Racing Team Nederland is set to become the first Dallara-equipped LMP2 team in the full FIA World Endurance Championship, as the team announced at midnight in the Netherlands that it would enter the full 2018/19 FIA WEC ‘Super Season’.
The team, backed by Dutch supermarket magnate Frits van Eerd, debuted in the LMP2 class in 2017 with a full season in the European Le Mans Series. RTN also raced at the 2017 Le Mans 24 Hours, where van Eerd and his full-season driving partner, 1988 Le Mans 24 Hours winner and ex -hadow, ATS, Ensign, Theodore and March F1 driver Jan Lammers, were joined for F1 legend Rubens Barrichello.
The move to the FIA WEC is believed to be based in no small part on the potential pressure of availability of Le Mans entries in 2018 and 2019 for ELMS entrants. An FIA WEC entry assuring the team of a place on the grid at Le Mans for the next two runnings of the race, both of which form rounds of the 2018/19 WEC season as the calendar transitions to a winter-based future competition.
The Dallara chassis has only previously appeared in the WEC at Le Mans with the debut season of the new Gibson V8-powered class seeing the entire full season entry of nine cars choose the ORECA 07 chassis, though a Ligier JS P217 car did make a pair of appearances in the 6-hour races in 2017.
The proposed entry brings the potential combined LMP1 and LMP2 entry very close to 50% of the proposed maximum full season WEC entry of 34 cars, while the combined GTE Pro and GTE Am entry looks set to be oversubscribed as the WEC attempts to balance the numbers across the combined LMP1 and LMP2 field with their GTE brethren.