Rui put his home country on the motorsport map with a season of superlatives. He and his Team WRT teammates, Robert Kubica (PL) and Louis Delétraz (CH) claimed six podium finishes in seven races, including a P2 finish in Le Mans and three victories (Spa, Fuji, Bahrain).
He flew the Angolan flag on three continents amongst some of the best racing drivers in the world.
Rui and the #41 squad arrived in Bahrain with a comfortable lead in the championship and lined up on the starting grid knowing they would only have to finish 8th to seal the title in case either of their two rivals would win the race.
Fortunately, despite the hardships at the start of the race weekend, during the race, everything went their way. With a perfect strategy and a touch of luck, they carved their way all the way up to second, and with the sister car’s unfortunate final pit stop, they jumped into the lead with 40 minutes remaining. Louis steered the #41 LMP2 Oreca to victory, collecting the maximum 36 points and extending their lead to a whopping 59 points.
As the LMP2 category won’t be part of the FIA WEC grid from next year, Rui and his teammates will go down in history as the last LMP2 world champions.
“It is hard to find the words right now. It will take some time until it sinks in what we’ve just achieved. Becoming a world champion is something every driver is dreaming of. To do it like this with such a dominant season we had is something special. My teammates were exceptional. It was a pleasure to share a car with them and learn from them. The entire Team WRT did an excellent job since the day I joined them last year. They helped me become a better driver while taking me into their big family. Special thanks to Vincent and Bastien. A huge thank you goes to my family for all the support they gave me over the years. Thanks to my sponsors Sonangol, Welwitschia Racing, my country Angola and Bullet Sport Management without whom I couldn’t be where I am today. One incredible chapter closes in my career but there are some exciting things on the horizon I can’t wait to embark on.“
Maria Catarineu Commercial Director, Bullet Sports Management:
“I first met Rui in 2018 at the beginning of his single-seater career. A young ambitious kid from a country with no motorsport history and barely any race experience compared to his peers. He’s been passionate even though the results didn’t always reflect the efforts he put in. Then in 2021, we helped him to find his true calling. Rui switched to prototype cars and he flourished in the new environment right from the start. In 2022 he joined our friends at Team WRT who provided him with the perfect atmosphere to grow into the professional racing driver he is today. It’s been very special for us to watch Rui‘s journey to becoming world champion.“