thrilling, simply to have the possibility from BMW to take us with out expertise I believe is already hats off to them,” he remarked.

“We all know numerous producers saying ‘you want expertise to be right here, we are able to’t take you proper now, we’d moderately take somebody who’s a bit older and extra skilled, who has finished it earlier than’ and BMW has clearly gone for youth, which is superb to see and never the case very often.

“I don’t suppose it’s probably the most troublesome monitor to be taught, so it’s largely in regards to the racing, the multi-class and getting via the evening with none points.”

Van der Linde reveals he’s “coaching a bit greater than regular” to arrange for the occasion, as he’s extra accustomed to sharing a automobile with three different drivers in 24-hour occasions.

Frijns maintains that BMW’s mixture of occasion rookies and skilled Le Mans arms “should not be” a speaking level, and believes his class win on debut in 2021 demonstrates that drivers who’re confirmed in different classes could be instantly efficient on the Circuit de la Sarthe. 

#31 Team WRT Oreca 07 - Gibson LMP2, Robin Frijns, Ferdinand Habsburg, Charles Milesi

#31 Staff WRT Oreca 07 – Gibson LMP2, Robin Frijns, Ferdinand Habsburg, Charles Milesi

Picture by: Nick Dungan / Motorsport Images

The Dutchman had been a mainstay of WRT’s GT3 programme since 2015, however says he was repeatedly denied alternatives to race at Le Mans earlier than WRT stepped into LMP2 as he was unproven on the occasion.

“I had some contact with groups [saying] that I need to do Le Mans and all people got here again to me, ‘yeah, however you don’t know Le Mans so we don’t take you as a rookie’,” he informed Autosport. 

“However then I went there in 2021 and I received it straight. So for me, if as a driver you’re fast, you’re fast, it doesn’t matter the place you go.

“Le Mans clearly is 24 hours, all people needs to do very effectively, nobody needs to make errors, however on the finish of the day in the event you’re a very good driver, you’re a very good driver in all places.”

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