Ex-Jaguar F1 man and F3000 champion Wirdheim gets Greaves WEC seat

Former Jaguar Formula 1 test driver Bjorn Wirdheim will make his prototype debut in this weekend's Interlagos round of the World Endurance Championship with the Greaves LMP2 squad

Ex-Jaguar F1 man and F3000 champion Wirdheim gets Greaves WEC seat

The 33-year-old, who has raced in Japan since 2006, will drive the Greaves Motorsport Zytek-Nissan Z11SN alongside Gunnar Jeannette and Christian Zugel in Brazil.

Greaves and Wirdheim have been in talks since last winter, but the late deal for the Swede to join the team is understood to have been facilitated by links between the British squad and his employer in Japan, the Gainer Mercedes Super GT team.

It appears likely that Greaves and Gainer will link up for the Fuji round of the WEC in October.

Wirdheim told AUTOSPORT: "This is the opportunity I've been working towards for a while. I'm really happy to get the chance to race with a European team after so many years in Japan.

"There's obviously no chance to test the car before practice, but I'm not too worried. A GT500 is a little bit quicker around Fuji than a LMP2, so I suspect it has more downforce.

"I believe I will be able to adjust quite quickly. I have raced at Interlagos before [in Formula 3000 in 2002] and drove the Jaguar there in 2004."

Wirdheim, who finished fourth in Super GT in 2010, revealed that his ambition for next season was to dovetail his career in Japan with a programme in the WEC.

The 2003 F3000 champion had originally decided to turn his back on Super GT at the end of last year, before accepting a drive with Gainer in the GT300 class.

"The opportunity with Greaves is only for one race, but I am hoping I can promote myself and that it will lead to other opportunities with European teams," he said.

"I'd like to do what guys like Andre Lotterer and Loic Duval have done. They are competing with a factory [Audi] in the WEC, but still racing in Japan."

shares
comments
Steven Kane in frame for 2013 Greaves LMP2 drive after tryout

Previous article

Steven Kane in frame for 2013 Greaves LMP2 drive after tryout

Next article

Nissan eyes speed record bid with ZEOD electric Le Mans car

Nissan eyes speed record bid with ZEOD electric Le Mans car
Load comments

About this article

Series WEC
Author Gary Watkins
How 'Brilliant' Bob Wollek lived up to his nickname Plus

How 'Brilliant' Bob Wollek lived up to his nickname

Sportscar racing lost one of it's greatest talents 20 years ago today when Bob Wollek was knocked from his bicycle prior to the Sebring 12 Hours. The enigmatic Frenchman never won the Le Mans 24 Hours, but many still remember today why 'Brilliant Bob' became a legend

WEC
Mar 16, 2021
Top 10 moments of an underrated British great Plus

Top 10 moments of an underrated British great

Brian Redman was one of the best sportscar drivers of the 1960s and 1970s, as well as a three-time champion on the fearsome American Formula 5000 scene. To celebrate his 84th birthday Autosport contacted him about his best races – and he decided to write the piece himself…

WEC
Mar 9, 2021
How an endurance racing boom could help one of LMP2's top teams Plus

How an endurance racing boom could help one of LMP2's top teams

The G-Drive squad has been a mainstay of endurance racing in recent years, and has linked up with Russian manufacturer Aurus in recent years to promote its brand. With a change of rules in endurance racing's top tables, the team could be well-placed to take advantage of a potential boom...

WEC
Mar 7, 2021
How Ferrari’s Hypercar project could bolster Leclerc’s legacy Plus

How Ferrari’s Hypercar project could bolster Leclerc’s legacy

OPINION: Ferrari's planned return to the top category at the Le Mans 24 Hours has further heightened anticipation for the 2023 race. Few concrete details are currently known, but already it has a high-profile superstar angling for involvement, which would make a refreshing change

WEC
Mar 5, 2021
Why Ferrari is ending its 50-year top-flight sportscar exile Plus

Why Ferrari is ending its 50-year top-flight sportscar exile

Making a return to top-flight sportscar racing after 50 years away, Ferrari will enter the Le Mans Hypercar ranks in 2023. The Italian marque denies the link with Formula 1's new cost cap that frees up resources, but it's certainly no coincidence...

WEC
Feb 25, 2021
The ground-up refresh behind Toyota's new Le Mans challenger Plus

The ground-up refresh behind Toyota's new Le Mans challenger

Toyota's new GR010 contender for the World Endurance Championship's Hypercar era has little in common with the LMP1 TS050 that preceded it. But within the confines of the scaled back new rules, its latest challenger will be no less formidable a prospect

WEC
Jan 22, 2021
The Porsche icon that forged sportscar racing's greatest era Plus

The Porsche icon that forged sportscar racing's greatest era

Porsche is returning to the top class of Le Mans with an LMDh prototype that it hopes will write its next successful chapter in sportscar racing. But it will have to go some to emulate its 956/962, a car which defines the Group C age more than any other

WEC
Dec 16, 2020
How Kristensen forged the Mr Le Mans legend Plus

How Kristensen forged the Mr Le Mans legend

He is synonymous with success at the Circuit de la Sarthe, but Tom Kristensen's sportscar legacy amounts to much more than his record-breaking nine Le Mans wins, as the most successful driver ever at Sebring and a world champion to boot

WEC
Dec 5, 2020