Following a highly successful debut season in LMP2, Angolan racing driver Rui Andrade decided to step up to the pinnacle of endurance racing this year, joining REALTEAM by WRT (CHE) in the FIA World Endurance Championship, as well as making his IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup debut with Tower Motorsport (USA) in the LMP2 category.
Rui started the 2022 season on the podium at the 24 Hours of Daytona in January as the first Angolan entrant in the history of the iconic race, alongside Ferdinand Habsburg (AUT), Louis Déletraz (CHE) and John Farano (CAN) in the Tower Motorsport (USA) LMP2 Oreca.
The season continues next weekend (16-19 March), presenting the 22-year-old from Luanda with a whole new challenge at the Sebring Raceway (Florida, USA). On Friday (March 18 ), he will enter the 1000 Miles of Sebring – which is expected to last approximately 8 hours, the opening round of the 2022 FIA WEC season, sharing the REALTEAM by WRT Oreca with Ferdinand Habsburg (AUT) and Norman Nato (FRA). On the following day, he will jump back into his Tower Motorsport car for Round 2 of the IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup, the 12H of Sebring.
Although the two cars are very similar, there are still significant differences between the two team’s setups and the two championship’s regulations. Rui will have to share his attention between REALTEAM by WRT and Tower Motorsport while paying attention to both Michelin Endurance Challenge’s and WEC’s rule books from practice session to practice session, at a physical track like Sebring requires extreme physical and mental preparation.
`’It`s going to be tough, but also extremely fun. Both of my teams are fantastic. We’ve already proved with the #8 Tower squad at Daytona what we are capable of, and WRT are the reigning LMP2 champions in WEC, so everything is set for a successful weekend. I have been working extra hard on the simulator and in the gym to prepare for both races. Twenty hours of racing in a 30 hour period will be a challenge; even though I have two 24-hour races behind my back, this will be something different, especially on a track like Sebring. I am grateful to my sponsors Sonangol and BAI for their support, allowing me to do what I love doing the most on the highest level. I can’t wait to get back behind the wheel.”
The 2022 FIA WEC season officially commences this weekend (March 12-13) with the two-day ‘Prologue’ test at the Sebring Raceway.