MotoGP legend Rossi aiming for podiums in rookie GT3 season
MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi is aiming “for the podium” in 2022 when he makes his debut in the GT World Challenge Europe with WRT and Audi.
The nine-time motorcycle grand prix world champion retired from MotoGP at the end of the 2021 campaign and will switch to a career in GT racing in 2022.
Last month Rossi announced he had signed with leading endurance squad WRT to race one of its Audi R8 LMS GT3s in GT World Challenge Europe Sprint and Endurance Cups.
In an interview released by WRT, Rossi spoke of how his deal with Vincent Vosse’s squad came together and his aims for the season.
“Vincent came to me in Tavullia, I like his approach, I like to race with Audi, and this team is very competitive,” Rossi said.
“They always fight for the victory, so this is very important.
“I want to try the car because I’ve never tried the Audi, and we tried in Valencia [at a test in December] and I enjoyed very much.
“The car is very good to drive, it’s a very strong race car. Vincent said that my lap times are not so bad, so I trust him.
“This is a new adventure, it’s a new world.
“Especially we need to understand my level, my speed, because we don’t know.
“I hope to be competitive, to fight for the podium and I have to let you know during the season.”
Rossi is no stranger to endurance racing in GTs, having been a regular at the Gulf 12 Hours in a Kessell Ferrari, scoring class wins and overall podiums.
He missed the 2022 event in Abu Dhabi after a close contact tested positive for COVID-19.
Looking ahead to his debut in the GTWCE, Rossi has expressed excitement for his first proper 24-hour endurance race at the “mythological” Spa.
“Racing with cars was always in my mind,” Rossi added.
“So the time has arrived, I think that I have enough power, enough strength to try and do some other seasons with the car.
“During these years, I tried to understand where I can race where I can have fun and I have some experience with the GT3 cars and I enjoy a lot.
“The car is good, the car is fast. I like a lot the championship, I like a lot to have the sprint races and endurance races.
“I want to try one 24-hour race in Spa. I’ve never been in Spa, never. Never seen the track.
“It’s a mythological track, especially for the cars. I’m very curious to make this race also because it’s the best race for the GT car in the world.
“So, I decide for that. But see also for me, all is new, so I let you know during the season.”
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