• Tim Fullbrook

Rossi joins Team WRT for 2022 GTWC Europe season

The nine-times world champion will complete the highly anticipated four-wheel transfer.

Valentino Rossi and Team WRT have announced that the Italian MotoGP legend will drive for the team in the upcoming Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS season.

After a trophy-saturated quarter-century racing motorcycles at world championship level, Rossi will complete his long-awaited switch from two wheels to four with expert GT outfit Team WRT. Rossi will pilot an Audi R8 LMS GT3 that will carry his iconic #46, competing in both endurance and sprint events that make up the 10 race calendar, including an entry into the TotalEnergies 24h of Spa in July.

The drivers that will complete the roster are yet to be revealed, but it is expected these will be high calibre Audi Sport factory individuals.

“I am delighted to join Team WRT for a full Fanatec GTWCE powered by AWS programme," said Rossi.

"Everybody knows that I have always been a great car racing fan and that I have always been interested in a 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 programme at 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 in the GTWCE with them.”

Rossi tested with Team WRT in December. Image: Team WRT

It was revealed in early December last year that the 42 year-old had tested for the Belgian outfit at Valencia, completing a number of runs in an Audi R8 LMS GT3 as both parties "evaluated future possibilities."

Rossi was rumoured to sign a contract with AF Corse early after his departure from MotoGP, as the Italian has a long-standing relationship with the de-facto Ferrari factory team competing in the Gulf 12h in 2019 and 2020.

A number of sportscar publications then hinted at rumours that Porsche had made their move to gain arguably the most lucrative signature of the off-season, with the Italian supposedly lured by the possibility of racing at the 24h of Le Mans.

'The Doctor' will take to the track for the first time on home soil in the opening round at Imola on the 1-3 April.

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