The EWC podium-placing Polish outfit has recruited Christoffer Bergman, Mathieu Gines, Sheridan Morais and Isaac Viñales to pilot its #77 Yamaha in the Formula EWC category with Kamil Krzemień returning to the team to ride its Superstock-specification #777 Yamaha alongside existing trio Kevin Manfredi, Marek Szkopek and Danny Webb.
However, with only three riders getting the opportunity to race per category, Wójcik Racing Team – which is owned by Grzegorz Wójcik managed by Sławomir Kubzdyl – will wait until after practice to make its selection and will do so based on the performance of each rider during the initial track sessions.
IMPRESSED MANFREDI EYES EWC PROGRESSION
Kevin Manfredi, 28, is preparing for a 2023 FIM Endurance World Cup title challenge with half an eye on progressing to the FIM Endurance World Championship’s Formula EWC category “as soon as possible”. And having scored two Superstock category pole positions on Wójcik Racing Team’s #777 entry in 2022, Manfredi is hoping those qualifying performances can be transferred into strong EWC race results in 2023.
“In terms of results the 2022 season was a bit unlucky because we deserved far more, but throughout the year we were not only very fast, but we also created a unique team together,” Manfredi said. “The last race, Bol d’Or, was probably the best one I rode in the EWC [only for a late mechanical issue to rule out a podium finish]. During the upcoming year we want to win and, at the same time, I would like to advance to the Formula EWC class as soon as possible. The passion, determination and commitment of the entire team impresses me so much.”
BERGMAN’S BACK! SWEDE RETURNS TO EWC
Christoffer Bergman will be an FIM Endurance World Championship rider once more following confirmation of his return with Wójcik Racing Team. Swede Bergman joined Wójcik Racing Team in 2019 and finished second in that year’s Bol d’Or before coming home third in the 12 Hours of Estoril in 2020. The 33-year-old also rode for Wójcik Racing Team in the Polish Superbike Championship, placing third in 2019, and raced two seasons in the FIM Supersport World Championship, in 2020 and 2021. He spent 2022 recovering from a leg injury but managed to make four winning appearances in the Polish Superbike Championship as well as setting a new lap record at Tor Poznan on his way to third in the final standings.
“Last year I was returning from injury, which was a good decision, but I was still training and did some racing with good pace,” Bergman said. “I feel ready to return and I really missed racing. I’ve been racing for the Wójcik Racing Team for a few years now and really enjoy the family atmosphere. I’m also very grateful for all the help I received from the team during my recovery. Our goal is to fight for victories and while that’s not always possible, you have to aim high.”
WEBB HOPING SOME EWC LUCK COMES HIS WAY
Danny Webb is hoping that a change of fortune will help to carry him to glory in this year’s FIM Endurance World Cup. Briton Webb, 31, is a member of Wójcik Racing Team’s Superstock line-up for a second season in a row. “We showed very good pace and a huge potential, which was confirmed by two starts from pole,” he said of last season. “But, at the same time, we created a great atmosphere together [in the team]. We have the same goal, to win. I’m really happy to be continuing [with Wójcik]. We had a good 2022 season, just needed a bit of luck.”
WÓJCIK RACING TEAM TO COUNT ON MORE MORAIS MAGIC IN EWC
The Sheridan Morais and Wójcik Racing Team alliance will continue in the 2023 FIM Endurance World Championship with the South African-born rider remaining part of the #77 effort. The 37-year-old joined Wójcik in 2020 and was part of its Yamaha-powered attack that finished second in last September’s Bol d’Or EWC season finale.
“The 2022 season has been challenging, but as a team we have done great,” said Morais, who is originally from Johannesburg. “Not only did we stand on the Bol d’Or podium, but also as a team we showed an even higher level and we were really dangerous. As important as our joint podium for me is the family atmosphere that exists in the team from the very beginning of our cooperation. In Wójcik Racing Team, everything is driven by 100 per cent passion, and everyone is very motivated to make further progress together. I hope that in 2023 we will stand on the top of the podium and finish the season on a high position in the classification.”
KRZEMIEŃ IN POLE POSITION FOR EWC SUCCESS
Kamil Krzemień reckons he’ll be an even better rider when he returns to the FIM Endurance World Championship in 2023. The Polish talent, 23, rode for Wójcik Racing Team in the 2018-19 title chase and scored a Superstock class podium in the 8 Hours of Oschersleben. After spending 2022 impressing in the German IDM series, Krzemień is back on EWC duty with Grzegorz Wójcik’s Yamaha-powered squad.
“I have long wanted to return to long-distance racing and I missed the EWC,” said Krzemień. “I made a lot of progress [in 2022] and developed as a rider, so I am convinced that this will help me fight in the upcoming season for even better results than before. I wanted to start in a team in which I can fight for podiums, both in FIM EWC and in IDM, that’s why I’m happy to be back under the wings of Wójcik Racing Team. It was in their colours that I reached my only EWC podium and now we want to fight together for even more.”
Grzegorz Wójcik said: “We are happy about Kamil’s return. Not only is he one of the fastest Polish and European competitors, but he also successfully started in our colours, standing on the podium in EWC and reaching for the Polish championship. We know and understand each other very well, that’s why I believe that we will have another very successful season. We have everything to be able to fight not only for the podiums, but also for victories and the championship title.”
VIÑALES EYES EWC VICTORY PUSH
The signing of Isaac Viñales for the 2023 FIM Endurance World Championship represents another “world-class” recruitment by Wójcik Racing Team. Catalunya-born Viñales, the cousin of MotoGP racer Maverick Viñales, joins the Polish squad’s #77 Formula EWC entry after making two EWC appearances with Moto Ain in 2022. A four-time podium finisher in Moto3, Viñales, who also scored five FIM World Supersport Championship podiums in the past, made his EWC debut in the Suzuka 8 Hours in 2018.
Team Manager Sławomir Kubzdyl said: “Isaac is another world-class rider joining the Wójcik Racing Team. We know him well, having watched him battle in world championships for years. He was one of the frontrunners in the World Supersport Championship when we made our debut in 2020 and we’ve been thinking about joining forces in FIM EWC ever since. Once we started our talks, things went very smoothly and after inviting Isaac to try our bike and meet the team in Cartagena, we both decided to sign the 2023 contract at the track. We have the same goal and want to fight at the front in FIM EWC.”
Wójcik Racing Team completed the 2022 EWC season with second place in the Bol d’Or, a result that helped to secure fifth position in the final FIM Endurance World Championship for Teams. “I’m really happy to be joining Wójcik Racing Team,” said Viñales, 29. “It’s a very good team and we can achieve a lot together. I really like the family atmosphere here, which is very important in endurance racing. After our first two days together, I can see that we have a good bike and we know how to make it even better. It’s difficult to talk about goals in endurance racing as everything can happen but we’ll give it our all and want to fight for top positions.”
LONG-TERM WÓJCIK ACE SZKOPEK TO SHOW SPEED AND CONSISTENCY
Wójcik Racing Team linchpin Marek Szkopek will form part of the squad’s Superstock category attack having featured in the line-up from the very beginning. “Since 2016 we’ve been consistently challenging the best,” said Szkopek, 37. “The 2022 season was our seventh and fifth in the FIM EWC World Championship. We have shown the potential many times by reaching for the podium or starting from pole position. We’re motivated and ready to take the next step in the coming year and regularly fight for podium spots in the Superstock class.”
Grzegorz Wójcik said: “Marek has been with us practically from the very beginning of our racing adventure, and our loyalty to each other is as important to us as the results on the track, which are also impressive, so continuing our cooperation is natural. Thanks to his successes and hard work on the track, as well as his commitment to the development of young talents as a coach, Marek is today a true legend of Polish motorsport.”
EWC PAST CHAMPION GINES GOES GLORY HUNTING AGAIN
Mathieu Gines is preparing to embark on another FIM Endurance World Championship glory mission in 2023 after re-signing for Wójcik Racing Team. Gines, part of the GMT94 squad that won the EWC title in 2014, joined forces with Dan Linfoot and Sheridan Morais to finish second for Wójcik Racing Team in last September’s 100th-anniversary Bol d’Or. The 34-year-old said: “Last season was full of emotions, culminating in a podium in the Bol d’Or and Wójcik Racing Team showed the highest level of work and dedication at every step. This year we want to be the best independent team and fight for the podium as often as possible and for the top three in the general world championship classification.”
Wójcik Racing Team has been preparing for the EWC season with a testing programme in Spain. The 24 Heures Motos at Le Mans opens the 2023 championship from 13-16 April.