With W Racing Team, the Weerts group, active in logistics and real estate, stands out on circuits around the world where its team has won multiple trophies for the past ten years. He aims to add others this weekend at Francorchamps.
As the 24 Hours of Spa approach, the members of W Racing Team (WRT) are making the final adjustments in their workshop in Baudour, near Mons, so that the vehicles entered are at their best on D-Day. the recent heat wave which has dampened the enthusiasm of the teams! On the contrary, they are more focused than ever with one goal in mind: to win. “We have no problem with absenteeism among staff, confirms Kathleen Schurmans, who co-directs WRT with Vincent Vosse. All our employees are extremely motivated and do not count their hours. What drives them is everything simply the passion for the automobile.” Passion that can be found at all levels of the team. And first and foremost, Vincent Vosse, who has been behind the WRT adventure for 13 years now, with Yves Weerts.
As the 24 Hours of Spa approach, the members of W Racing Team (WRT) are making the final adjustments in their workshop in Baudour, near Mons, so that the vehicles entered are at their best on D-Day. the recent heat wave which has dampened the enthusiasm of the teams! On the contrary, they are more focused than ever with one goal in mind: to win. “We have no problem with absenteeism among staff, confirms Kathleen Schurmans, who co-directs WRT with Vincent Vosse. All our employees are extremely motivated and do not count their hours. What drives them is everything simply the passion for the automobile.” Passion that can be found at all levels of the team. And first and foremost, Vincent Vosse, who has been behind the WRT adventure for 13 years now, with Yves Weerts. At the end of his racing career (he notably distinguished himself by winning the 24 Hours of Spa in 2002), Vincent Vosse decided to create his own racing team. “At the time, my main sponsor was the transport company Weerts & Fils and I got along well with Yves Weerts, who is also a motorsport enthusiast, he explains. he idea of joining forces made its way in 2008. A somewhat atypical idea in the industry, with the combination of a businessman and a pilot.” Officially launched in 2009, WRT participated at the start of 2010 in the Belgian championship and the French Grand Touring (GT) championship and won with Audi the first for its first participation. This is the beginning of a long series of victories that will punctuate his career. “In 2010, we are also taking part in the 24 Hours of Spa, even though it was not on the schedule, he continues. We had three cars at the start and one finished the race. Our partner was D’Ieteren. In addition, Audi, with its first successes at Le Mans since 2000, enjoyed a very strong image in motorsport.In 2011, Audi Sport officially signed up with WRT and, in the process, we won the 24 Hours of Spa and the European Championship.” At the end of 2021, no less than 49 championships have been won by the Belgian team, including quite a few from the first participation. Last year proved to be the best vintage in its history with nine championships won out of 10 participations. WRT aligns its cars all over the planet, with Europe as its favorite ground, but it is also present in Australia, the United States, China, Japan and Africa. WRT employs 107 people and achieved a turnover of 22 million euros last year. In addition to its location in Hainaut, it also has a subsidiary located in Stavelot: WRT Manufacturing. The latter specializes in the construction of chassis, roll bars and in the forming of steel bodies. It counts Volkswagen, Toyota and Hyundai among its customers. Furthermore, WRT Manufacturing is the exclusive manufacturer of the VW Fun Cup. The team also benefits from its membership of Weerts Group, which has enabled it to get through the recent pandemic without too many problems, in particular by temporarily integrating employees into other group entities. Based in Milmort and led by Pascal Weerts, Weerts Group is a diversified family investment company in the logistics, real estate and motorsport sectors. Last year, it achieved a turnover of 235 million euros with 90 million net profit. In recent years, like WRT, it has experienced strong growth both in Belgium and abroad. It thus operates in the Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Hungary and Romania. In addition to motorsport, the group is developing in the logistics and real estate sectors. The first is the heir of the integrated company (transport and logistics) Transport Weerts & Fils, whose transport activity was sold in 2008 to Jost. The group then concentrated on the logistics activity centered around Liège. It has more than 300,000 m2 of warehouses in Belgium spread over seven sites: Bierset, Milmort, Herstal, Tessenderlo, Trilogiport, Tongres and Brussels. The second is organized around four asset classes: warehousing, semi-industrial, offices and residential real estate. Among the fine performances recorded by Weerts Group, those achieved by WRT do not spoil the whole. On the contrary. A significant part of the success of the racing team is the result of the collaboration between the two leaders: Kathleen Schurmans and Vincent Vosse. If the second brought WRT to the baptismal font, the first joined the team in 2016, discovering for the occasion a new universe: the world of racing. “Vincent takes care of the sporting aspects, she says. For my part, I take care of the corporate governance. And together, we manage the financial aspect, she explains. We are complementary and when this complementarity exists between two CEO is an undeniable plus for a company. I joined a company that was already working very well and my job was to put in place a structure so that it could improve and continue to progress. traditional hierarchical companies, I found here autonomous and extremely motivated teams. The world of racing is much more challenging than the world of business. Every weekend, it’s competition with a goal that drives all teams: to finish on top. Everyone is involved.” Unlike a traditional company, a company active in high-level sport requires hyper-sharp professionalism and constant availability. Especially since victory is often decided on a tiny detail. If the cars today are equipped with multiple sensors which inform the engineers in real time during the race and provide a lot of data, in the end it is always the man who decides. Based on this data but also on the experience of the race that no computer can replace. For the competitions, WRT relies on a strategist who comes from Australia and who, depending on the evolution of the race, makes decisions that can change the course of the latter. More broadly, WRT has among its members the cream of automotive mechanics and engineers who have enabled it over the years to achieve its victory objectives. “The company offers each member opportunities to progress within it, adds Kathleen Schurmans. This internal mobility contributes to our dynamic. In addition, by continuing to grow and gain, we attract new skills. We have within our our workforce, pilots included, 18 nationalities.” And among the newcomers this season, WRT does indeed have a choice rookie in the person of Valentino Rossi. The nine-time motorcycle speed world champion has, in fact, joined the Belgian team. “He is a legend in his sport, confides Vincent Vosse. He enjoys extraordinary popularity. But beyond his notoriety, he is first and foremost someone who has a real passion for motorsport and who adapt very quickly.” This weekend, aficionados of the Italian driver will be able to admire his prowess at the wheel of an Audi R8 naturally bearing his favorite number: 46. “The 24 Hours of Spa is part of the GT World Challenge Europe and represents the most important race in world in our category, he continues. There will be around sixty vehicles on the starting line and we will be present with five cars. The Spa event will also be an opportunity for WRT to bring together more than 500 people for a weekend of business networking. During the races, it pulls out all the stops to welcome its partners and guests, relying in particular on two chefs trained by Yves Mattagne. “WRT works with different partners, the main one today being Skechers, she says. We offer global visibility and a first-class environment where they can receive customers. Thanks to Skechers, we can continue to professionalize with sportswear and shoes, in particular through their support for car 32, the team of our best Belgian drivers, and Valentino Rossi’s car 46. Last but not least, Kathleen Schurmans also intends to underline the commitment of WRT in favor of sustainable races: “We offset the CO2 emissions of our vehicles with a reforestation program in Ecuador and also support the Drive Fast, Act Faster initiative, set up by Ferdinand Habsburg, one of our own drivers .”