Valentino Rossi has signed up for the 2022 GT World Challenge Europe Championship after retiring from MotoGP last season.
Nine-time MotoGP champion, Valentino Rossi has been contracted to race in the ten-round GT World Challenge Europe season with Team WRT after withdrawing from two-wheel racing at the end of last season.
This comes as the 42-year old was forced to skip the Gulf 12 Hours owing to precautionary Covid self-isolation. He tested a WRT Audi in Valencia last December and will compete beside official Audi Sport drivers in the Endurance Cup and Sprint Cup.
The Sprint program includes a home race in Misano from 1st to 3rd July, while the Endurance Cup schedule includes an Italian round in Imola from 1st to 3rd April and a first try at the 24 Hours of Spa (28-31 July).
“I am delighted to join Team WRT for a full Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS program,” the MotoGP champion said.
“Everybody knows that I have always been a great car racing fan and that I have always been interested in racing on four wheels once my MotoGP career would come to an end.”
“Now I am completely available to devote myself to a car racing program at a high level and with the right professional approach.”
“Team WRT is the perfect fit I was looking for and I am anxious to start this new adventure with them,” he concluded.
Rossi has joined the most successful team in Fanatec GT World Challenge history by joining Team WRT, which has won 28 overall team and driver titles since 2011. The Belgian team has been particularly successful in the Sprint Cup and is a consistent candidate for the 24 Hours of Spa win.
“I am sure that a lot of fans will be as pleased as we are that Rossi is starting a new career on four wheels and that he is doing it in GT, with Team WRT and Audi,” WRT Team Principal Vincent Vosse said.
“We all know what a great motorbike champion and sports figure Vale is, but most of all, he is a true racer and a very professional and competitive sportsman, eager to be as successful as possible in the new challenge he has decided to embrace.”
“This is exactly why we really wanted to work with him.”
“The test we made at Valencia was extremely positive for both parties, in terms of technical feedback and working approach, and we took things from there.”
“We warmly welcome Vale in the WRT family and I am sure that we are off to a very exciting experience for both.”
Rossi isn’t rookie to the GT series, having competed in two Endurance events in 2012 at Monza and the Nürburgring.
He’ll kick off his new venture by joining Team WRT at the official test days at Circuit Paul Ricard on March 7-8. The Endurance Cup season begins on April 30th and 1st at Imola, while the Sprint Cup season begins on April 30th and 1st at Brands Hatch.