Louis Deletraz and Yifei Ye will make the full-time switch to sportscars after being picked by W Racing Team to partner Robert Kubica in the European Le Mans Series.
The pair both already have experience in prototype sportscars, with Deletraz having finished fourth in last year’s Le Mans 24 Hours in a Rebellion LMP1 car and Ye having become Asian Le Mans Series champion a few weeks ago.
WRT will field the trio in a Oreca 07 car, the same LMP2 class vehicle that Ye raced in the United Arab Emirates in February. Pending a decision by the event organiser, the trio could also contest the Le Mans 24 Hours.
“I’m really glad to join Team WRT for the 2021 ELMS season,” said Deletraz.
“We have a very strong line-up with Robert and Yifei, and I am sure we are going to be competitive straight away as a team.”
Deletraz has spent the past four seasons in Formula 2, with a best result of second place achieved six times. Before that he was a race-winner in Formula V8 3.5 and was the 2015 Formula Renault NEC champion.
“After my extended single-seater and LMP1 experiences, this is going to be a new challenge that I’m really looking forward to.
“There is no doubt that Team WRT is one of the most successful squads out there. I want to thank Vincent [Vosse, WRT founder] and his people for the trust and for giving me this opportunity.”
Ye told Formula Scout after his ALMS title success that he was ELMS-bound, as he didn’t have the budget to step up to F2 after winning the 2020 Euroformula title. His single-seater career also included a French Formula 4 crown and wins in the Asian Formula 3 Winter Series and FR Eurocup.
“I am very excited to join Team WRT for the upcoming ELMS season,” Ye said.
“After a successful transition from single-seater to endurance sportscars earlier this year, which saw me winning the 2021 ALMS, I am very confident to keep that winning momentum going, teaming up with one of the all-time most talented drivers as Robert and a very skilled and experienced driver such as Louis.
“Thanks to Vincent and the team for the opportunity and I can’t wait to get the season started.”
Former Formula 1 driver and World Rally Championship 2 title winner Kubica had praise for his new team-mates as he too makes the full-time move into prototypes.
”I wish to extend a warm welcome to Louis and Yifei and I look forward to taking this new challenge with them,” Kubica commented.
“I know Louis from his F2 days, while I have never met Yifei, but both are talented drivers and I am sure we will work well together and with the team.
“Our package is not the most experienced in LMP2 but with hard work and dedication, we will have all the cards to do well. I am really anxious to start working on track and at the factory!”