Andreas Wirth is thrilled to announce today, part of what he has planned for the 2017 race season.
After just one year in the European Le Mans Series (ELMS) he’s proud to take one more step up the ladder to the pinnacle of Prototype racing – the World Endurance Championship (WEC).
Wirth joins CEFC Manor TRS Racing for a partial season, undertaking various roles which include testing, development and reserve driver in the teams’ ORECA 07 Gibson-powered LMP2 entry.
After proving his speed, versatility and a cool head behind the wheel of an LMP2 car in 2016 with SMP Racing in the ELMS, where he finished the season in a very strong third place overall, Wirth was happy to have a number of options on the table for the 2017 season.
Commenting on his big news, Wirth said, “There were a lot of decisions to make in the off-season this year – it’s nice to be recognized for the effort I put into racing, and I know I’ve made the very best decision for my career. It’s an understatement to say that I’m very excited to be making the step up to the World Endurance Championship this year, and it’s a real privilege to be doing that with such an amazing team. I can’t thank CEFC Manor TRS Racing enough for this opportunity. It means a lot to me that after just one season racing in the ELMS, that a team like Manor believes in me enough to give me this chance. It’s truly an honor to be working with such a legendary team, and I can’t wait to get on track where I will certainly be taking every opportunity I can to learn from them and the strong driver line-up that they’ve put together. Since we have a long term plan with the team, I’ll be doing all I can to make sure I’m up-to-speed and ready to fight hard with these guys.”
Sporting Director for CEFC Manor TRS Racing, Graeme Lowdon had this to say; “We are very happy that Andreas is joining the team. We know from experience that it is important to have strength in depth within the team. Andreas will be testing in our LMP2 car later this month and is also working with us on a number of projects. This is the start of a longer-term relationship and we are already planning activities for future seasons.”
Christian Kuhn, owner of Speed Motorsport Management is very pleased to see his driver moving up the ranks with a strong team, and added, “I’m absolutely elated to be working with Graeme (Lowdon) and John (Booth) at CEFC Manor TRS Racing. These guys are die-hard racers with long and well-respected careers in motorsport – coming from Formula Ford to Formula One, that’s a feat to be proud of. Equally impressive is Andreas’ third-place finish last year in his ELMS rookie year – he deserves to be offered this opportunity on a world stage in the highest level of sports car racing. He’s a real professional and a future star in this sport. We’re both looking forward to a long-term relationship with Manor and many successes to come on track.”
About CEFC Manor TRS Racing:
Manor Motorsport came into existence in 1990 when former single-seater champion John Booth decided that the time had come to hang up his racing gloves. His competitive spirit and passion for motorsport continued to be as strong as ever and so John established his own team.
Manor’s record of success includes some 190 race wins and 19 championship titles in series such as British Formula 3, Formula Renault, Formula Three Euroseries and Formula One, making Manor one of the best teams in International motorsport.
Over the years Manor has tasted success with some of the best drivers in the world, including: Lewis Hamilton, Kimi Räikkönen, Paul di Resta, Jason Plato, Christian Horner, Guy Smith, Patrick Long, Robert Kubica, Lucas Di Grassi, Oliver Jarvis, Marc Hynes, Antônio Pizzonia and Matt Griffin to name a few.
Manor returns to WEC in 2017 under the new Chinese banner CEFC Manor TRS Racing, fielding two ORECA 07 Gibsons for a full-season effort, marking this their 28th year of racing.